Software (Mac)

Dated 23 Nov 2012 | Updated 20 April 2016

WE USE various tools and webapps that seem to produce the desired results with the least amount of time, money and effort.

Arranged alphabetically by name of the publication or app.

We welcome suggestions for inclusion.


PDF functionality is built into the Mac

Creating PDFs

Mac OS X has in-built PDF creation ability, so you don’t need to buy or download anything.

Since Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard), you can create documents, webpages and nearly anything else as PDF directly without any additional software.

General steps:—

  1. Open the document and press Command+P
  2. Click the PDF button at the bottom left corner of the print dialogue box
  3. Select Save as PDF
  4. Click Save in the save dialogue box in whatever location your want

To create (‘print’) PDFs from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files:—

  1. Open the files in their own apps (e.g. TextEdit, iPhoto)
  2. Click File menu > Print > PDF in printing dialogue box > Save as PDF
  3. Choose folder and set filename

To create (‘print’) PDFs of email messages and webpages:—

  1. You must use the Safari browser
  2. Then click File menu > Print > PDF in printing dialogue box > Save as PDF
  3. Choose folder and set filename


Editing and viewing PDFs

Preview is the built-in app in every Mac OS X 10.6.x ‘Snow Leopard’ installation for displaying images and PDFs.

As a PDF editor, Preview is somewhat basic but it gets the job done for most purposes. It allows you to make all sorts of annotations to PDFs, draw shapes, and write text directly into files (for things like a digital signature).

Unless you need sophisticated functions, that’s more than adequate for most people.


Editing PDFs (all platforms)

Windowsfags say FoxitPro Business (a commercial program) is better than the original Adobe product for creating and editing PDFs. Macfags disagree. They say Qoppa PDF Studio 7 Pro or Standard is the best.

REALITY CHECK:— Adobe Acrobat is still tops when you need full read and writeover capabilities, but Abode prices are just astronomical.


Windows XP and higher | Mac | Linux
Freeware | 35.7 MB download

An vector graphics editor that will open and edit PDFs. Inkscape is especially useful when your PDF contains vector-based illustrations that require editing. Open Source.


Windows | Commercial software | Website

Foxit produces a number of Windows programs for reading and editing PDFs. The PDF editors there are paid programs.

Qoppa PDF Studio 7 Pro

Windows | Mac | Linux | Commercial software US$85 | Website

Qoppa is the ultimate go-to PDF software for Mac fans, and they consider it to have the best PDF read, writeover and security capabilities going, plus it runs on the Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. Also comes in a Standard Edition.

© Learn English or Starve, 23 Nov 2012. Last updated 20 Apr 2016.

Changelog (B12418):
Released 23 Nov 2012
Updated 24 Nov 2012 (link fixes, new links, amendments)
Updated 08 Feb 2013 (reformatting software section)
Updated 20 Aug 2013 (new entries)
Updated 21 Aug 2013 (re-created as standalone page)
Updated 20 Apr 2016 (reformats and link updates)

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