How to Write on PDFs on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s digital age, working with PDF documents has become a common practice. Whether you need to fill out a form, sign a contract, or make notes on a document, being able to write directly on a PDF can be incredibly useful. If you’re a Mac user and wondering how to write on PDFs, you’re in the right place. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of writing on PDFs using built-in tools and third-party applications on your Mac.

Using Preview to Write on PDFs

Preview is the default application for viewing images and PDF files on macOS. It also comes with basic annotation tools that allow you to write on PDFs without the need for any additional software.

1. Open Your PDF File: Locate the PDF file you want to write on and double-click it to open it in Preview.

2. Select the Annotation Toolbar: Click on the Markup icon (a toolbox) in the top-right corner of the Preview window. This will open the Annotation toolbar with various tools for editing your PDF.

3. Choose the Text Tool: In the Annotation toolbar, select the “Text” tool (T icon). Click anywhere on the PDF where you want to add text and start typing.

4. Customize Your Text: You can customize your text by changing its font style, size, color, and alignment using the options available in the Markup toolbar.

5. Save Your Changes: Once you’ve finished writing on the PDF, go to File > Save or press Command + S to save your changes.

Using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

If you need more advanced features for writing on PDFs or if Preview doesn’t meet your requirements, you can use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, a free application that offers comprehensive tools for working with PDF documents.

1. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC: If you don’t already have it installed, download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC from the official website.

2. Open Your PDF File: Launch Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and open your desired PDF file within the application.

3. Select Tools > Comment: Click on “Tools” in the top menu bar and then choose “Comment.” This will display a set of annotation tools for editing your PDF.

4. Use Text Box Tool: Select the “Add Text Box” tool from the Comment toolbar and click where you want to insert text. Type your text in the box that appears.

5. Customize Annotations: You can customize your annotations by changing their properties such as font style, size, color, opacity, etc., using options available in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

6. Save Your Changes: After making changes to your document, remember to save them by going to File > Save or using Command + S shortcut key.


Writing directly onto a PDF document can streamline your workflow and help you stay organized when dealing with digital paperwork. Whether you opt for using built-in tools like Preview or more advanced software like Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, knowing how to write on PDFs effectively is a valuable skill for any Mac user.

By following this step-by-step guide, you should now feel confident in annotating and adding text to your PDF files effortlessly using your Mac computer.