It is Adobe that coined PDF, and there is no wonder that Adobe Acrobat is always considered as the first or best solution to edit a PDF on Mac. However, the price tag of Adobe Acrobat just makes us roll back, think about it, $14.99/month, that’s too much.

So, lots of PDF users are in search for a solution to edit PDF on mac without Adobe Acrobat, trying to find a way to do PDF editing with lower cost, or even without spending any cent. And, we are lucky enough to have options on editing PDF on mac without Adobe or free.

What Do I Mean “Edit PDF” on Mac Here?

First of all, I want to make my point fair clear here that, Edit PDF means editing the existing PDF text, image or others in the file, instead of inserting text by adding a text box over the existing PDF contents, instead of just drawing, highlighting or annotating the PDF, instead of reordering, merging, splitting the PDF pages, instead of adjusting the viewing options. And due to this, my solutions will be a little different from others.

How to Edit PDF on Mac Efficiently without Adobe?

While, it is totally understandable if you want to edit PDF on mac as efficiently as editing a Word file in MS Office Word and without Adobe Acrobat. It is possible, all we need to do is finding an Adobe PDF Editor alternative but with affordable price. Which one? Both Movavi PDF Editor and PDF Expert are recommended.

1. Movavi PDF Editor

I’ve never came across any PDF editor as affordable as Movavi PDF Editor, but enables users to edit every bit of a PDF file. Instead of adding text boxes to input the text, Movavi PDF Editor allows users to edit every sentence and every word in the PDF file, no matter Add, Delete or Modify. Equivalently, you can edit the image and link in the file, to add, delete, rotate, or resize. Even, its PDF Creator and PDF Converter helps to export multiple files as different formats.

Movavi PDF Editor Standout Features

(With US$23.95, You Can Get Movavi PDF Editor Lifetime License incl. VAT)

  • Edit PDF texts: add, delete, modify
  • Edit image: add, delete, rotate, resize
  • Sign PDFs
  • Organize PDF pages: add, delete, merge
  • Convert blank page, Word, Exel, PowerPoint, ePub, HTML, TXT, DJVU, JPG, PNG and BMP to PDF
  • Convert PDF to Word, ePub, HTML, TXT, JPG, PNG and BMP

How to Edit A PDF on Mac with Movavi PDF Editor?

  1. Grab a free copy of Movavi PDF Editor , it offers free trial, install the software and open it.
  2. Drag and drop the PDF file to this application.movavi pdf editor main
  3. Click on Edit button, choose to Edit Text or Image.movavi pdf editor mac02
  4. Then click on the text or image that you want to edit or modify, edit as you always do in a MS Office Word file.movavi pdf editor mac03
  5. Then head to File>Save.

2. PDF Expert

PDF Expert is a fast and beautiful PDF editor designed exclusively for mac users, you can read, annotate, edit, convert, bookmark, crop, fill, redact, compress, share, sign and merge PDF files very easily.

Regarding the Edit features, it can detect all the PDF text and directly edit the existing PDF text, insert, delete, change font style/size or do any other operations as you can do using Adobe. Even it allows you to edit images (replace, crop, etc.) and links in the PDF file.

PDF Expert Standout Features

  • Edit PDF texts
  • Edit image in PDF
  • Add and edit links in PDF
  • Fill out PDF forms
  • Redact, annotate, protect, sign, crop, rotate, extract PDF
  • Insert/Add/Delete PDF pages, add/remove page numbers
  • Scan & OCR PDF files to recognize text from scanned PDF or image
  • Export PDF as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Text, Image
  • Export annotation summary
  • Create PDF from Word, Image, etc.

How To Edit A PDF on Mac with PDF Expert?

  1. Grab a copy of PDF Expert from its web, install and open the application.
  2. Drag and drop your PDF files into the app.add files to pdf expert
  3. Then go to the Edit tab, choose Text.edit text in pdf expert
  4. Choose a part for editing, click on your preferred part, the text will be selected in a blue-slashed box, it means you can edit the PDF file now.
  5. To edit image or link, click on these toolbars, then PDF Expert will detect and render the PDF for editing.
  6. Finally, go to File> pdf in pdf expert

How to Edit PDF on Mac Free without Adobe?

If you believe that there are many genuinely PDF editors allowing you to edit PDF on mac for free, that’s not your fault, you are being misled on the Internet. There may be free PDF tools, but they are by no means PDF editor, they are just free PDF annotator, PDF reader or PDF pages manager that cannot edit the PDF text.

However, if you want to find a way to edit PDF on mac online free, there is one but only one helps on this, it is Google Docs.

Google Docs is one part of Google Office Suite, enabling users to operate and edit PDF or other Google documents online. It is more like Microsoft Office Word, if you are proficient in working with Word, you can tackle PDF files equally easily in Google Docs.

Follow These Steps to Edit PDF on Mac Free with Google Docs

  1. Login into Google Account, if not a registered user, register first.
  2. Then click on the Menu icon beside your Account image, go to Drive.edit pdf mac google 01
  3. Click + New to upload PDF file.edit pdf mac google 02
  4. Once the PDF is uploaded successfully and displayed in the right panel, right click on the PDF file, open with Google Docs.edit pdf mac google 03
  5. Go to the PDF part you want to edit, directly modify or insert, just as the way you do in MS Word, or you can utilize the toolbars to edit the file.edit pdf mac google 04
  6. Once the editing finishes, go to File>Download>PDF. The editing will be saved in the PDF file.edit pdf mac google 05

For PDF users even for most of our netizens, Google Docs is really the best invention these years, it keeps its promise to be free, but still powerful, and this is rarely seen in today’s interest-driven world. Yet, there are cases that you may be not recommended to use this tool to edit PDF on mac for free, especially your original PDF has a professionally designed layout and formatting, or filled with tables. Otherwise, it will be a mess to edit PDF in Google Docs, it cannot keep those layout, formatting, table or form fields when displaying in Google Docs, you can check following screenshot:

google cons

Consequently, if your PDF is mainly composted of texts and paragraphs, Google Docs deserves a try.

Any Other Solutions to Edit PDF on Mac “Free”?

As I made clearly as above, Google Docs is the only one free PDF editor available. If you still have doubts on this and believe in the presence of many other free PDF editors, like other bloggers told you so, we can now dive in to have a close look on this.

Preview Cannot Edit PDF on Mac

Mac Preview is the free utility to view, annotate, compress and manage PDF pages, but it is not capable of editing the PDF text.

It does support filling out PDF forms, but the original PDF should come with form fields and interactive elements:


Preview doesn’t allow editing the existing PDF text, or insert text to a sentence, you will have to add a text box into a blank area, or white out the existing PDF text, then input PDF text into an added text box.

preview cannot edit pdf

Skim Cannot Edit PDF on Mac

On the topic of “free PDF editor software”, Skim is always included on the recommended list from a lot of bloggers. However, it is not. Skim is just a piece of free software to read and annotate PDFs, it cannot edit PDF text. As you can find in following screenshot, Skim offers a set of annotating tools instead of enabling users to edit existing PDF texts.


PDFEscape/PDF Buddy Cannot Edit PDF on Mac

Likewise, you will be recommended to use online free PDF tools like PDFEscape or PDF Buddy to edit PDF on mac for free, however, they don’t support editing PDFs, you can view, annotate, draw, sign or manipulate the PDF pages, but to edit the PDF text or others, these online free PDF tools won’t help, even you can not directly fill out a PDF form.

In PDFEscape, you can find the available features as following:

pdf escape edit

In PDF Buddy, you can find the available features as following:

pdf buddy edit pdf