PDF Editor?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by HighTime, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. HighTime macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    Hey folks,

    What is a good PDF editor for a Mac? Adobe Acrobat Pro is too expensive for my needs which are very basic.

    All I need it for is to be able to highlight text on an image, not a Word file which has been converted to PDF, but an image which has text and which I want to highlight.

    What can you guys recommend? I don't mind paying for an alternative.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Preview allows editing. Did you see of that fits the bill for you?
  3. HighTime thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    You know, I tried but I couldn't figure exactly how to do it? If I could do it on Preview that would suit me fine.

    Do you know how to do it in Preview?
  4. sahnert, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015

    sahnert macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    Here is a good introduction to the app, even though the screenshots are a bit out of date.


    Preview can edit both images and PDFs, but the toolset is a bit different depending on which you're editing. If I take a picture of a book and load the image into Preview, the text will not be recognized as "text" so copy/paste, highlighting, etc are not available. Other markup tools are so you can add shapes, text, etc.

    If you have an image with text that is not recognized as "text" by Preview you can look into software that performs OCR (optical character recognition).
  5. HighTime thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    Thank you for your input.

    I went back to Preview and messed around with it a bit more and have worked out how to do it. I selected the line tool and made it as thick as possible and then just reduced the opacity so the image [i.e., the portion of text in image format] behind the line could be seen. I didn't see the opacity option before, it was buried in there somewhere, now that that is available, Preview is more than enough for my basic needs.


    There is something else that I need actually, is it possible to export specific pages from a PDF, parts of which I have highlighted in Preview? Say a 20 page document and I highlighted an item or two on pages 5 and 16, I only want to extract these two pages and email them to someone, for example, is that possible? I know it's possible with Adobe.
  6. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    I just tried and was successful with the following workflow:
    1. Make sure View>Thumbnails is activated
    2. Command+click on the pages you want to export
    3. Choose File>Print (even if you want to Email or Export)
    4. Click "Show Details" if you are not already looking at the detail view
    5. Choose Pages: Selected Pages in Sidebar
    6. Click the PDF dropdown in lower left corner and choose your export option (e.g. Mail PDF)

    I tried it and it created a new email with a new PDF containing just the pages I had selected.
  7. HighTime thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    Man, that was really nice dude. I just tried it and it worked a treat, many thanks for the step by step explanation, much appreciated. That was my last big hurdle, if I wasn't able to do that in Preview I would've had to purchase a more powerful editor, now it's all cool.

    Thanks again.
  8. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    That's one way. You might prefer to use the rectangle tool to just draw a box around the text you want to highlight. Set the fill color to your highlight and set the border to none.

    This is a Mac. Drag and drop rules! When the thumbnails are displayed you can change the order of pages by dragging them around. You can combine or move pages between PDFs by dragging their thumbnails back and forth. You can delete pages by selecting and deleting their thumbnails. You can extract pages by selecting and dragging their thumbnails to the desktop.
  9. HighTime thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    That's the way I wanted to do it, but it doesn't seem to work. If I select the rectangular selection which allows me to drag out a frame to the size of my liking, all it results in is a frame which has those running lines going round and round and it does not fill it with any colour, and then disappears if I click anywhere else on the screen.

    If I go to the shapes icon and click on it and get the drop down menu of the various shapes I can have, and then click on the rectangle it does give me a box with the fill and colour I selected but the problem here is that it gives a large shape each time, which I have to then go and resize every time I use it.

    How do I get it to fill with the colour I want when I drag out the shape of a rectangle?

    I edited a specific page, saved the document and dragged the specific from the thumbnails to the desktop but upon opening, the highlighted part was not showing, so it looks like drag and drop doesn't work for exporting highlighted sections.
  10. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    That's because you didn't use the rectangle tool.

    You can set the stroke and fill before you create the shape and it will use that for all subsequent shapes. It remembers your stroke and fill settings from use to use. So if you draw a yellow rectangle with no stroke, the next one will also be yellow with no stroke. It doesn't seem to remember the shape size.

    I see that's true. To make the highlight part of the PDF, do what Highlight suggested and "print" the pdf to pdf or export to pdf (both of which are the same thing done differently).

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9 March 7, 2015