PDFExpert for Mac from Readdle offers a seven-day full-featured free trial, which could make it ideal if you just need a solution now and don’t expect to be editing PDFs again for a while. If you do need it for longer than a week it costs $79.99/£72.99 a year on subscription, or $139.99/£119.99 if you choose the Lifetime plan.
We found PDFExpert did a good job of maintaining the fonts, style and formatting of the original PDF.
There are two options for editing that you can find in the menu at the top of the page: Annotate and Edit. Under Annotate you will find the tool to easily add text to the PDF. You can choose the font and colour of the text here.
However, you will find the better editing tools under Edit. Here you have the option to actually edit the text already on the page, add images, add hyperlinks, and redact sensitive information (you can choose to black out names, or you can search for a specific word and delete every occurrence of that.)
We were able to select text and move it around the page. But as we found with all the PDF editors here, it wasn’t possible to drag and drop text between pages (to get around this we were able to cut and paste though and still make a good-looking document).
Back to the Annotate tab. Here you will find options to highlight, underline, or strike-through text, as well as a pan tool that means you can draw freehand in any colour, as well as change the line width and opacity. There’s also a crop tool here. In Annotate you can also add sticky notes and stamps (e.g. an Approval). You’ll see a column of existing annotations on the left so its easy to see what edits have been made and when. These annotations can be exported as HTML, text or markdown.
Adding a signature is also done via the Annotate tab. You can add more than one signature and these are added via the keyboard, trackpad, or an image. To add the signature to your PDF just drag and drop from the signature pane. You an also add a watermark yourself, perhaps your company logo, rather than having one added for you as is the case with some of the other trials looked at here.
Resizing a large PDF was easy thanks to a High/Low slider that indicated the size of the resulting file. There was also the option to merge files, combine multiple documents into one PDF, or individual pages from multiple documents.
We had one PDF that was scanned on our iPhone via the Notes app (we explain
how to scan a document with an iPhone here). Obviously such a document will only be recognised by the PDF editor if the editor has OCR abilities that are unlocked in the trial. PDFExpert couldn’t do this so we weren’t able to edit the text in the scanned document, although we were able to add hyperlinks to sections of that document. Obviously we couldn’t search the scanned document, or edit the text there.
We were able to search normal PDFs though, and we were able to search for a word and redact every occurrence of it either by blacking it out, or deleting it.
We were able to export the PDF into Word, PowerPoint and Excel, as well as to Text and Image.
It’s a free seven day trial, so if you need the software for longer than that and don’t want to pay up then you would have to look elsewhere. But if you don’t need something long term this trial offers everything you need.