Portable Document Format or PDF is one of the most popular file types due to its compatibility with different operating systems and the fact that it keeps the document format well most of the time. Also, PDF files are difficult to edit, which preserves the integrity of the document, which is why most confidential documents are shared in PDF format.
Almost all operating systems these days feature a built-in application that effortlessly opens any PDF file. However, sometimes, you may want to enhance the experience of reading PDF files especially for those who deal with them regularly in the corporate world or those who prefer reading e-books.
In such cases, you may need an app to open and read third-party PDF files with advanced functionality. If you are looking for the best PDF opening and reading apps for Mac, we have compiled a list of some handpicked applications that can come in handy.
- 1 Best PDF Opening and Reading Apps for Mac
- 1.1 1. Adobe Reader for Mac – Best Free PDF Reader Overall
- 1.2 2. PDFElement – Feature-Rich PDF Reader for Mac
- 1.3 3. PDF Reader – Document Expert
- 1.4 4. PDF Professional – Free PDF Reader with Different Reading Modes
- 1.5 5. Skim – PDF Reader Made for E-Books
- 1.6 6. iSkysoft PDF Editor – Best PDF Reader for Business
- 1.7 7. Foxit PDF Reader – Free PDF Reader with Cloud Storage Integration
- 1.8 8. Haihaisoft PDF Reader – Fast, Secure & Free PDF Reader
- 2 Choose the best PDF reader for Mac as per your requirements
Best PDF Opening and Reading Apps for Mac
1. Adobe Reader for Mac – Best Free PDF Reader Overall
What is the most effective application to open a PDF file better than the application developed by the company behind the PDF format? Adobe Reader for Mac is a highly efficient, easy-to-use application that comes for free. You can view, print, and comment on PDF documents with Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader for Mac now supports Adobe Document Cloud with which you can access your files from anywhere across different devices.
Adobe Reader offers the basic tools; If you want advanced tools including some features that enable you to edit PDF files, you can download Acrobat Pro DC which is a paid PDF reader.
the price: Free / Pro version available
Download Adobe Reader for Mac
2. PDFElement – Feature-Rich PDF Reader for Mac
If you want a feature-rich PDF reader for your macOS device, look no further than PDFElement. This app has some powerful features like adding texts, images and links in addition to having OCR technology, text highlighting and very easy to use user interface. PDFElement is not just a PDF reader, it also provides some PDF editing tools that you can use to add annotations and explanations to PDFs or add text/images. Additionally, it offers the option to protect your PDF files with a password.
PDFElement is the best alternative to Adobe Reader for Mac. Moreover, it is a free PDF reader, so you won’t have to pay any money to upgrade your PDF reading experience. There is also a paid version with advanced functionality starting at $59.95.
the price: Free, $59.95 for advanced jobs
3. PDF Reader – Document Expert
One of the top-rated apps in the App Store, PDF Reader – Document Expert makes it easy to read, edit, and sign PDF files. You can add annotations and explanations to PDFs, highlight text, add shapes and stamps, and insert links into a PDF. For reading PDF files, there is a dark mode, PDF files can be presented as a slide show and you can lock your files with a password, Touch ID or Face ID.
The application has a user-friendly interface with all the buttons and tools described precisely. PDF Reader – Document Expert also allows you to view multiple PDF files as tabs for easy reading and access. It’s a complete PDF app if you choose to subscribe. There is also a free trial available if you don’t want to put your money to a PDF reading app.
the price: Free trial, $4.99 per month when billed annually
Download PDF Reader – Document Expert
4. PDF Professional – Free PDF Reader with Different Reading Modes
PDF Professional as the name says is a professional PDF app for Mac devices. This application includes functions to read, annotate, edit and convert PDF files. This is one of the best PDF reader apps for Mac due to its neatly designed user interface and ample tools for editing and reading PDF files.
Add links and images, view and respond to captions in comments, fill out static PDF forms, and more with PDF Professional. It also gives you the option to password protect your PDF files in case there is sensitive data inside. PDF Professional also has a text-to-speech feature where you can select the text or document to be read.
the price: Free
Download PDF Professional
5. Skim – PDF Reader Made for E-Books
Skim is an open source PDF reader app. Their website says it’s designed”To help you read and comment on scientific papers in PDF format’, but I found it equally useful for reading e-books. You can add and edit notes, highlight text with a single swipe, view notes, highlights in one place, built-in transitions for PDF rendering and many other powerful tools.
Skim supports Spotlight, which means you can search for text directly from Spotlight. Full screen mode and exporting notes as text is an important and useful feature of Skim. Its elegant interface is another factor why we included this free PDF reader on this list.
The absence of OCR features may be a deal breaker for some, but if you want a document-only app for reading PDF e-books, this is the app we recommend. Another downside is that the app hasn’t been updated since 2017, chances are there might be some security risks.
the price: Free
6. iSkysoft PDF Editor – Best PDF Reader for Business
iSkysoft PDF Editor is an outstanding application for viewing and editing PDF files. It has an easy to use interface and an interface similar to Microsoft Word’s navigation bar. In the free trial, of course, you miss out on some features like the OCR function, you can’t convert more than 5 pages to PDF and merge more than 50 files at a time, but the overlay is perfect for viewing PDFs.
iSkysoft is a paid app but there is a free trial that can be used for reading purposes.
the price: Free trial, $99.95 for the full version
Download iSkysoft PDF Editor
7. Foxit PDF Reader – Free PDF Reader with Cloud Storage Integration
If you are looking for a PDF reader that is small in size but packed with powerful features, give Foxit PDF Reader a try. It is a small, fast and feature-rich PDF reader that also allows you to create, view and sign PDF files. The application has an easy to use user interface and also provides customization options for reading PDF files.
Furthermore, Foxit PDF Reader is one of the few PDF reading apps that offer features like form filling, data import/export, and integration with cloud storage options like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box.
the price: Free
Download Foxit PDF Reader
8. Haihaisoft PDF Reader – Fast, Secure & Free PDF Reader
This is an underrated PDF reader for Mac which is specially designed for reading PDF files. With a size of only 4MB, it is much better than other heavy PDF reading apps for Mac. One of the advantages of Haihaisoft PDF Reader is that it can open a PDF document even if it is protected by the DRM-X platform.
Moreover, this free PDF reader does not connect to the internet without the users’ permission. This makes it a safe and reliable option if you want a PDF reader to view confidential documents.
the price: Free
Download Haihaisoft PDF Reader
Choose the best PDF reader for Mac as per your requirements
Mac users have a number of good applications for reading PDF files. Choosing the best depends largely on your requirements. For reading PDF files, we recommend Skim and PDF Professional. For work related requirements, you can use PDFElement or iSkysoft PDF Editor. As a daily use application to simply open PDF files, PDF Professional and Adobe Reader for Mac can be a better choice.