5/6/219:00 am The Mac Preview PDF Markup Tools Take a look at all fo the markup tools you can use in Mac Preview to annotate PDF documents, including the new redaction tool. You can use these to edit documents, leave notes for yourself, or fill in PDF forms without set form fields. Check out The Mac Preview PDF Markup Tools at YouTube for closed captioning and more options. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at all of the PDF annotation tools in Mac Preview. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 900 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. Preview on your Mac is a great tool for viewing PDF documents. But you could also use Markup Tools in there to add annotations to a PDF. This is different than actually changing a PDF. If you want to make changes to the content of a PDF then you should go back to the original source document, like in either Pages, Word, InDesign, or whatever app the document was created in, create a new version of that document and export it as a PDF. But if you want to markup a document, add annotations, add notes, add editor's notes, add some text to it like if it's a form but not a real PDF form so you can put some text on there to fill in the blanks, sign the document, or just add notes for your own benefit you can do all of that in Preview. So let's start off here with this example document. The first annotation tool I want to show you doesn't even require you to go into any special mode. You can just use the highlighting tool right here by selecting some text and then clicking this little pencil button here. It will put a yellow highlighter behind the text. To get rid of it select it again and click again and it goes away. You can also change the color that's being used. Now when you select a color here notice that the highlight tool stays on. So now any text I select will automatically get highlighted. It makes it very quick and easy to highlight text. But you can click here to turn off highlighting and then you have to select the text and click this button to highlight it. You can also click and hold the button for a second and it will lock down. In addition to a color you can also use Underliner or Strikethrough as a highlight. To get to the rest of the Markup Tools you need to use this button here to go to Markup mode. The first thing you'll see here on the left is a tool for selecting text. When you have that selected things work like before. You can select text and Copy it or highlight it. You also have a rectangular selection tool. This isn't very useful as a Markup Tool but you can use it to select something and then Copy and then you can create a new document using what you copied. Next to that you've got a new addition to the Markup Tools, Redaction. Select that and you're going to get this warning. It's just warning you that anything you redact after you Save the document, it's gone. It's permanently removed. So make sure you have a copy of the original or, of course, the original source if it's something you created before you redact something else you're going to loose what's redacted. So it's a little different than highlighting. If I select something like this you can see it gets x'd out. If I move my cursor over it I can kind of see what's there. It won't be there anymore once I Save and open it again. Certainly if I send it to somebody else they're not going to see what's redacted. So you can redact things, we can Undo those, all of these things that you're doing you can use Command Z to Undo. Also redaction can work with a selection rectangle. If you're not over text like this but over the edge you can actually draw a rectangle and it will put a big redaction over the entire thing. As soon as we Save all this information will be wiped out. There is some debate how secure this is. It's probably not secure enough for you to say, if you work for a spy agency. Some remnants of what you redacted could be in other parts of the PDF binary file. But for most business use and personal use it's fine. Now we've got some tools here for drawing. First you've got the sketch tool. If you use that you're going to want to look at these tools here on the right. This will tell you the line size so we can do a medium line like that. This will do the line color. So let's just do something like a green line for now. Then this will do the Fill . But since a line doesn't have a fill it's not important yet. It will be when we get to shapes. Let's go and set the Fill color to nothing for now. So now when I draw it will just be line shape. It won't actually have a Fill color to it. Now when you draw with a Sketch Tool you have two options when you're done. So I'm going to draw like this and it's going to give me two options right here. One is to keep the original shape I drew. The other is to try to approximate a perfect shape like a perfect oval like this. So I can select that and now you can see it's a much nicer oval than what I drew. So it's going to try to approximate things. So I tried to draw a circle, like that, and it gives me the option to do a circle or stick with what I originally drew. Now that's a little different than the Draw Tool. The Draw Tool is not going to try to approximate a shape and it will, in fact, make things look a lot more like ink. You can see how there's pressure sensitivity based on the speed that I'm drawing and things like that. Notice that whether I'm using Sketch or Draw the final thing is a shape that I can now move around and even grab the corners and resize. By selecting them I can easily delete them. Now if I set a Fill color to something, like let's set an orange fill color to this and let's make it a dark purple border and let's set it to a thicker border like this. Let's go to the Sketch Tool again and I'm going to draw a circle. Now the first time I do this I'm going to get a warning. It's going to warn me that stuff behind isn't going to be deleted. People accessing the PDF can still get to that information. So it's just not people trying to redact things using shapes. You should use the redaction tool. Let's go and turn that Off so we're not bothered by that again. So now I'll try again to draw and it will give me the option, because that box won't bother me, about doing a perfect circle or exactly what I drew. So I'll do a perfect circle and you can see it fills it in with that color. I can still stretch this and do different things with the shape here to get it just right afterwards. I can also change the Line color and the Fill color afterwards by just selecting it and using those. I could also change the thickness of the line as well. Now let's look at some shapes. You've got a whole variety of them here. We've got a line here and as soon as you select the line it puts a line there and you can grab either point, move it around, and you can grab the center, curve the line anyway that you want. Then you can change the line type. You've also got things like a Dash line. You've got a kind of fuzzy line there. You can switch a line to an arrow. You can also add a drop shadow to a line. Now the next one we have is Arrow. This is actually the same as Line. See how it even remembers all of the previous settings. There's really no difference between the Line and the Arrow because you can go in here and change from an arrow to a line or double headed arrow. Anything you want. So it's just two different ways to start off. Whether it has an arrow head or not. You've got a Square. So we can move the square here and change things about it. Color, the type of line, the Fill, let's make that No Fill at all. We've got the Shadow set here and you can turn that Off. You can grab any corner of that. Other shapes will work just like that. Here's a rounded rectangle and we also have a circle. Notice you get an oval there with the circle. If you drag a corner you can approximate a circle. If you hold the Shift key down it gives you a perfect circle. We've got a little Bubble here which will actually allow you to point to something and then have some text in it. All of these shapes can actually have text in them. For instance, this shape here, if I double click in it, I can put text in it. The same thing here. So I could adjust this in variety of different ways. Notice these green dots here. They could be used to adjust things as well. I could adjust the size of the little stem that comes off and the other green dot will do that. You can see this in action also with a Star. So a Star you can adjust this green dot here to, you know, change the number of points and this one to change the shape of the star. Then also the same thing with a polygon shape here. You can use this green dot here to adjust the number of sides. Then you've got a couple of special things here in Shapes. This one allows you to have a single rectangle on a page where it's highlighting everything inside. When you use that you actually have to grab outside. It's like an inverse rectangle. Now you're just having this kind of hole in the middle. It's like a doughnut. So outside of the rectangle you can move things around and inside you can continue to annotate and draw. Another tool here is the Loop Tool which allows you to magnify a portion and you can use the green dot here to change the magnification and the blue dot here to change the size. You can have multiple loops on the same page. Next, of course, you have Text. So let's go to another page here and add some text. Text is really useful. Just click there and you do a Text Box. You can double click in it. You can type whatever text you want. With the Text selected, I'll just do Command A to select All of it, you can go and change all of the text information here. So you change the Font, the Size, make it Bold, Justify to one side or the other, click here to change the text color. So you can't use these to change the Text color. You use inside here. Now if you click outside and then move your cursor over it you can click and drag and place this text anywhere. This is useful for annotations but also for filling in forms when you can't just click and enter into the field in PDF's. A lot of PDF's are created that way where you actually have to use annotations to fill things in. You can rotate text. You need to use two fingers on a trackpad. I don't know of a way to do it on the mouse. But with two fingers on a trackpad you can rotate this. Next we've got Signatures which I've talked about before. So you could click here to create a signature. Once you've created a signature you can click and add it in. Move it around. Resize it. Put it where you want. Next you've got Notes. So click here to create a note. It's like a little sticky note. You put whatever you want there. If you can click outside of it it closes up and becomes this little box. Let's go to the text selection tool here to make it easy to select this. Now we can move this around and place it wherever we want. Now the interesting thing about Notes and also Highlights, like here, is you can see them in the Sidebar. If you click here you've got Sidebar with Highlights and Notes. So in this case I could see the three pieces of text, actually four that I've highlighted one with underline, and also this note here. So I can go down to this Note and I could see that on page 2 there's this note. If I click this note it actually opens up. But I could also view it here in the Sidebar. That sums up all of the tools. Note that you can also access these in the Menu Bar here. A lot of them have keyboard shortcuts. So, for instance, you can highlight text with Control Command H. You can create a rectangle with Control Command R. There are some shortcuts for some other shapes as well. You can add text with Control Command T, and note with Control Command N. So you don't necessarily need to use the Markup Tools. If you're going to use one of these while the Markup Tools are closed, like that, it will activate the Markup Tools. So Control Command N will create a new note and you can see how it brings up the Markup Tools. So a quicker way to get into Markup Tools if you know the first thing you want to do is create a note or some text. Now what happens when you Save? When you Save this and Close if you reopen it in Preview, obviously everything is still there. You can go and move around these annotations and change things. Everything except the redaction is still there. The redaction is gone. It's now all a permanent part of the document. But you can go to this note here, for instance. Click it and it comes up. So somebody else that gets your PDF document they can see all of the things that you added to it. They can also remove them. So, for instance, they could maybe react to this. Make a change to the original document and delete it. You could go in here and takeaway the highlight. Then when they Save all of that stuff will be saved. Now what happens if you open it up in something else? Like, for instance, let's open this up in Safari. Safari can show PDF documents and here you could see all the annotations are there. But Safari doesn't have the ability to do Markup. I can't edit these. It doesn't appear that I can view the note. Now at any time I want I can, of course, Control Click or two finger click on a trackpad, right click on a mouse, and choose Open With Preview to open this up in Preview. So you have that option. In other apps, like for instance if I were to open this with Chrome, you could see even Chrome PDF's renderer will show all of the annotations just fine. Now what about if somebody has something more powerful. What if they try to open this with Adobe Acrobat. In that case, just like with Preview, they'll be able access a lot of these annotations, make changes to them, and get rid of them. So it works very similar to Preview. The annotations are pretty standard PDF stuff so Adobe Acrobat understands them just as well as Preview does. Although Adobe Acrobat does work very differently than Preview so it can be confusing to go between one and the other. But if the other person has a Window machine with Adobe Acrobat and you have a Mac and you're using Preview you should be able to go back and forth to collaborate with say editing or keeping notes on a document. Related Subjects: Preview (35 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 14 Responses to “The Mac Preview PDF Markup Tools” Larry Hess 2 years ago I assume this only applies to OS Big Sur and not Catalina. Tks, Larry Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Larry: Most (all?) of these things are in Catalina. Just look and see. Bruce 2 years ago Sometimes I want to send a marked-up PDF but NOT allow the recipient to change what I've done. I use PRINT->save as PDF. The original PDF stays editable and the "save as PDF" version from the print dialog is permanent. Eric 2 years ago In a similar fashion to using the Shift key to make a "circular" annotation be an actual circle (rather than an oval), you can use the Shift key to constrain line annotations to be at 45 degree angles (0, 45, 90, 135, 180, 225, 270, 360). Robert Burnett 2 years ago Gary, to help me further, is there a way that when a bookmarked is made that a title/reference can be created. With notes I can see what it refers to, but it would be very helpful if when searching a document I could just look down the bookmarks and pick out the one I want to refer to. In presentation mode it would be more professional when a question is asked that I can open and then jump directly to the relevant section. Thanking you. RB. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Robert: Sorry, I don't know of any way to change how the bookmarks look. Sherry 2 years ago Great video! Not quite as fast as some of your others which can be hard to keep up with. :) Thomas 2 years ago Hi Gary, is there an option to change the way 2-pages layout is applied? I regularly work with tables that span over 2 pages that I’d like to align side by side. But Preview always starts with a single title page, followed by 2 pages and this way the header column sometimes doesn’t align with the content. Since PDFs are write protected, I can’t just add a blank page to change the lineup. Thanks Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Thomas: No, it is always arrange like a book. Kathy 10 months ago Hi Gary, the redact tool worked fine today while using preview on a pdf. Now out of the blue I am unable to select anything to redact, using the same method. The text is selected in blue (not black), but nothing is redacted. I quit preview, restarted the computer and still no luck. Any ideas? Plus when I try to use colored highlight for the text I get a dialogue saying 'without the owner password you don't have permission...' The pdf was scanned & saved using preview so I'm not sure why. Thx Gary Rosenzweig 10 months ago Kathy: Perhaps an issue with that one PDF? Maybe because the document is a scanned one, not one created by software so the text is an image, not actual text. Kathy 10 months ago Thanks Gary, I think you're right. I'm having luck with others so it must just be that one. :) Lois Sampson 9 months ago I use Preview to redact documents. Worked fine until a couple days ago. After redacting a document, I saved it and closed the document. When I opened this document later, the document was littered with sporadic underlining and vertical black stips (which don't appear to have the same faint cross-hatch mark of a redaction). I've tried all kinds of things, including using a fresh unredacted version, problem remains. How can I get stop these crazy marks littering a document? Gary Rosenzweig 9 months ago Lois: Have you tried a restart? Comments Closed.