Congratulations, you’ve finally moved to the Apple environment with your first Mac laptop! It’s a great device that’s for sure, but getting accustomed to some of its features and functions may need a bit of getting used to. One of the first challenges you might encounter with your Mac is editing a PDF. Let’s say you’ve inadvertently opened a work email, and it requires you to sign a PDF file. You could’ve done so with your eyes closed on your old PC, but you’re still unfamiliar with your new Mac. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
The ability to edit a PDF is quite important nowadays, either to fill up and answer questions, or sign a document for whatever contract or transaction you’re doing. It’s a necessity, whether you’re applying for a job, a loan, or signing a contract. With most businesses going paperless for convenience, it is commonplace to see them ask you to sign PDF like you would a paper form several years ago. PDF is a universal document format, so it works on Windows, Mac, and even mobile operating systems.
Before, it probably won’t be frowned upon if you print out a PDF, fill and sign it manually, pen to paper, and then digitize (scan) it so that you can email it back. It’s not a waste of time because there’s really no shortcut to do it.
But nowadays, there are far simpler ways to edit your PDF, especially using a PDF editor for Mac like this one: https://setapp.com/how-to/the-best-free-pdf-editor-for-mac.
You just have to be familiar with your Mac and use its apps and other features to the fullest.
You don’t have to download anything to be able to edit and sign your PDFs. You don’t even need to subscribe or pay for a new software to use it. Your Mac has built in features specifically for editing and signing PDFs on your computer.
First, you can use the PDF editing tools built in to the Quick Look feature. If you’re not familiar, this feature is triggered when you press the spacebar to preview a document. You shouldn’t confuse this with the actual Preview app that comes with your Mac. Well, the Preview app can also open PDFs, and it allows you to use built-in tools to add text, highlight, underline your PDFs, plus other useful functions.
Here are some tips and tricks to edit your PDFs on your Mac for free.
Editing with Quick Look
If you have updated your MacOS to Mojave, you’re in luck because the ability to quickly edit PDFs is already integrated in the QuickLook feature. Again, QuickLook is a built-in tool to open a preview of any file on your Mac without opening it fully. Just find the file in Finder or any folder you know and you’re good to go. Just select the file and press spacebar, and you’ll get the QuickLook view of the document. For editing PDFs, follow these succeeding steps:
First step is to find the PDF file you want to edit. Select it by single-clicking the file, the press the spacebar to trigger the QuickLook preview on your screen. Look at the top right of the Quick Look preview and locate the Pencil icon. Click on it once.
Upon clicking, a set of editing tools will populate. This includes a drawing tool, shape tool, and a text tool (T in a box). Click on the third one. This will also populate a text box which you can position anywhere you want on the PDF. You can move it around until you find the right spot to insert your text. If you’re satisfied with the position of the text box, you can now start typing. The text might be red in color, as it is the default for this feature. You can just change it to whatever you like, but mostly, black like the color of the rest of the text. Just select the drop-down beside the ‘A’ and change the color, font, and size to what matches your PDF text.
There are PDF forms which are more user friendly. You don’t have to insert text like the steps outlined above. You just need to click on the blank space, fill up the text box with whatever text you want, and you’re done. Some PDFs even include just a tick or check box that you can click on and select.
Once you’re satisfied with your changes, just click on ‘Done’ to save the changes. You have now completed the document, and you can confidently send it back to whoever asked you to edit it.
Now if you want to add more that just the regular text blocks and append an actual signature, you can still do so on the Quick Look feature. Just follow these steps.
First, click on the signature icon on the menu described earlier. Once done, choose the ‘Create Signature’ from the options so that you can freehand write down your signature. You can use your Mac’s trackpad to write the signature, or write on a piece of paper and use the camera to capture that image. Once you’re satisfied with the signature that you added, you can proceed to add it by dragging it into place.
Using Preview, another built-in app that works as a Quick Look alternative
If you don’t have Mojave yet because you don’t have the time to update your Mac or you’re just too lazy to do so, you can still edit PDFs using another application aside from Quick Look. This one is called Preview, a free, proprietary app that you can use on your Apple computer. Using it is also fairly simple, similar to how you edit PDFs of the Quick Look option.
PDFs are now very popular, not only because they’re convenient, but they also reduce the wastes produced by an office. Before, editing PDFs on a Mac would’ve been a lengthy, inefficient process. However, with apps and features like Quick Look and Preview, you can now easily edit, add texts, and sign PDF docs without needing to print anything out or sign anything by hand.