Many Mac users have Adobe Reader on their Macs so they can read and fill out PDF files. But macOS already has a very capable PDF app named Preview. Most people will find it more than capable for all of their needs, and perhaps a little faster and convenient. If Adobe Reader is set as your default PDF app, I'll show you how to switch back to using Preview.
When you scan in documents with your iPhone or other device you sometimes end up with files too large to store or send in an email. You can easily compress a PDF using the Preview app on your Mac. However, the default compression setting is too high for most uses. Learn how to customize the compression with your own quartz filter and then use it in Preview or turn it into a Quick Action using Automator for one-step PDF compression.
If you want to convert a group of JPG image files to a single PDF, you can use a variety of methods. Most people will tell you to use Preview. But there are other ways that are either simpler or more versatile. You can use a Quick Action to do it without even opening up an app. You can also use Pages and Keynote to create richer PDFs with border, text and other features. The best way may be to use Photos which offers a variety of printing options that can be used to create PDFs.
You can copy pages in a PDF document in Preview and paste them to get a new document with only the pages you want. You can split a PDF into two or more smaller documents. You can also merge documents by dragging pages from one document into another.
If you are an artist or photographer you may be asked to submit a PDF to schools or galleries. You can create a nice PDF portfolio using Pages and simply placing images on layout pages along with borders and text boxes. You can even include an information or bio page. Then just export as a PDF. The result is much better than just converting image files to PDFs.
You can easily save a portion of a webpage or document as a streamlined PDF or Image file. However, many people take screenshots instead, which are poor resolution. Using the Open In Preview function in the Print Dialog, you can quickly and easily convert portions of webpages or documents to smooth and scalable PDFs or even higher resolution images.
You can view PDFs on the web in Safari on your iPad and iPhone. You can also download those documents to store in either iBooks or the Files app. In Files, you can store them locally or in iCloud so you have access to them on all of your devices.
You may already know how you can print and then use Save As PDF to save a PDF of almost anything on your Mac. But you can also add to that menu, creating convenient locations to save PDFs without needing to search for folders. You can also indicate applications that handle PDFs to send a PDF version of your document directly to that app.
You can use Preview to study or for research with its simple highlighting tool. You can highlight in several colors and see a list of all of the text you have marked. You can also add notes through the document.
With iOS 11 you can export documents from many different apps as PDFs using the Share function. Other apps have special save or export functions for PDF creation. But any app that can print can also create a PDF using a hidden feature in the AirPrint function.
You can use Preview to easily merge two PDF files, or bring pages from one into the other. You can also create new documents from pages selected from another PDF. You can even bring images into PDFs as new pages.
Learn how to use Preview in Mountain Lion to merge two or more PDF documents into one file. You can also re-arrange the pages in a PDF document or delete pages.
You can use Preview in Snow Leopard to merge documents and pages within documents. It works a little differently than it did in Leopard because you can have multiple documents in the sidebar which can confuse things.
You can go even further with Print As PDF by printing into Preview and then saving the preview document. You can reduce the file size or apply any number of Quartz filters. You can even make your own filter. You can also save as an encrypted PDF.
You can easily turn any document from any program into a PDF file by printing it and choosing to save as a PDF instead of sending to a printer.
Can't view PDF files in Firefox? A certain PDF doesn't look right in Preview? Can't fill out a PDF form and save it? Take a look at these three PDF problems that Mac users run in to and how to solve them.