Product Guides

Type On A PDF On Mac: How to Edit, Add Text, And Write Using the Preview App

January 11, 2022
Author
Inkit Team

Typing on a PDF on Mac is easy.

All you have to do is open up the inbuilt Preview app and you can start adding text, writing, and typing on the PDF the next second.

Not sure how to add text or looking to add a specific shape or color on it?

Whether you want to take notes on an open PDF, complete fillable forms with text, or simply edit your files, we’ll cover everything you need to know below.

In this article, we'll answer the following questions about the available tools in the Preview App and how you can use them to type on a PDF on a Mac:

  • When Do I Need to Type On a PDF On Mac?
  • How Can I Add Text To A PDF On Mac?
  • How Can I Add Text to A PDF On Mac Using Annotation Shape Tools?
  • How Can I Add Text to A PDF On Mac Using the Text Markup Tool?
  • How Can I Add Text to a PDF On Mac Using the Note tool?
  • How Can I Add Text to a PDF On Mac Using the Sign Tool?
  • How Can I Add Text to a PDF On Mac Using the Sketch Tool?

Below, we’ll teach you all the different ways you can type up on and edit PDFs on a Mac. 

Let’s take a look.

When Do I Need to Type On a PDF On Mac?

You may need to add text to a PDF file if you want to create a form with fields to be filled in. 

You may also want to annotate documents with your thoughts, comments, and queries on existing content in a PDF document.

If you need to approve or agree to existing content on a PDF document, you can add your digital signature on the file before sharing it with your audience.

How Can I Add Text To A PDF On Mac?

One of the biggest challenges faced by users who type on PDF is positioning text for editing or annotation. Dragging text blocks or text boxes can be a tedious task since most PDF files are large, and it may be challenging to know where the exact position is that you want to add a markup or edit something using the Mac Preview App.

When using the Preview app on your Mac computer, you can add text to a PDF document using:

  1. Annotation tools.
  2. Text markup tool.
  3. Note tool.
  4. Signature tool.
  5. Sketch tool.
Preview app interface to type text

Below, we’ll cover all methods to type text on a PDF.

How Can I Add Text to A PDF On Mac Using Annotation Shape Tools?

The annotation tools on the Preview app allow you to use a shape of your choice to add text to PDf mac. These annotation tools help draw out various shapes on your PDF document to draw attention to the text you input therein.

To input your text using annotation tools, you can choose between rectangle, pentagram, square, polygon, oval, or the callout shape. You can also resize these shapes to your desired size.

To add text to your PDF mac using annotation tools:

  1. Open the PDF document you wish to add text to using the Preview app on your Mac computer.

2. Place your cursor on the exact point on your document where you'd like to place your text.

3. On the right side of your screen, click on the PenPoint icon in the toolbar.

4. On the toolbar that opens on the screen, click on the Shapes icon.

  1. Select your desired shape from the pull-down menu that appears on your screen.
  2. When your selected shape appears on your document, you can resize it to your desired size. You can also select your desired shape style or color to make your shape more compelling to your viewers.

7. Place your cursor inside the shape to type the text inside the shape.

How Can I Add Text to A PDF Form On Mac Using the Text Markup Tool?

The text markup tool allows you to directly add text to your fillable PDF documents and position it easily on any part of the document. It also allows you to select the text in any color you like to make it more visible to your viewers.

To add text to PDF Mac using the Text Markup Tool:

  1. Open the PDF document using the Preview App on your Mac.
  2. Place your cursor on the position where you'd like to add text to your PDF document.
  3. Click on the Pen Pointer icon to access the toolbar.
  4. On the toolbar on your screen, click on the "T" icon.
adding text on pdf form
  1. On the text box that appears on your document, type in the text you wish to add to your PDF.
  2. You can resize your text box by clicking on the box ends to your desired size. You can also reposition your text by clicking on the text box and dragging it to your desired position on the document.
Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free

How Can I Add A Text Note to a PDF On Mac Using the Note tool?

The Preview app provides you with a feature for adding a note text to your PDF document. The note feature allows you to write more text on the document than the text markup tool. Though immovable, the note tool enhances the visibility of the text you add to a PDF document since it stands out like a sticky note on top of your document.

To add text to PDF Mac using the Note Tool:

  1. Open your PDF file on your Mac using the Preview app.
  2. On the right side of your screen, click on the PenPoint icon.
  3. Once the markup toolbar appears on your screen, click on the Note icon.
note tool pdf text highlight screenshot

4. On the yellow note that appears on your screen, type in the text you wish to add to your PDF.

How Can I Add Text to a PDF On Mac Using the Sign Tool?

As far as signing contracts, adding signatures to a document is concerned, the Markup toolbar in Preview provides you with all the features required. You can choose to sign directly on your PDF document using the Trackpad option or take a digital image of your name or signature using the Camera option. 

To add a signature text directly on your PDF Mac:

  1. Open the PDF document you wish to add text to using the Preview app.
  2. Click on the PenPoint icon to open Preview's toolbar.
  3. On the toolbar menu, click on the Sign icon.
  4. Select the Trackpad option to sign directly on your PDF document.
adding signature with sign tool

5. In the space on the left side of your screen, write your name or signature.

6. Click on any letter on your keyboard once you write your name or signature.

7. Once your mouse pointer appears on the trackpad, click on the Done option.

8. Click on the signature you provided to place it on your PDF document.

9. Once the signature appears on your document, resize or reposition it by clicking on it and dragging it to your desired position.

To add a digital signature text on your PDF Mac using the Sign tool:

  1. Open the PDF document you wish to add a digital signature to using the Preview app on Mac.
  2. Click on the PenPoint icon to open the preview toolbar.
  3. On the main toolbar, click on the Sign option.
  4. On the small screen that appears on the left side of your screen, select the Camera option.
  5. Write your name or signature on a clean white paper.
  6. Hold the paper with your signature to your Mac's camera.


  1. Once the image is visible to your camera, the camera automatically captures the image.
  2. When the captured image appears on the trackpad screen, click the Done option.
  3. Click on the name or signature to place it on your PDF document.
  4. When the image appears on the PDF document, click on it to resize it as you wish. Click on it and drag it to your desired position on the PDF file.

How Can I Add Text to a PDF On Mac Using the Sketch Tool?

You can choose to add text to PDF mac using the sketch tool to draw a freeform shape to input your text. Freeform shapes allow you to create an excellent enclosure for your text that immediately draws the reader's attention to your text.

To add text to PDF mac using the sketch tool:

  1. Open the PDF document using the Preview app.
  2. Click on the PenPoint icon to open the markup toolbar.
  3. On the markup toolbar, click on the Sketch Icon.
  4. Using the pen cursor that appears on your PDF document, draw out a free form shape by dragging the cursor from the start point to the endpoint.
pdf sketch tool to add text

5. Once you have sketched out a shape, Preview refines it to make it more appealing.

6. Click inside the sketched shape to type in your text on the PDF document.

Conclusion

Once you get familiar with all the features of annotating and adding text on a pdf, editing and marking up PDFs becomes more accessible than ever before. 

You can use the inbuilt Preview app instead of paying money using complicated procedures that are not effective. This app is free of charge and has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for you to type on a PDF Mac within no time.

You can combine various tools in the Preview app to add texts or highlight any area on your page using annotated notes. 

Once you get the hang of it, typing, editing, and marking up any form becomes a cakewalk. You can use its Font, Style, Size, and Color options to make texts or signatures on your PDF document more appealing to your viewers.

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free