How to make a PDF fillable on a Mac

In today’s increasingly digital world, knowing how to make a PDF fillable on Mac can greatly enhance your productivity, reduce your environmental footprint, and help you present a more polished and efficient image in both personal and professional contexts. 

Luckily, there are three ways you can make a pdf fillable on Mac. In this article we will explain the following:

  • Using Mac Preview
  • Converting to Word
  • Using third-party PDFsoftware
  • and more insights on how to automate your document process

How do I make a PDF file editable on a Mac?

When it comes to sending, receiving, and managing documents online, PDFs are pretty useless if you’re unable to edit them.

After all, whether it’s a legal agreement or an application form, you’ll often need to add names, terms and conditions, or a signature to complete them.

However, editing PDFs can be more difficult than it might first appear.

That’s why you have to choose the right option. 

If you’re using a Mac, there are three main ways you can make a PDF editable — you just have to be sure the approach you opt for is right for your needs.

Use Mac Preview

Probably the easiest way to edit a PDF on a Mac is by using Mac Preview i.e. built-in software for opening PDFs in MacOS. 

Once you’ve opened your document in Preview, you just have to click the ‘Show Form Filling Toolbar’ button to fill out a form or click the ‘Sign’ button to add a signature. 

However, it’s important to note that Mac Preview will only let you amend PDFs that are already editable. If you want to turn a basic PDF into a fillable one, you’ll have to use a different option. 

Convert to Word 

If you want to turn a PDF that’s mainly text-based into a fillable document, your best bet might be to convert it into a Microsoft Word file. Open Word and choose the PDF you want. This will lead you to a popup asking if you wish to convert it into a Word document. Click “Yes”

This will transform the PDF into an ordinary Word file, which you can edit much like other document templates, allowing you to fill in any sections you need to complete. 

To turn the file back into a PDF, simply go to ‘Save as’ and choose to export it in this format. 

If you prefer using another word processing software option, like Google Docs, this method also works. However, regardless of the software you use, you’ll have to be careful that nothing is lost when you convert the file from a PDF. 

Use third-party PDF software

If you want to make a PDF fillable on Mac without using a second piece of software like Word, you’ll probably need to spend some money.

Third-party PDF software, of which Adobe Acrobat is one of the most popular, usually requires a premium account in order to make a PDF fillable. 

In Adobe Acrobat, for instance, you can use the ‘Prepare Form’ tool to add interactive form fields to an existing PDF. This can then be downloaded and sent to others to fill out. 

However, users can only add a signature with a free account — anything else will require a premium version.

Let PandaDoc help you with document management

Making a PDF fillable on a Mac isn’t impossible; however, it isn’t easy either.

Rather than having to juggle several different pieces of software to help you fill out PDFs, why not let document management software handle this for you?

For example, PandaDoc allows you to download, open, and store PDFs in one cloud-based location.

You won’t have to worry about using Word or Mac Preview to fill out PDFs, and you’re also able to turn basic PDFs into fillable ones. 

Use PandaDoc today to manage PDFs from your Mac.