With the modern world striving to be eco-friendly and therefore paperless, it is almost impossible not to encounter PDF files in your daily activities. At work, contracts, agreements, and job orders, among others, are all in PDF for easy sharing.
At home, you get utility and credit card bills delivered through email as attached PDF files. There are a lot more instances where PDF is used, but you already get the point—it is everywhere, and it is here to stay.
There’s no problem opening and reading PDFs on most devices. Even mobile phones are optimized to open and display PDFs. Portable e-books are often in PDF format, and are most suited for mobile consumption perfect for on-the-go readers.
The real problem arises when you now have to edit PDFs. Most of our devices are not equipped with the software to edit PDFs. You can do a workaround, which is to capture a PDF as an image, edit it with crude editing software on your desktop or mobile devices, and just save the image as a PDF again. This is what most people do when they get a PDF document that they have to sign immediately.
In this blog post I will share how you can edit a PDF on both PC and Mac.
How do I edit a PDF?
For PC users, a quick search online for “free PDF editor” would instantly generate useful tools that you can download and install immediately, and just uninstall or forget about once you’re done. Many PC users favour this compatibility and general easy-to-use features that they get in the PC environment.
The same can’t be said for Mac users, though. This is usually the hard part of transitioning from PC to Mac. You can’t search for the things that you commonly find the PC webspace, and expect them to be as useful or helpful now that you’re using Mac.
A quick search for a guide to the best free PDF editor for Mac in 2019 would return mixed resources. Others direct you to paid apps with just a limited trial version. Most results are content aggregators, but again, mostly populated by these paid apps.
Somewhere along the way, you’re expected to just give up, give in and use the trial version of these apps. You’ll know that it won’t have everything you need, so you will probably end up buying the whole software just so you can get the features and functions you’re searching for in the first place.
It’s frustrating, but that’s just how it is with the Mac environment, especially coming from PC. However, the experience actually gets better once you start discovering features and functionalities that were already there in your computer in the first place.
You don’t really get a comprehensive user’s guide with your Mac, and the closest thing you can read is a quick start guide about your device. But with due diligence and patience to read and filter through tons of information online, including this article, you’ll be rewarded with a sweet nectar of free software/freeware that’s already in your Mac.
Introducing the Quick Look
If it’s your first time in the Apple computer environment, the Quick Look is the first nifty tool that you’ll love. Basically, it gives you the snapshot of a file in your device, simply by pressing the spacebar.
You get a preview of what’s inside, without actually opening and running the software. You can use the Quick Look to peek through word documents, images, and of course, PDFs. When you trigger this feature, you can go through each page on a small preview format, but still large enough to get an idea of what the PDF file contains.
If your MacOS is already updated to Mojave, your Quick Look gets a more useful feature aside from just previewing your documents and PDF files. The Mojave update actually added the ability to edit your PDFs using Quick Look, without the help of any external or third party applications.
Hooray for not spending your money of freemium software!
Yup, Quick Look actually spares you from spending lots of cash to unlock full functions of the “free” Mac tools you see online. It’s a built in feature, so you’re guaranteed that it will work the way it should.
Just a quick overview of Quick Look: by selecting a file, you can trigger Quick Look by pressing the space bar. This action generates a preview of what’s inside, be it the text contents of a Word document, the actual image of a picture file, or the text contents of your PDF, among others.
So, how do you edit a PDF in your Mac using Quick Look?
- The first step is to locate the PDF file you want to edit. Open the folder where it is contained in, and select the PDF file by clicking on it once. Don’t double click it as usual, because it will just open the PDF and not actually trigger the Quick Look.
- Once you have properly ‘selected’ the PDF file, press the spacebar once to trigger Quick Look preview. A preview of your file will appear on your screen, but on a smaller scale, as it doesn’t really open the necessary software for opening the PDF.
- Look at your Quick Look preview and locate the Pencil icon at the top right portion. Click on it so that it will populate editing tools that you can use. Some of these tools are for drawing, adding shapes, and in the third position, a text tool. This is the capital T in a small box. Click on that icon.
- Once you’ve clicked the icon, a text tool box will appear in your screen, with the word Text inside. Drag this text box on any part of the PDF where you want to add a text. Once you’re satisfied with the position, you can click inside the Text portion and start typing.
- The text that you’ll type can be coloured red by default. Just change it to your desired look, including the font and font size. You can do so by selecting the drop down box beside the A and choosing the options you want.
- Once you’re finished and satisfied with your addition, you can now click on Done and save all the changes you made. You now have an edited PDF that you can share to anyone you want!