If you are looking for the best PDF converter for Mac, here’s the place for you. We’re going to have a quick roundup review of the free and paid options available in the market that are actually worth your time trying.
The best PDF converters are not free, they shouldn’t! Hundreds of hours are spent by a team of computer developers to make the products available, they deserve to get paid for their work.
If your goal is not only to convert a PDF file but to make it editable, you might be interested in this Mac PDF editor review we recently put together.
Online vs. Desktop PDF Converters
PDF files are easy and convenient to share and view across almost any computers and mobile devices; they are however not so easy to deal with when it comes to adding a header, splitting pages, editing the texts, or extracting graphs, etc. Because they are basically images and do not offer much flexibility for making changes. That’s why you need a PDF converter tool that comes in handy when you need to make sophisticated tweaks.
If you use a Mac computer and need to handle PDFs on a regular basis, there are usually two ways to convert a “stubborn” PDF file to another type of document that’s edit-friendly.
Online Conversion Services: a quick search on Google returns a lot of results. Most of those services basically do the same thing: you upload your PDF files to a cloud server, they’ll automatically convert the files for you and return your desired output file formats available to be downloaded. You then download them and make the changes as you want.
This option is fast and convenient, but it’s without drawbacks. First, this method tends to be less secure if your PDFs contain sensitive or confidential information; Second, the quality of output documents are less accurate (sometimes the formatting just gets messed up). Moreover, most services don’t support batch conversion. That means, be prepared to wait longer if you have dozens of PDFs to be converted.
Mac PDF Converter Software: If you only need to make small tweaks to a PDF file such as additional pages, merge PDFs, etc., the built-in Preview app in macOS should be enough to handle that.
If you need to convert PDFs to other formats such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint for a broader range of reuses. Then professional desktop software like Adobe Acrobat Pro and the ones we recommend below are a better option. We don’t have much love for Acrobat because it has too many features that you may never use, and the software is over-priced.
PDF Converter Software for Mac: What to Look for?
Here’s a list of factors we take into consideration when evaluating and selecting the best app.
Security: Any apps you download on your Mac should be 100% clean and malware-free. We use Malwarebytes to scan each program to see if it contains any virus or malicious processes.
Output Options: A good PDF converter software should meet your basic and advanced needs and be able to convert your PDF files into commonly used file formats such as images, text/RTF, Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. Besides, the quality of output files should be high and ideally keep all original formattings doesn’t matter how complex the document is.
OCR Support: Optical Character Recognition, is a technology that can convert a scanned PDF image into computer recognizable text elements. the best Mac PDF converter integrates OCR will save you a huge amount of time when it comes to dealing with scanned PDF files.
Batch/partial Conversion: Batch processing option saves you time and effort if you want to convert multiple files; Partial conversion mode offers more flexibility as it allows you to convert specific pages only. This is especially helpful when you are dealing with a large document that has hundreds of pages.
Converting Speed: Depending on how many PDFs you’d like to convert, the app you choose should be relatively fast in processing the tasks, so you don’t wait too long.
Ease of Use: Working with PDFs is hard. The tool you choose should offer a friendly and clean interface with features and instructions displayed in an easy-to-understand manner, so you can finish your work more efficiently.
macOS Compatibility: The software you choose should also be compatible with the latest macOS e.g. 10.15 Catalina and popular older versions like Mojave and High Sierra.
Best PDF Converter for Mac: Our Picks for 2020
PDFelement allows you to convert your PDF files to all the expected Microsoft document formats, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It can also convert EPUB eBooks, images, and HTML web pages. With the ability to handle over 50 conversions at a time, the batch processing option will increase productivity while saving you time. If you don’t need to convert an entire document, you can use the partial conversion option for sections you’ve selected. To keep your PDF from looking different in the output file, this software preserves the original fonts, layouts, formatting, and hyperlinks. You can customize your output file so it looks exactly as you intended. You can also prevent your files from being edited or printed using password protection.
2. PDF Expert for Mac
PDF Expert comes with extensive tools for highlighting and annotating your documents. You are able to add useful text and shapes to your document. Other useful features include the ability to create PDF outlines, redact documents, sign and merge PDFs, and fill out PDF forms. This software may prove a suitable alternative to Adobe Acrobat for Mac users, as it is more affordable and contains a similar variety of tools.
3. Aiseesoft Mac PDF Converter Ultimate
Aiseesoft Mac PDF Converter UItimate comes with OCR technology to help you convert image-based PDFs to most expected document formats such as Word, Excel, Text, EPUB, and HTML. You can also convert PDF files into the most commonly used image file formats. To customize the output settings, you can adjust the image size, color, pixel size, and other items. During PDF conversion, this software can preserve all of the original elements you might require, including links, layouts, tables, columns, and graphics. You can also process batch conversions for several PDF files at once.
4. Nuance PDF Converter
As a complete PDF solution for Mac, Nuance PDF Converter provides all of the tools you might need to create, edit, and convert PDF files. Included is OmniPage OCR technology which allows you to turn PDF files into editable documents, preserving columns, tables, graphics, and text. There are also several collaboration features that can help you and your group complete projects, like the ability to highlight relevant sections and add sticky notes. You can easily assemble documents by dragging and dropping them into place. To maintain confidentiality, Nuance PDF Converter allows you to edit and delete sensitive information. You also have the option to black out text instead of removing it entirely. With the ability to access cloud-based storage, as well as connect to Evernote, you’re able to make PDF modifications from your mobile device.
5. Foxit PDF Converter
Catering to the needs of businesses as well as personal users, Foxit PDF Converter provides an intuitive user interface along with an extensive set of PDF editing tools, including security tools and other applications. Along with the ability to collaborate and share, you can secure files, share them, and sign PDF forms. Not only can you convert PDF files into popular document formats such as Word or Excel, but there is also support for multiple languages, making it ideal for your international business. Foxit PDF Converter comes with ConnectedPDF functionality, which means that you share a PDF document with others, you can monitor and manage all activities pertaining to it. Track who opened the file and where. By integrating cloud services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive, you and your team can work together on documents, get faster feedback, and become more productive.
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.