Best Free PDF Readers for Mac in 2022

Portable Document Format or PDF, is one of the foremost prevalent modes for storing the file types thanks to its high compatibility with various operating systems. It also retains the formatting of the record. To view and read an important document, one needs a robust PDF reader that enables you to read the PDF on your computer smoothly without any problem. So here we’ve compiled the list of the best free PDF readers for Mac that offers more features than just viewing.

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Table of Contents

List of Best Free PDF Readers for Mac

1. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

The free PDF reader Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is integrated with the Adobe Document cloud and other cloud storage frameworks like Box, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive. It allows you to open, see, share, and comment on PDFs from anyplace and on any kind of device you have. Acrobat Reader DC comes with tons of features like taking snapshots of text and images, viewing a PDF in reading Mode for smoothly reading content. Adobe’s free PDF reader is great for any active expert who wants to annotate PDFs incredibly.
Adobe acrobat reader


  • Allows the users to view, comment, print, and sign PDFs
  • Enables exporting PDFs to Word or Excel
  • Ensures security through password protecting PDF files option
  • Get signatures and track timely response
  • Can captures document, whiteboard, or receipt using the device’s camera
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems


  • The convenient drag-and-drop function makes it easy to merge PDFs.
  • Excellent connection with the Adobe Cloud system.
  • Well developed and supported
  • Easy to use design
  • Collect and track feedback


  • Accessibility checker only detects the problems without providing any solution
  • Limited features

2. PDFElement

This PDF Reader is a feature-rich PDF reader available for macOS gadgets. This program offers a few useful functions such as adding content, pictures, links, using OCR technology. It even highlights text and is marked with an extremely user-friendly client interface. PDFElement is also equipped with unique PDF editing tools that help you to annotate PDFs or include text/images. Furthermore, it gives a password-protect option to keep your PDF records safe. It offers users with the function to affix signature on a trackpad.



  • Offers reading, editing, creation, form filling, and annotation features
  • Extract data effortlessly and accurately with the form data extraction option
  • Edit the PDFs without losing fonts and formatting.
  • Helps to insert, extract, delete, and rotate PDF documents
  • Supports electronic signature tool
  • Compatible with Windows, XP, Vista, macOS


  • Offers the option to add images, links, and custom watermarks
  • Edits the background of the PDF
  • Easy editing of embedded forms
  • Supports password-protected PDF
  • Directly edit the PDF’s text


  • Edited PDFs support watermark

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3. PDF Expert

PDF Master is a reliable and easy-to-use PDF Reader suitable for managing trade documents. The software lets you read, edit, and comment on PDF documents from a central dashboard. It’s quick and functions smoothly. Due to its advanced design and a quick search option, you can effortlessly search for what you’ve been trying to find over numerous PDF files. This tool allows you to edit pictures, content, and join the PDFs. Additionally, the program can automatically identify textual styles, size, and dark mode.



  • Add annotation and add text to the PDF
  • Edits text, include images, hyperlinks, and redact sensitive information
  • Annotate tab provides the option to add a signature
  • High/Low slider resizes the PDFs
  • Automatically detects the opacity, font, and size of the given text
  • Ensures security through password protecting PDF files option


  • Convert and reduce the size of PDF files
  • Combines most-used tools into Favorites
  • Incredibly fast performance
  • E-sign documents option
  • Highlights text and add notes to the documents


  • Does not have OCR technology and similar advanced features
  • Lacks powerful annotation tools

4. Skim

Skim For Mac allows the users to mark and annotate the PDF documents. This free program features movable content boxes for adding notes, highlighting it, underscoring, and strikethrough options. With this tool, you can also alter the color of the distinctive editing marks and the notes. Concealing the marks can be done effortlessly. It is designed to enable easy reading and annotating scientific papers in PDF, but it is also great for viewing any PDF file.



  • Allows the user to read, annotate, highlight and mark-up PDFs
  • Save the edited documents to form elements.
  • Replace email function with more generic share options.
  • Allow process switching in Presentation mode
  • Saves password in Keychain
  • Makes snapshots for easy reference


  • Handy preview of internal links
  • Focus on using a reading bar
  • Magnification tool
  • Smart cropping tools
  • Convenient reading on fullscreen


  • Limited note formatting features
  • Lacks comprehensive toolbar

5. Haihaisoft Reader for Mac

Haihaisoft Reader is a free PDF Reader and Printer, marked with an amazingly fast launch speed and feature-packed set. It even reads PDF files protected by the DRM-X platform. Haihaisoft PDF Reader lets you view PDF documents in a user-friendly environment. Its interface is clean and natural. With this, you can rotate pages, turn on the full-screen mode, create a presentation, go to the primary, final, previous or following page, use a search option, zoom in and out, as well as make a favorites list. It runs smoothly on any kind of device.

Haihaisoft pdf reader


  • Read and Print all Adobe PDF files
  • The download size is small taking only 3 MB space
  • Built-in 41 languages
  • Supports protected PDF document by DRM-X platform
  • Do not connect to the internet without seeking users’ permission
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone/iPad


  • Supports multiple platforms
  • Ensures secured downloads
  • Very small download size
  • Provides high security and privacy
  • Supports multiple languages


  • Lacks help file
  • Does not support the drag and drop feature

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6. Preview

Mac comes with an inbuilt Preview PDF Reader. On preview, you can read and annotate your documents, merge files, fill out and sign forms, edit pictures, share records. It even supports a password-protected PDF, in case there’s some confidential information stored in your document. Preview is the most suitable PDF Reader for both beginners and professionals. With this, you can also add text, change the text size, color, and font.


  • Provides thumbnail option along with the table of contents sidebar
  • Supports password-protected PDFs
  • Can delete Pages from the PDF
  • Merges multiple PDFs or images
  • Save the selected pages of the PDF
  • Annotate with arrows, circles, squares, notes, links, highlights, underlines, or strikethroughs


  • Excellent editing features
  • Adds signature easily
  • Supports multiple formats
  • Document files can be shared easily on social media
  • Customizable settings


  • Limited features are available

7. PDF Reader Premium

This PDF Reader has a large number of downloads daily thanks to its unique design and feature-packed functions. This PDF Reader is extremely easy to use. PDF Reader Premium is one of the most prevalent PDF readers for Apple users. It is marked with an efficient utility that lets you read your PDF in different tabs, annotate your document file with pictures and sticky notes. It also organizes the records with labels, provides an e-signature function and fills out forms on the required PDF, and stores and transfers PDFs through a wide range of cloud services.

PDF Reader Premium


  • Act as a file manager, file converter, and page editor.
  • Import history feature keeps track of all your saved files
  • Editing features include freehand writing, text boxes, sticky notes, hyperlinks and annotations
  • Add tags and colour-code to differentiate the PDF files
  • Runs on iCloud so you can back up and access saved documents on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad
  • Allows importing documents from devices that run on other operating systems.


  • PDF conversion is fast and reliable PDF
  • Application is updated and improved on a regular basis
  • Well-designed interface
  • Supports various formats including DOCX and JPG.
  • Fast performance


  • Cannot convert documents to XLS format
  • Lacks documentation
  • May slow down device’s speed

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the features of an ideal PDF reader application?

One should consider the following factors before installing PDF Reader software on the device-

  • The downloadable PDF reader software must be free of viruses and malware and should be characterized with easy and fast installation
  • It should have tons of PDF editing features like annotation, adding or deleting pages, form filling, highlighting, adding a password, creating links, exporting PDFs to other document formats, etc.
  • An essential feature of a PDF Reader is the OCR support function. This is required to extract the content in a scanned PDF document and export objects into editable texts or graphs.
  • The main factor to consider is the ease with which the software can be used. It should have a well-designed interface
  • It should be compatible with both the latest macOS Catalina version and also with some older macOS versions that are extensively used by Mac users
  • It must be supported by a large number of tutorials and guides to ease the customer experience.

2. What significant problems does the Mac user experience while trying to open or read PDFs?

Various problems may hamper your PDF viewing experience. Some of these are as follows-

  • The web browser may not be updated regularly, which is one of the main problems that can prevent you from reading a PDF seamlessly.
  • Your browser may not be compatible to support the software’s operation. Therefore it is advisable to try the software on other web browsers.
  • Sometimes the PDF Reader’s plugins can be problematic. This problem can be solved by deleting or re-installing the application’s Plugins.

3. Which is the best program to edit PDFs on a Mac?

Preview, which is the default application available on Mac, is suitable to edit PDFs on Mac due to its impressive functionality and distinctive features.

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Whether you want to read an E-book, or business documents, people prefer using PDF because of its easy functionality. Presently, most of the PDF software acts as a complete package tool, which isn’t just restricted to read a PDF but also permits the user to convert, make, and edit PDF documents. The best free PDF Readers for Mac mentioned above consists of all such features. These robust and feature-packed PDF readers make the PDF viewing experience a lot easier.

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