Best PDF Editors for Mac, iPad and iPhone 2018 to Manipulate PDF Files on Your Apple Device

Design your docs professionally using the best PDF editors for Mac, iPad, and iPad! Mark up your text, add comments, sign documents and don’t forget to safeguard them using a password to prevent unauthorized access. Head over to explore the finest PDF editors and let us know which one is primed for your specific taste:

PDF editing is a very needed feature but not every app out there provides that functionality. Not only that, the ones that enable PDF editing are very costly. For instance, take the case of PDFPen – that costs you $74.95 for the full version. Adobe’s propriety can cause a huge dent in your pocket: about $200 for the editors.

Although PDF editors are costly, not everyone wants to edit PDF documents per se. More or less, it’s only to annotate, highlight or certain other research-oriented purposes. Much of this can be achieved through a variety of software that’s less costly or free such as PDFelement for iOS. It’s completely free to use. We’ll take a look at the options available for Mac users.

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Best PDF Editors for Mac

#1. PDFelement

Wondershare PDFElement For Mac

PDFelement 6 is all about giving businesses the efficiency they crave when it comes to the world of PDF documents. Talk of creating, converting, editing, annotating and sharing PDF documents with the utmost professionalism. This software features all the tools you can use completely edit your PDF documents, from the simple tasks like editing text and images to even cooler stuff like signing your documents digitally. You can also convert to PDF or from PDF using virtually any document file type be it to Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Moreover, you can transform the scanned document to editable PDF using a top draw Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature.

Form handling has also been made super simple with this tool keeping in mind that you can create, edit, fill, sign and protect your PDF forms without breaking a sweat. You can even extract data from your PDF interactive PDF forms and export in CSV formats. It gets even better! You can speed up the process of converting, data extraction, Bates numbering and watermarking by batch processing your PDF files. Read full review.

#2. Preview

Apple Preview App

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Mac’s built-in solution, Preview, has become quite powerful over the years. One of the most impressive additions is the ability to annotate, highlight, adding images in a PDF file. Preview is as good as any other PDF editor out there, but it is not a full-fledged editor: you can’t edit the entire PDF file as such. You can only take to a certain level of editing where you either add or highlight sections of the PDF file. Preview can also help you combine files.

#3. Skim

Skim PDF Editor for Mac

Skim is a popular, open-source and free PDF reader that doubles up as a research tool with it set of features. It’s pretty much the same as Preview on Mac, but it works well for those quick annotations, comments, and highlights.

You can also customize Skim to suit your needs better. The app makes navigation super easy with the table of contents or thumbnails and visual history. That’s not all, it is integrated with BibDesk and several other third-party apps and has the support for extensive AppleScript as well.

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Price: Free

#4. PDFEscape (Online)

PDFEscape Online PDF Editor

PDFEscape is not exactly a traditional solution, but if you’re okay with online PDF editors, this could very well fit your need. It’s a free online editor that works with any modern browser.

PDFEscape has a wide range of editing options to let you design your PDF files and also create impressive forms. You can beautifully annotate your files and give them the desired look. And just in case, you wish to offer an additional safeguard to your PDFs, use a password to protect them.

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Price: Free
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#5. PDF Reader – Document Expert

PDF Reader PDF Editor for Mac

Take control of your PDFs with more flexibility and manage them just the way you want! PDF Reader is pretty simple yet effective enough to let you carry out your tasks with the needed efficiency.

You can create quick shortcuts to import your files and folders easily. Using TAG, you will be able to organize your PDFs ideally. Access all the needed information like bookmark, outline, thumbnails, and annotation without breaking any sweat. Keep an eye on your entire library and also check out the last import history. And yes, you can also sync your data with iCloud to access them from across your devices.

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Price: Free

Best PDF Editors for iPhone/iPad

Now that we’ve talked about PDF editors for the Mac, it’s also a good thing to take a look at some popular options available to do the same on iOS devices. There aren’t many popular apps or services for this, but if you’re ready to shell out some money, there are apps to help you annotate and read PDF docs on iOS devices.

#1. Good Reader

GoodReader iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

Right on top of the list is Good Reader. Sells at $4.99 and brings pretty good PDF reading and editing capability. The app has got a separate version for the iPad.

Price: $4.99

#2. PDF Expert

PDF Expert by Readdle iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

Good Reader is good enough, but you can’t fill/edit forms within the PDF file using Good Reader. PDF Expert is costlier than Good Reader, but there are good features like scanning capabilities that make PDF Expert a little more advanced than Good Reader.

Price: $9.99

#3. Foxit PDF Reader & Converter

Foxit PDF Reader iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

I rate Foxit very highly as it makes PDF editing plain sailing. You can view, annotate and also secure your PDF files. The app also lets you sign documents using digital certificates. It comes with the ConnectPDF feature that allows you to collaborate with your friends.

Shield your PDF files with password and Microsoft Rights Management Services. Another notable feature of Foxit is the support for 12 languages like English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, etc.

Price: Free

#4. MaxiPDF

MaxiPDF PDF editor iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

For editing and designing PDF files, you can’t go wrong with a neat PDF editor like MaxiPDF. You can easily create, modify, delete text and images. It allows you to add and save comments as well.

You can upgrade to the premium ($0.99/monthly) version of the app to use it without ads. Besides, MaxiPDF supports several languages including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Turkish.

Price: Free

#5. Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader iPhone and iPad App Screenshot

If you want to have an all-in-one PDF editing experience, pick out Adobe Acrobat Reader. There is so much to like about this app, and the first among many is the—wide range of superior editing tools. That means you have the required freedom to create eye-catching files.

Take the full advantage of sticky notes and drawing tools to make comments on PDFs. Get the most out of annotating tools to highlight and mark up the text. With the full support for Apple Pencil, it ensures you have greater precision while creating praiseworthy docs.

Price: Free

That’s all, folks!

What’s your pick?

I think you have found an able PDF editor for your device. Which one is it? Feel free to let us know you pick in the comments.

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Dhvanesh Adhiya
Dhvanesh Adhiya is our editor-in-chief and reviewer who takes care of He is passionate for wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.


  1. I just downloaded this to annotate and save a contract on the fly and it saved my bacon – but it wouldn’t save my file, at least not directly. Not sure if that is a limitation or what – I had to print it to PDF, and give it a new name, and then – WHAM! File with changes saved to disc, able to email, etc. Tidy product, nice fast d/l and install. I will definitely throw them a few quid for Skim.

  2. It’s one of the best software that you can surely attain. PDF files are very common and one of the most used files that you can literally see in a work or in a school and it’s a good thing that there is an implemented way on how can this be attained by iPhone users.

  3. GoodReader and PDF Expert are two of the best PDF apps on the App Store. I may be a little biased, but I would recommend our app, Xodo . It’s a free app on the App Store, and it’s getting great reviews.

  4. Haha, you just saved me time, money, bloat and possibly frustration on my Mac with this brief, older article. Preview just did everything I needed for an important project.

    I was able to combine pages of multiple separate reports into one and add blank pages I could edit with text boxes to create a title page, breaks between the separate reports, etc.

    Perfect export to Word in editable form would be nirvana, but can live without it for a while yet. Annotating and combining will carry me for now. Yay!

    (If anyone falls across this thread and has a recommend, though, let me know. Disqus is great for tracking one’s comments and replies across sites that use it.)

    Meanwhile, I was lost on the app store trying to make sense of app descriptions and sorting through reviews that always seem to have polar opposites for every product – of which there many (and maybe too many of dubious quality).

    FYI – the “reviews” for one app were clearly “salted” by the maker, that is I surmise that the company used various Apple accounts get the app for each so they could write multiple reviews. Every review highlighted and praised a different program feature, but all were written in very ungrammatical (but suspiciously similar) broken English.

    …as was the app description itself. You think…??? :p

    Makes me question the whole value of a number of reviews, e.g., competitors bombing other company’s products with bad ones, etc. All kinds of potential BS.


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