PDF programs, any Free?

Joined
Sep 23, 2018
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Hello!

What is the best PDF program for editing and creating PDFs?

I recently trialed PDF expert - which seemed to be ok but is somewhat expensive.

I'm wondering if there are any ones that are good and free? Or if not, which do you all prefer!?

I will only be using this on rare occasion - primarily to design and create kids birthday invitations, party decorations etc

thanks!
Beth
 
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
10,173
Reaction score
793
Points
113
Location
Rhode Island
Your Mac's Specs
11" iPad Pro 3rdGen (Cellular), iPhone 13 ProMax, Watch S7 (Cellular), 2018 15" MBP, AirPods Pro
So, you really don't need a PDF editing app, as most creative apps, have the ability to save as pdf files.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
14,156
Reaction score
2,626
Points
113
Location
Winchester, VA
Your Mac's Specs
MBP 16" 2021 (M1Pro), iPhone 13 Pro, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
Beth, the print dialog in macOS offers the opportunity to save the print job as a PDF. So, if you can create the desired documents in Pages (or another word processor) and then print into a PDF file, you don't need anything else. Once in a PDF, you can't edit it that way but you can save the original as a Pages (or whatever) document and open it there to edit and print to PDF again.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
1,229
Reaction score
26
Points
48
Your Mac's Specs
2015 Retina 4K iMac. Catalina. 8GB RAM. Crucial 500GB external SSD
you cant edit pdf files on the mac, unless you have adobe acrobat.... full version.... at least that is how it use to be, unless that has changed? that is an option if you don't mind paying for adobe acrobat. could be some other programs that I'm not aware of that cost less.
 

Slydude

Well-known member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
17,117
Reaction score
777
Points
113
Location
North Louisiana, USA
Your Mac's Specs
2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 12 Pro Max, 2015 iMac 16 GB Big Sur
That has indeed changed. In fact, the program that alpha1phi mentioned can edit PDFs according to their site. The problem is more that creating a pdf as the original file probably isn't the best way to go. As Jake mentioned it's probably much easier to create the initial document in some other file format and use the expoet to PDF option.
 

IWT


Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
9,295
Reaction score
1,363
Points
113
Location
Born Scotland. Worked all over UK. Live in Wales
Your Mac's Specs
iMac 5K Retina 27", August 2019, 3.6GHz Intel Core i9, Memory 32GB, 2TB SSD, macOS Monterey 12.6.3
@Beth

Putting all the above together, one option is simply to create a document by whatever means you like on the Mac then Command + P brings up a box athe bottom of which is PDF. Click on that an a pdf of the document or photo or anything else is created.

As regards the comment made by our esteemed member, macgig, there various pdf editing apps apart from Adobe’s. They all work on the principle of optical character recognition. Once such is PDFpen which comes standard and pro versions, but all these are pay-for. Not sure how often you’d need one.

Ian
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
1,243
Points
113
Location
Sacramento, California
Hello!

What is the best PDF program for editing and creating PDFs?


As everyone has already told you, the MacOS can create a PDF from any file you want to save from virtually any program.

You have to define what you mean by "PDF editor." Are you just looking to do markup and other sorts of manipulation, or do you need to be able to actually *erase* text that is already there in the PDF and replace it with new text?

Adobe Acrobat Pro is the premier PDF editing program for the Macintosh. But it is vastly overpriced.

Adobe Acrobat DC for Macintosh
https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/acrobat/pricing.html

There are a bunch of alternatives to Acrobat. The key features to look for in an Acrobat alternative (for it truly to be an alternative to Acrobat) are the ability to delete/replace existing text in a PDF, and to do OCR (to convert the entire document back into a word processing document, if desired). There are only a handful of such programs for the Macintosh:

PDFpen/Pro ($60/$100)
Privacy Consent
Privacy Consent

PDF Studio Pro ($129)
PDF Studio - PDF Editor Software for Mac, Windows and Linux

PDF Nomad ($40)
https://sintraworks.com/index.php/sintraworks/pdfnomad_home/

Wondershare PDF Editor Pro ($100) (now "Element"?)
http://www.wondershare.net/mac-pdf-editor/?icn=nav
http://www.wondershare.net/shop/buy/buy-pdf-editor-mac.html

PDF Editor Pro ($99)
http://macappware.com/software/pdf-editor-pro-mac/

PDF Converter Mac ($100)
http://www.nuance.com/products/pdf-converter-mac/index.htm

iSkysoft PDF Editor Pro ($100)
http://www.iskysoft.com/pdf-editor-mac.html
(I've always found iSkysoft to be a sketchy company...)
http://www.macworld.com/article/1153685/speaking_spammers.html

PDFpen is the most popular of these.

If you are instead looking for a PDF manipulation program, but not a true editor, it's hard to beat Preview. You already have Preview, it is installed with the MacOS, and Preview allows you to do quite a bit of PDF editing. For instance you can:

a) highlight (in yellow), strike through or underline text
b) encircle anything on the page with a lasso of any shape, size or color
c) add marginal notes (in a side column) of any length, anywhere in the document
d) add new text in any font, any color, any size, anywhere in the document where there is space
e) individual pages can be dragged out of or into the document or deleted from the document
f) convert to a PostScript file which can be edited and re-converted to PDF
g) add and edit hyperlinks in a PDF file
h) combine multiple PDF's

But Preview won't allow you to move or alter any marks on the page whatsoever.
 

chscag

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,248
Reaction score
1,832
Points
113
Location
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
As an aside to what Randy stated above (thanks Randy), PDF Pen has been on sale several times for much less than the advertised price. Macworld special sales have included it several times. Keep an eye out for a sale and buy it then.
 

Slydude

Well-known member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
17,117
Reaction score
777
Points
113
Location
North Louisiana, USA
Your Mac's Specs
2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 12 Pro Max, 2015 iMac 16 GB Big Sur
f) convert to a PostScript file which can be edited and re-converted to PDF
Thanks for that reminder Randy. I either did not know this or had forgotten it.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
80
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Hello!

What is the best PDF program for editing and creating PDFs?

I recently trialed PDF expert - which seemed to be ok but is somewhat expensive.

I'm wondering if there are any ones that are good and free? Or if not, which do you all prefer!?

I will only be using this on rare occasion - primarily to design and create kids birthday invitations, party decorations etc

thanks!
Beth
Hi Good day,

Thousands of tiff files available
it is necessary to convert them to two-page pdfs (archives 54000 .tif => 27000 .pdf)

I look forward to your help and opinions on this matter .
Thanks
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
16,362
Reaction score
980
Points
113
Location
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Hi Good day,

Thousands of tiff files available
it is necessary to convert them to two-page pdfs (archives 54000 .tif => 27000 .pdf)

I look forward to your help and opinions on this matter.
Thanks

Could you explain your situation and what your plan is with a few more details, at least so I could understand what you are wanting to do.

I think I might, but I try and avoid making assumptions.



- Patrick
=======
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
80
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Could you explain your situation and what your plan is with a few more details, at least so I could understand what you are wanting to do.

I think I might, but I try and avoid making assumptions.



- Patrick
=======
thank you so much for your suggestion
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
1,243
Points
113
Location
Sacramento, California
Some updated information. If you are looking for a true PDF editor this one is free if you have limited needs. If your needs are less limited, there is a commercial version (but it is subscription based):

Sejda PDF Desktop
 

krs


Joined
Sep 16, 2008
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
398
Points
83
Location
Canada
Thanks Randy,
I'm always interested in new pdf editors since I doa fair amount of pdf editing for a hobby site. All that work is one for free so I don't really want to spend a lot of money for a pdf editor.
I have most of the ones you mentioned earlier, some bought when they came up on Mac Bundle.
For a lot of pdf manipulation I an use Preview which is pretty good at what it can do, but two capabilities I use are not available with Preview; editing text an OCR.

I currently use an odler issue of Adobe Acrobat Pro for that, but even Acrobat has problems with that occasionally.

I tried Sejda to do some basic editing but was not successful, at least first time around.
I had an existing pdf document and wanted to correct a little bit of text - just change 1881 to 1991.
With a pdf text eitor I usually can just highlight what I want to change, ie 1881 in this case, type the change, ie 1991 and I'm done.
Doesn't seem to work with Sejda - I can type new text, but the idea here is to replace existing text using the same font in the same way one would do that in a word application.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
1,243
Points
113
Location
Sacramento, California
With a pdf text eitor I usually can just highlight what I want to change, ie 1881 in this case, type the change, ie 1991 and I'm done.
Doesn't seem to work with Sejda - I can type new text, but the idea here is to replace existing text using the same font in the same way one would do that in a word application.

I just checked to be sure that this can be done in Sejda, and it worked fine, though the procedure isn't perfectly intuitive.

To do it you have to choose All Tools at the top of the Window, then choose Edit, then select the text that you want to replace. There will be a pop-up text editing menu. Choose the Trashcan in that menu and the text that you've chosen will be deleted.

Now fill in that area with the new text that you want there.
 

krs


Joined
Sep 16, 2008
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
398
Points
83
Location
Canada
Thanks Randy, just trie it again but I'm still not getting anywhere.
I did it the same way you described except the "Edit" option button I used was the one in the horizontal task bar which has the "All Tools"drop down at the very left.
When I then highlight the text I want to change, I do get the vertical line cursor as expected but as soon as I finish the highlighting I get the pop-up text editing menu along with "Type your Text".
When I click on the trashcan in that pop-up, all it does delete the "Type your Text" that had just popped up but the text in the pdf that I highlighted (for change) stayed.

I then tried the "Edit"option under the "All Tools" drop down - same situation.
I somehow end up in the 'Add Text' mode rather than the 'Replace Text' mode'.
 

Rod


Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
8,604
Reaction score
1,074
Points
113
Location
Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Your Mac's Specs
2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14" macOS 13, iPhone SE 2, iPad 6, Apple Watch SE.
The time line of this thread is a little disjointed to say the least as it started back in 2018, was added to in July 2022 when Patrick wrote a reply to jsteave who wrote a rather enigmatic reply also last Tuesday.
Next entry was from Randy last Tuesday but now seems to be between krs and Randy, which is fine of course just so long as everyone is aware. :) FYI only.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
1,243
Points
113
Location
Sacramento, California
The time line of this thread is a little disjointed to say the least as it started back in 2018...

It doesn't really matter. Folks always seem to be asking for a free or much lower cost alternative to Adobe Acrobat Pro. It's nice that they have looked in the archives before asking. This discussion thread has more or less kept to the original question.
 

krs


Joined
Sep 16, 2008
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
398
Points
83
Location
Canada
I tried text editing with Sejda again this morning.
Made sure the app had quit and I started afresh.
This time the app decided the pdf document was scanned when I selected "Edit".
Well, that particular document was scanned originally and was then made searchable running Adobe Acrobat Pro OCR.
I can search on that document, copy text and paste it into a word program and edit the text, so it's definitely not just a scanned document as reported by Sejda.
Next I tried a pdf offered directly by a company, that document was already searchable when placed on line for download. Again Sejda brought up the message that it was a scanned document even though I could also copy and paste text (to Text Edit for instance) and edit it,
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top