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How to Read PDF on Mac in Three Methods

Mac is a great desktop utility because of the clarity of the screen and the responsive controls at your fingertips. But PDF is a different beast so you don't often find great tools to read PDF on Mac. Of course, there's Adobe Acrobat and even the native Mac Preview app for this, but you'll get the best results on third-party applications that are specifically designed for macOS from the ground up. One such tool is UPDF, the world's first "free premium" PDF reader, editor, annotator, and organizer. Let's look at how it works, as well as other ways to read PDFs on Mac - for instance, how to have a PDF read to you on Mac.

Method 1. How to Read PDF on Mac with UPDF

UPDF is not just a great PDF reader for Mac; it is also a unique application designed for fun-lovers and thrill-seekers. The sleek and playful design colors give you the right balance alongside the powerful functionality. You can read nearly any PDF version using this versatile tool, and it's very easy to get used to once you install it on your Mac (or Windows PC, if you prefer.)

read pdf on mac

The key features of UPDF are highlighted below:

  • Read PDF on Mac: With tons of features and benefits such as a natural book-like reading experience, multiple document-viewing modes, various layouts, simple navigation tools, etc., UPDF offers a seamless way to read PDF on Mac.
  • PDF Editing: Effortless PDF editing is what UPDF has been designed for, and you'll easily sink into the simple process of editing text, images, and other elements in a PDF.
  • Annotations: Easily markup your PDFs on Mac the way you want to. A plethora of markup tools make it easy to highlight text, circle content, add shapes, jot down notes, add sticky notes for reference, and perform several other actions.
  • Organize PDF Pages: Manipulating the pages of your PDF on Mac is super-simple due to the clean layout and comprehensive tools to remove or add pages, rotate them, extract them, copy them, and so on.

How to Read PDF on Mac - Step-by-Step

Step 1: Open the PDF in UPDF

After you've installed UPDF, you can use multiple methods to open a PDF file.

The easy way is to drag and drop your file into the UPDF interface.

Another way is to click "Open File" inside the interface and then select the file in Finder.

If UPDF is your default application to read PDF on Mac, just double-click the file in its folder.

how to have a pdf read to you mac

Step 2: Choose your Reading Mode

On the bottom-left corner of the UPDF interface, click on Display Mode.

how to read pdf on mac

From there, choose an appropriate viewing mode (one or two pages with and without scrolling)

Aside from the 4 main reading modes, there's also an option to open multiple PDFs.

Open other files the same way and you'll see that they open up in their own respective tabs. This makes it easy to switch from one document to another without leaving the UPDF interface.

Step 3: Navigating a PDF in UPDF

Navigation, as we said, is very easy. There are essentially five actions you can perform in the floating navigation toolbar as you read your PDF on your Mac.

These include jumping to the next or previous page, jumping to the first or last page, and landing on a particular page number.

Using these simple navigation tools, you can get to any page in your PDF in just a couple of seconds.

read pdf on mac

Step 4: Bookmark PDF on Mac

You can also 'tag' specific pages in your PDF to act as bookmarks so you can get back to them later.

To bookmark a page, first, navigate to that page.

In the "Bookmark" sidebar, click on "Add Bookmark" and give it a name to help you identify it later.

how to read pdf on mac

Once you finish bookmarking pages, you can use this panel to get around your PDF. It essentially acts as an extension to the navigation toolbar.


Method 2. How to Read PDF Aloud on Mac - Step-by-Step

In some cases, you may want to have your Mac read a PDF aloud so you can engage in some other task. In such instances, you will need to use a text-to-speech (TTS) conversion tool, or a PDF editor that also comes with this functionality. Fortunately, macOS itself offers this feature. Here are the steps to activate and use the TTS feature on Mac:

mac read pdf aloud

Step 1: Activate TTS on Mac

By default, TTS is already available to read PDFs aloud on Mac. However, you can also customize the way you want to use it.

The default activation hotkey is Option+Escape, but you can change this is Preferences.

Step 2: How Do I Get My Mac to Read PDF Aloud?

Since the feature is activated when you press the hotkey combination, it's better to have your PDF already open to that page.

The tool will start reading all available text on that page.

To have it read specific text, first, highlight the text before activating TTS.

Activating the TTS will now cause the highlighted text to be read aloud on your Mac.


Method 3. How to Read PDFs on Mac in Adobe Acrobat

Acrobat is an excellent PDF reader for Mac and offers a range of reading options such as reading modes, full-screen mode, font and color themes for the background, and so on. Here are the steps to read PDF on Mac using Acrobat DC or Reader DC for Mac.

read pdf on mac

Step 1: Right-click the PDF

First, right-click the PDF in its Finder location.

Step 2: Select Acrobat as the PDF opener utility.

From the contextual menu, go to Open with… and select Adobe Acrobat DC.

Step 3: Start Reading your PDF

The document will open in Acrobat, after which you can use the viewing modes, navigation tools, etc. to get around the document.

Of course, Adobe Acrobat and other premium tools certainly give you a good experience when you want to read PDFs on Mac. But why pay money for these expensive options when you can get UPDF absolutely free? Yes, UPDF is the first premium PDF editor in the free category of PDF readers and editors with extended functionality and lots more to come. Eventually, UPDF for Mac and Windows is intended to provide all the PDF tools you need but without the burden of a monthly or annual subscription, or even a hefty one-time perpetual license fee. So the question is: when you want to read PDF on Mac, why pay a fee when you can play for free?