Best Free PDF Reader for Mac


PDF is quite extensively used around the globe because of its easy utility. It is a common office document format. Now, much PDF software will act like a complete PDF management tool and is not only a PDF Reader but also allows the user to convert, create and edit PDF files. Therefore, it has multiple abilities and makes the handling of PDF documents quite easy.

As PDF files appear more and more frequently in daily learning work, various PDF readers have also sprung up. Here we will mainly introduce you 6 PDF Readers which commonly used on the Mac platform and help you to choose a suitable PDF Reader.

1. Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader is not only a PDF Reader but also a PDF Creator for PDF document generation and management. It available on Apple macOS platforms and allows users to view, print, and fill the PDF document.

Foxit Reader is a small, fast, and feature-rich PDF Reader. The Microsoft Office Style ribbon toolbar in Foxit Reader provides a familiar user interface, enabling users to quickly learn. It can also allow you to create PDF files from common file formats. When teams collaborate and share information, Foxit PDF Reader will link knowledge workers together to increase flexibility and results.

Foxit Reader Read PDF


  • Converting files in any format to PDF fast and easily
  • Occupies lower storage space
  • Allows signing documents in your own handwriting


  • Cannot be used for PDFs that contain Flash animations or 3D CAD drawings
  • Lacks of OCR capability
  • Cannot create fillable PDFs

2. PDF Expert

PDF Expert is a powerful PDF reader on iOS and macOS platforms. With PDF Expert, you can read, annotate, and edit PDFs, change text and images. You can also fill forms and sign contracts like never before.

You can have an advanced reading experience in PDF Expert, from the first document you select; PDF Expert springs into action with smooth scrolling and fast search. You can easily edit text, images, and links. It will automatically detect the font, size, and opacity of the original text, so you can make edits easily. Collaborate with clients and team members by adding notes and comments to documents are also supported in PDF Expert. It will protect sensitive information with a password.

PDF Expert Read PDF


  • Supports to add annotations and notes to documents
  • Can find things instantly with search indexing
  • Easily fill out PDF forms and sign contracts with a person in a few clicks


  • Fewer functional modules
  • Lacks of professionalism

3. Preview

Preview is the image viewer and PDF viewer of the macOS operating system. It enables users to view and print digital images and PDF files. It is satisfactory for elementary PDF reading and editing but may not be suitable for professional PDF operation.

You can not only read the PDF with Preview but also can encrypt PDF documents, and restrict their use; for example, it is possible to save an encrypted PDF so that a password is required to copy data from the document or to print it. However, encrypted PDFs cannot be edited further, so the original author should always keep an unencrypted version.

Preview Read PDF


  • The interface is simple and the operation is convenient
  • Supports camera to quickly recognize the handwritten signature operation
  • Supports fast annotation function


  • Poor PDF compatibility
  • Lacks of professional functions

4. PDFelement

PDFelement can use to read, create, convert, edit, OCR, merge, and fill PDF from anywhere. With this reader, it's never been easier to edit any text, images, pages, links, backgrounds, watermarks, headers, and footers on your PDF, exactly like you would on a Word document. You can even fix typos, rearrange pages, crop or swap a photo.

When you read a PDF in PDFelement, you can convert them into other formats directly in this software. Transform PDFs to or from Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or other files PDF, EPUB, HTML, RTF and Text without losing fonts and formatting. You can convert over 500 PDF files at one time.

PDFelement Edit PDF


  • Protects sensitive PDF content with passwords and permissions to restrict printing, copying, or sharing
  • Supports to convert PDFs from or to many other formats
  • Can annotate easily on the document


  • Slower in batch processing
  • Cannot change the color or theme of the program

5. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is one of the best PDF readers for Mac; you can view, sign, collaborate on, and annotate PDFs with this free PDF Reader. Do more than just open and read PDF files. It's easy to annotate documents and share them to collect and consolidate comments from multiple reviewers in a single shared online PDF.

Acrobat Reader DC is connected to Adobe Document Cloud, so you can work with your PDFs anywhere. You can even access and store files in Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive. Additional PDF services are just a click away. Inside Reader, you can subscribe to activate additional capabilities to create PDF files and export them to Word or Excel.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC View PDF


  • Can view, sign, collect and track feedback, and share PDFs for free
  • Easy to annotate documents
  • Supports to use your device camera to capture a document, whiteboard, or receipt and save it as a PDF
  • Supports to access and store files in some cloud accounts


  • Lacks some useful tools
  • Navigation can be cumbersome at times

6. PDFpen

PDFpen is a powerful PDF Reader on Mac. With PDFpen, you can not only read the PDF but also can draw, highlight, scribble and correct text. Select text in your PDF, click the "Correct Text" button and edit away. Editing a PDF on your Mac has never been easier.

Besides, you can use the OCR function to turn the pictures of scanned text into words you can use then proofread them for accuracy. Adjust resolution, color depth and contrast, skew, and size of an image or scanned document are also supported in this software.

PDFpen Read PDF


  • Has Basic PDF editing tools
  • Easy to use
  • Useful for filling in PDF forms


  • The font style may loss when editing PDF
  • Crashed sometimes


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We have listed the top 6 free PDF Reader for Mac. If you don't need further edit your PDF, you can use Preview which is the default Reader of Mac. If you need to convert or edit the document, you can download and install the software we recommended above. If you have better ideas about this topic, please contact us.

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