How to Open PDF on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

If you have a Mac and need to open a PDF file, there are several options available to you. Opening PDFs on a Mac is a simple process that can be done using built-in applications or third-party software. In this guide, we will explore different methods to open PDF files on your Mac effortlessly.

Using Preview App

The Preview app is a default application on Mac that allows users to view and edit various file types, including PDFs. It is a versatile tool that enables you to not only view but also annotate and make basic edits to your PDF files.

1. Locate the PDF file: Find the PDF file you want to open on your Mac.
2. Right-click or Control-click: Right-click or control-click on the PDF file.
3. Choose “Open With”: From the drop-down menu, select “Preview” as the application to open the file.
4. View and Edit: The PDF file will open in Preview where you can view, annotate, or make basic edits as needed.

Using Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader is another popular option for opening and viewing PDF files on Mac. While it offers more advanced features compared to Preview, it is still user-friendly and widely used by individuals and professionals alike.

1. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader: If you do not already have it installed, download Adobe Acrobat Reader from the official website.
2. Install the Application: Follow the installation instructions provided by Adobe.
3. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader: Once installed, open the application.
4. Open PDF File: Click on “File” in the menu bar and select “Open” to locate and open your desired PDF file.

Using Web Browsers

If you prefer not to download any additional software, you can also open PDF files using web browsers such as Safari or Chrome.

1. Locate the PDF File: Find the PDF file you want to open.
2. Drag and Drop: Simply drag and drop the PDF file into an open browser window.
3. View Online: The browser will load and display the content of the PDF file for online viewing.


Opening a PDF file on your Mac is a straightforward process with multiple options available at your disposal. Whether using built-in applications like Preview, downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader for more advanced features, or simply utilizing web browsers, you can easily access and view your PDF files hassle-free on your Mac.