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How to Fill Out PDF Forms on Mac

The use of digital documents has made a lot of processes easier and quicker, in addition to reducing the amount of paper waste generated by forms. As most digital documents use the PDF format, it’s essential to know how you can fill these out digitally without the unnecessary task of printing them out to fill, and then scanning and sending them. As such, in this post, we show you how to fill out a PDF form on Mac for free. Keep reading to learn all the steps to follow on a variety of apps!

How to Fill Out a PDF on Mac Using Online Tools

There are plenty of tools available online that allow you to fill in PDF forms on Mac for free. Sites like are especially helpful when you need to fill in a form urgently and, for some reason or another, you can’t do so with the software that’s already on your device.

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Here’s a look at how you can use tools from online sites to fill in your PDF forms quickly and easily:

  1. Type in in your internet browser on your Mac system.
  2. In the menu bar, click on “More Tools”, and then click on “Edit PDF”.
  3. You will be directed to the upload page where you need to upload your PDF form to the site. You can do this either by dragging and dropping the file in the upload box or by manually browsing for the file and uploading it.
  4. Once your PDF file is uploaded, it will open in the editor. 
  5. Choose the page you want to fill in the form by selecting it from the Page Panel on the left side of the editor.
  6. Then, click on the Text tool, drag and drop the text box in the appropriate place in the form, and begin writing your text. The Text tool offers you the option to change the font color and size as well. 
  7. Once you’ve filled in your form, click on “Download” to download the filled PDF form to your Mac system.

Online PDF editing tools also allow you to add your signature digitally to the form. Here’s how you can do it on a site like the one we previously referred to:

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  1. Once you’ve filled out your form using the Text tool, choose the Draw tool in the main menu.
  2. Drag the drawing window to the area on the PDF page where you need to sign.
  3. Use the Free draw option of the tool to sign your signature on the form.
  4. Once you’re done, “Download” the file.

How to Use Native Tools on Mac to Fill Out PDF Forms

What’s more, your Mac system comes with the Preview app which allows you to mark up, add text, as well as sign your PDF forms. Here’s how you use the native tools on your Mac to fill in PDF forms:

  1. Click on the PDF form you want to fill and it should open in the Preview app.
  2. Once the PDF form is open, use the markup toolbar and click on the Text tool.
  3. A text box will appear, which you can drag to the position you require and start typing.
  4. Once you have filled out the form, there are two ways you can save it:
    1. The first is to use either File > Save, File > Export, or File > Export to PDF to save it in an editable format. 
    2. If you do not want to make changes to the added texts later, then choose File > Print, then select Save as PDF to flatten the added text.

The Preview app also allows you to add your signature to your digital documents:

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  1. Follow the same steps as explained above to open the app, and then choose the Sign tool from the tools bar. This will show you all the signatures saved on the system. 
  2. Choose the signature you want to add to your document, then drag it to the appropriate place. You can also adjust the size of the sign by using the blue handles.
  3. You can save your signatures on your Mac system by clicking “Create Signature” when you click on the Sign tool. 
  4. Signatures can be added using your system’s trackpad, by using your system’s built-in camera to take a picture of your signature, or by using your iPhone or iPad that meets the Continuity system requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is the Preview App Not on My Mac System?

Depending on the version of your macOS, your system might have the Quick Look app instead of the Preview app. Both apps work similarly and can be used to mark up and fill in PDF forms. If neither of the apps is working, you might have to download a PDF viewer and editor app, or the best solution would be to use an online PDF editor such as those we’ve described.

Why Is the PDF Form Not Opening After I Click on It?

One of the reasons why a PDF file might not open is that it might be protected by a password. The PDF format allows passwords to be added to enhance document security. You might want to discuss the password with the sender to access the form. Another reason could be that the file might have been corrupted and needs to be recovered. You can use free tools such as a Repair PDF function to fix broken PDF files.


James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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