2020-09-11 17:49:35 • Filed to: Choose Right Mac Software • Proven solutions
Below is our list of the 5 best PDF editors for Mac to download and install in 2020. Choose the best paid or free PDF editor for Mac and install it today on your MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini or other Mac: 1. Skim PDF Editor App for Mac. Small PDF offers 14 days of a free trial, and after that, it costs $12 per month. Edit PDFs Like a Pro. Mac platform offers a couple of solid PDF editors and excellent options from.
A free PDF compressor for Mac should be able to do three things: adequately reduce the file size, maintain the key data, attributes, and layout of the content, and produce a clean, uncorrupted output file. And it should be able to do all of this for free. PDF compressor on Mac typically comes packaged with downloadable software like PDFelement or Adobe Acrobat DC, but there are also a number of online PDF compression services for Mac users, such as the ones covered in this article. However, only the best will offer advanced size reduction tools for flattening PDF forms, extracting text or images from PDF files, and other features that can help create lighter files while retaining the integrity of the content.
This is our selection of the top 5 PDF compressor on Mac after carefully reviewing feature-richness, advanced options, ease-of-use, and convenience.
5 of the Best PDF Compressor for Mac
#1: PDFelement for Mac: The Best PDF Compressor Software for Mac
A highly capable PDF editor that offers the best PDF Compressor for Mac, PDFelement leads the race with highly advanced PDF optimization features. It also includes several other features that can help you gain control over increasingly large PDF files. A lot of files have content that doesn't need to be there, and this software can strip away all those extras with tools like the flatten PDF module, the ability to extract images or text from a document, batch removal of Bates Numbering and watermarks, and a lot more.
A clear categorization of PDFelement's features would look something like this:
- PDF Creation, Editing, Conversion: These three components typically go together in a document workflow - other file types need to be converted to PDF to help maintain their content attributes, such as layout, fonts, etc.; PDFs need to be edited so data, numbers, images, tables, etc. can be changed or updated with new information; and the output is often required in a different file format. This software takes care of all three aspects of PDF management, plus several others listed below.
- Create, Fill, Sign PDF Forms: Comprehensive forms management tools at your fingertips at all times. PDFelement for Mac offers a range of templates, extensive form fields, full editing, and creating fillable PDF forms by converting them from non-interactive formats. Digital signatures can legally validate documents, which is useful in remote work scenarios.
- Protect, Optimize, Share PDFs: The first step to sharing information online is protecting it with a password and strong encryption. It can also optimize PDFs to reduce file size, which is essentially the ‘free PDF compressor on Mac' tool this article refers to. Finally, PDF sharing is made easy via cloud integration with top services like OneDrive and Dropbox.
- Advanced Features: These include batch processing for large queues, form field recognition, optical character recognition, and redaction tools.
- Affordable alternative to Adobe Acrobat DC and Pro DC.
- Full set of document and PDF management features.
- Clean interface with clear navigation.
- Tools are all well-organized by function type and are easy to find.
- Options for Standard and Professional versions.
- iOS and Android apps available.
- Best PDF compressor download for Mac.
- Needs to be downloaded to your Mac.
#2: Cisdem PDF Compressor for Mac
Cisdem is a purpose-built PDF compressor for Mac and one of the best in its class. Standard features include preset compression modes and a simple, three-step process to compress PDFs on a Mac. It offers options to remove unwanted elements that make a PDF file heavy, such as metadata and embedded elements that aren't required for the proper visual rendering of content. It also maintains the best possible quality for images, graphs, and other objects, while optimizing the overall file size as much as it can without the output being distorted or garbled.
- Easy to use - literally no learning curve.
- Simple steps to follow unless you require custom options.
- Renders visual content at the best possible quality level.
- Significantly reduces file size.
- No additional PDF functionality.
- Can be used as a free PDF compressor on Mac for only 3 files; upgrade required after that.
#3: Lightweight PDF
Lightweight PDF is an excellent free PDF compressor on the Mac App Store that you can download to your computer. It does PDF compression and that's about it. As the name suggests, it's a relatively small program compared to a full-fledged PDF editor, but it claims to be able to reduce a PDF's file size by up to 90% in some cases. Being a downloadable application, Lightweight PDF also promises to 'Keep your confidential documents offline and private.' It's a good utility to have installed on your Mac for emergency purposes, but if you need PDF editing or other features, this can be an enabler.
- High compression ratio.
- Good quality vs. size balance.
- User-friendly interface with drag-drop option.
- Automatically overwrites the original so it will be lost unless you have a copy.
- Not compatible with other compressible file types.
#4: PDF Expert
PDF Expert is a third-party Mac PDF editor with all basic functions like reading, editing, annotating, form-filling, and PDF merging. It also has a file size reduction feature that's useful when you want to email PDF documents but the files are too big to go as attachments. It also has a feature allowing you to email someone a PDF document right after compression from within the software. You can also choose the compression quality in order to maintain the visual integrity of the content.
- The software is built for Mac.
- Lets you control the quality of conversion during compression.
- Saves as a new file.
- No advanced PDF functions like OCR and Batch Processing.
- No perpetual license for Pro version when you upgrade from free.
Smallpdf offers a powerful online PDF compression tool that you can use if you don't want to work with a downloadable desktop version. Though not as secure as handling your files natively on your computer, it gives you the convenience of compressing PDFs using a browser on any connected device. The only downside is the upload file size limit. Smallpdf also has other tools in case you need further processing, such as editing, converting, merging/splitting, etc.
- Online access from any device with an Internet connection and browser.
- Totally free to use, no watermarking.
- Compresses to 144 dpi for easy email sharing and web distribution.
- Only basic compression (up to 45%) is free.
- Conversion happens on the cloud; confidential information may be at risk during transit (upload/download).
All of these are great ‘PDF compressor on Mac' utilities and each one is built for a specific purpose. If you want more out of your PDF compression tool, we recommend PDFelement, which gives you basic and advanced features and a pleasing and intelligent interface to work with.
Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!
Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!
Buy PDFelement right now!
Buy PDFelement right now!
Get PDF editor with OCR
In a digitized era, where practically all business is done online, it’s hard to spend a day without encountering a PDF file. After all, it’s the most popular digital document format — interactive, free to use and, crucially, able to preserve original formatting (including fonts, images, layouts, and more).
Developed by Adobe in the 90s, PDF made it possible to present identical documents using different applications and devices. Originally a proprietary invention that was promoted with Adobe software, PDF became an open format in 2008, which meant free use for all, without any lingering ties to Adobe.
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How To Choose The Best PDF Editor For Mac
Today, there are dozens of applications that can read, modify, and edit PDFs. All are different: free PDF editors, PDF modifiers, costly Mac PDF editors, and even a default PDF reader for Mac that comes with your operating system.
If you need to edit a PDF on Mac, it’s important to not go straight to Google looking for a “free PDF editor download.” In the last decade, lots of bad players have been putting all kinds of malware in those free PDF downloads, hoping for people to be enticed enough by the proposition. So you should know exactly which PDF editor app is best for your needs — luckily you have the perfect guide below.
Apple Preview PDF reader for Mac
If you’re looking for a free PDF editor for Mac, you should start with the one you already have — Preview — which is the default application for viewing any images and PDF files.
Although it can hardly be called a PDF editor app, Preview can perform most of the tasks most people need to do every day: looking through the documents, leaving comments, and signing contracts.
To configure Preview to your liking:
- Launch the app from your Dock or Launchpad
- Select View from the menu bar options
- Set scroll, zoom, and toolbar to what you’d like to see
Then to actually use PDF modifier functions:
- Choose Tools from the menu bar
- Hover over Annotate
- Select from shapes, signatures, notes (comments), and more
When you’re done editing the document, don’t forget to save it (⌘ + S) or export it to create a new file by going to File ➙ Export.
A hidden benefit of Preview that’s not often talked about is its natural integration into the macOS. The app can be easily used within the Apple ecosystem and is quite swift as well.
Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac
One of the first and hence now widely considered standard solutions for viewing and editing PDF files is Adobe Acrobat Reader. By all accounts, it’s a solid and professional PDF editor for Mac.
There’s, however, one caveat — you can hardly call Adobe Acrobat the best free PDF editor for Mac because to get all of its features you need to pay, a lot. If you subscribe for the whole year, it comes down to $15 a month. Otherwise, it’s $25.
So if you download Adobe Reader for Mac from Adobe’s website, it will only give you a limited number of tools, which are very similar to Apple Preview: comment and sign. To get more you’d need to sign up for the Adobe Acrobat Pro free trial.
Anyway, in case you’re satisfied with Acrobat PDF editor’s limited functionality for the basic version, you can still work with all the PDFs you need:
- Download and install Adobe Reader for Mac from adobe.com
- Open the PDF file of your choice
- To comment or sign the file, navigate to Tools in the top bar of the app
- Choose the tool you want to use and then select a more specific one from the top bar once you’re in the document itself
If you try to choose the tool that’s not available in the free version of Acrobat Reader for Mac, the app will direct you to the website where you can subscribe to get access.
All in all, while the paid Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac offers you a full toolkit of productivity, its free option is comparable to Apple Preview, with the latter being a bit more lightweight and fast due to its integration with macOS.
But what’s a truly powerful Mac PDF editor?
PDFpen full-featured OCR editor
While the paid version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac is costly and convoluted, PDFpen offers much more in one straightforward package.
Install PDFpen, best PDF editor for Mac
Make any PDF file editable with PDFpen. With in-built OCR support, nothing is carved in stone if you have PDFpen installed on your Mac.
PDFpen lets you edit PDFs by adding text and images, fixing typos, filling out forms, and covering sensitive information. What’s more, the app features an OCR (optical character recognition) functionality, so you can scan printed documents directly into editable PDF files, and even export them to Microsoft Word later on.
Using PDFpen is as easy as Preview:
- Open any PDF document
- In the top bar, find the toggle which lets you switch between text and shapes. These are the tools you can use to enhance your documents. All of them can also be accessed from the Tools dropdown in the menu bar.
One of the most commonly used features with PDFs is highlighting, which is perfectly executed in PDFpen. Just select from the top bar and choose a color. The tool will then switch between a freehand highlighter when hovering over shapes and a structured one when it’s over some text.
Finally, PDFpen’s renowned OCR functionality doesn’t require you to have any specific AI knowledge — it just works:
- In PDFpen, go File ➙ Open (or ⌘ + O) and select your image
- Check all languages that apply
- Turn the image into either an OCR Page or OCR document
- Now you can edit your image freely and export it later
Bonus: Professional PDF Search
When you’re working with lots of PDFs everyday, some things are inevitably going to get lost. Especially, since lots of documents and reports are often dozens or even hundreds of pages long.
In this reality, you absolutely need a tool that will help you retain information at the tip of your fingers. Enter PDF Search. This app doesn’t just search your PDF files for exact matches — it uses the power of AI to check relevant terms, multiple combinations, and even scan PDF files in bulk.
The first time you open PDF Search, it will ask you to index the folder with all your PDFs, which may take some time but will also speed up all future searches. After indexing is complete, simply enter the number or text you’re looking for in the search field, press Return, and the results (including related ones) would instantly appear.
Download Pdf Editor For Mac Free Photo Editing Software
To recap, when you’re looking for the best free PDF editor for Mac, your options might seem infinite, but it really comes down to what exactly you need to edit. If it’s just viewing documents and making comments, Apple Preview can do the job just fine. But when you need some heavy-duty lifting, nothing beats PDFpen. In addition, PDF Search is recommended for anyone working with large number of PDFs on a daily basis.
Best of all, PDFpen and PDF Search are both available to you on a free 7-day trial from Setapp, a platform for over 150 indispensable Mac apps designed to take your productivity to the next level. All that’s left to do now is just read and edit!
Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.Read on