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The Ultimate Top 5 Picks: Mac Preview App Alternatives [macOS Sonoma Supported]

Preview app is a default document viewer for Mac devices that allows users to access, view and edit documents. Despite providing a lot of assistance in terms of document management, this app still lacks many other features. Hence, the need for an alternative app rises. In this article, you will find the top 5 preview app alternative for your Mac devices.

Part 1: What is Preview App on Mac?

Like many other built-in applications within Mac devices, the Preview app is the default viewer for multiple file formats on the macOS operating system. This app allows users to view images and PDF files, merge PDF files, convert images, fill forms, password-protect PDF on Mac, and other necessary document editing. Certainly, providing Mac users with a dedicated platform for their document management in a simple and easy way.

Part 2: Why You Should Replace Preview on Mac?

Despite being a dedicated platform for accessing and viewing different documents on Mac devices, the Preview app still possesses many limitations. Therefore, that's the reason to find an alternative to Preview. But what are the limitations? Let's find out:

  • The preview app doesn't support the feature of OCR and batch processing. Consequently, users cannot convert their paper documents into editable PDFs, nor can they simultaneously process the conversion of PDFs into different formats or vice versa.
  • The unavailability of markup tools like PDF stamps and stickers makes it less creative to edit a document. Moreover, stamps are necessary to ensure the credibility of important documents, and stickers are helpful in children's academic assignments and more.
  • A significant issue for the Preview app is its unwanted lag at major times while previewing or editing your document. Thus, it becomes annoying to see your work getting delayed just because of caused disruptions.
  • While editing PDFs, you're most likely required to add a link or image to your text. Unfortunately, the Preview app doesn't allow adding both facilities, which may leave your document incomplete.

Part 3: Top 5 Preview App Alternatives on Mac

When it comes to finding Preview alternative app, the internet is filled with various options to assist. Meanwhile, locating the right app for yourself may seem like a daunting task. Here, you'll find the top 5 alternatives to the Preview Mac app to get started:

1. UPDF for Mac

UPDF for Mac is a fully featured PDF management and editing tool that allows users to edit, organize, and conveniently convert their respective documents. Interestingly, this tool doesn't affect your document content or layout during editing. The platform is fast and efficient in delivering instant changes and modifications to your document with the help of different markup tools. Get the free trial from the button below:

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While using UPDF, you will not get confused because this Preview alternative software has a clean and colorful interface with easy navigation around.

Key Features of UPDF

  • PDF Editing: Using UPDF, users can edit the text in PDF by rewriting or changing font size and style. Users can also add watermarks to PDF documents or add headers & footers. Moreover, modifying images and links can also be done.
  • Annotating PDFs: Using markup tools, you can add comments to the text or highlight or underline it. You can also add strikeout text alongside text boxes, stamps, stickers, and signatures.
  • Converting PDF Files: With UPDF, there is also a possibility to convert PDF files into formats like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, CSV, and more. With batch processing, you can batch convert PDF files at once.
  • Organize PDF: You can also organize your documents by extracting, splitting, cropping, deleting, adding, re-arranging, rotating, or merging PDF pages.
  • Cloud Storage Service: There is also a facility of UPDF Cloud by which users can access their PDF documents while sitting anywhere in the world.

2. PDF Reader Pro for Mac

Known as a PDF powerhouse, PDF Reader Pro for Mac is an alternative to the Preview app. This PDF reader can fulfill all your document management needs within a single solution. After all, the tool comes with facilities like editing, viewing, converting, OCR, commenting, signing PDFs, and more. In fact, you can also bookmark important pages or even insert pages from other documents.

pdf reader pro preview app alternative

Key Features

  • There are different reading modes to make document or book reading easier for you. The modes include auto-scroll, multi-tab viewing, page-fit, night mode, etc.
  • You can create as well as edit forms through this PDF reader. There is an availability of buttons, checklists, checkboxes, and other interactive objects for your forms.
  • The option of file compression allows you to compress your PDF files on Mac, which makes it easy to share and store documents.

3. PDF Expert

PDF Expert is another go-to PDF handling and management platform for Mac users. Meanwhile, using this Preview app alternative, users can sign important PDFs, convert files into other formats, add desired images, manage their pages, or do other important stuff. This software comes with an intuitive interface that is backed with a well-defined layout giving easy access to markup functions.

pdf expert preview app alternative

Key Features

  • Add essential reference links to your PDF and make your content more credible using PDF Expert. This way, your document will look more professional.
  • You can also redact a PDF document by permanently removing unwanted text or graphics from it. The content can be either confidential or sensitive.
  • With OCR technology, you can scan your paper documents and convert them into searchable PDFs. This way, you can extract text from documents and even pictures.

4. LightPDF for Mac

Change your PDF documents in the way you want with LightPDF for Mac. This tool is a Preview app alternative because it allows you to edit and manage your daily documents efficiently. Meanwhile, you can convincingly convert, merge or compress your PDF files. In fact, you can also annotate your documents with strikethrough text, underlining, or comments. Password protection is also possible.

light pdf for mac preview alternative

Key Features

  • Adding e-signatures to the document is a possibility. For this purpose, LightPDFallows you to create, edit and manage your digital signatures.
  • Personal watermarks could also be applied to PDFs to prevent data theft or illegal document use. This also determines PDF remains your asset, and no one can use it for their purpose.
  • With the available OCR technology, users can convert their scanned PDFs into editable files. This process will not damage a document's orientation, page layout, or text style.

5. ABBYY FineReader PDF for Mac

Edit your PDF documents conveniently and effortlessly using ABBYY FineReader PDF for Mac. Apparently, this application is an alternative to Preview Mac, allowing users to simplify their daily tasks. Meanwhile, users can open, view, search, and edit PDFs as required. With available dark mode, enhance your night reading without straining your eyes.

abbyy finereader preview app alternative

Key Features

  • Users can protect their important documents by applying password protection. Thus, information remains safe while transmitting files over the internet.
  • To make your content more organized, make sure to add Bates numbering or even headers and footers to your PDF file.
  • You can add your personal watermark to your PDF document. You can also delete watermarks from other documents if needed.

Part 4: Comparing the 5 Best Mac Preview Alternatives

You discovered the 5 most popular Preview alternative applications intended to make PDF management and editing much easier and smarter. For a better decision, let's compare these 5 applications in a tabular way:

UPDFPDF Reader ProPDF ExpertLightPDF for MacABBYY FineReader PDF
InterfaceColorful, Friendly, and EngagingGoodGoodMediumGood
Batch FeaturesYesYesYesYesYes
PricingAnnual: $29.99 Perpetual: $49.99
(One account for all 4 platforms)
Premium: $59.99Yearly Plan: $79.99 Perpetual Plan: $139.99Annual for Personal: $59.9
Annual for Business: $129.9
Yearly: 69€
Overall Rating4.8/54.65/54.7/54.3/54.6/5

This table indicates that the interface of UPDF is more user-friendly, and the cost is relatively low than the other tools. We recommend you use UPDF as it allows you to use one premium account on 4 devices. You don't have to buy a separate package for every device. Get the UPDF Pro version now.

Part 5: FAQs on Preview App Alternative

1. Is there a better app than Preview?

Yes, UPDF is much better than Preview app. After all, UPDF provides OCR, stamps, stickers, batch processing, PDF conversion in different formats, link insertion, and many other unavailable features in Preview.

2. What is the alternative to Preview for iPhone?                  

UPDF for iOS is the perfect alternative to Preview for iPhone, and it offers features like reading PDF, scanning PDF, annotating PDF, creating PDF, signing PDF, and much more. With a file manager, users can also compress or unzip files.

3. Which app is best for viewing PDFs on Mac?

To view PDF on your Mac device, UPDF is the ideal solution as it provides a clear and organized document layout. Moreover, you can use its dark mode to protect your eyes while reading e-Books or novels.


The Preview app is a helpful utility for all Mac users who have to access, view and edit PDFs and images. However, the Preview app is confined to limited functionalities that urge users to look for alternatives to Preview. Likewise, in this article, you discovered 5 top Mac Preview alternative tools alongside UPDF, which is the best-in-class PDF reader and PDF editor for Mac available currently. Now you can download it for free from the button below. You don't need to provide any information to download it.

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