How to Add Text to a PDF on a Mac

By K.C. Winslow

Macintosh computers include the Preview application as part of the OS X operating system. Preview is an image and PDF-viewing application; however, it has some other interesting features. Preview’s annotation tools give you the ability to add text directly into a PDF document. The “Text” annotation tool can type text at any point on the PDF in the full range of fonts installed on your system. While you can add text to the PDF with Preview, you cannot make edits to the existing text.

Step 1

Go to the location of the PDF file in the Finder. Control-click on the file and highlight “Open With.” Select “Preview” from the list of options.

Step 2

Click the “Annotate” icon from the toolbar at the top of the Preview window. The annotation toolbar will appear at the bottom of the window.

Step 3

Click on the “Text” tool. It is the fourth icon over from the left.

Step 4

Use the cursor to draw a text box. You can change the dimensions later if needed. Type in the text box.

Step 5

Select the text to change its appearance. Once you change the appearance of the text in one text box, Preview will use the settings in subsequent text boxes until you make more changes

Step 6

Set the typeface for the text tool by clicking the “Aa” icon at the right end of the toolbar. Select a font, style and size in the window. Click on the “Text Color” icon at the top of the window to choose a color for the text. Click the red circle in the left corner of the “Colors” window and the “Fonts” window to exit the windows. The selected font will change to reflect the new settings.