Easy Steps to Download PDF on Mac

Welcome to our article on how to download PDF on Mac! In this digital age, we are often required to read, share or download various documents in PDF format. However, downloading a PDF on Mac can be a little tricky for some users, especially those who are new to this operating system. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Below are the 12 simple steps that you can follow to download PDF on your Mac, along with some useful tips and tricks to make your life easier.


Step 1: Open Safari on your Mac

The default browser on Mac is Safari, so you can use it to download your PDF. Launch Safari from the Dock or through Spotlight search, which can be accessed by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen.

Step 2: Go to the website where the PDF is located

Navigate to the website where you want to download the PDF file. Once you are there, look for the link or button that says “Download PDF” or something similar. This can usually be found on the page next to the document you want to download.

Step 3: Click on the link to download the PDF

Click on the link or button, and the download process will begin automatically. The download progress will be displayed in your Downloads folder in Finder, which is located in the Dock. You can also check the progress by clicking on the “Downloads” icon in the Safari toolbar.

Step 4: Choose the location to save the PDF on your Mac

Once the download is complete, a dialog box will appear asking where you want to save the file. Choose the location where you want to save the PDF file on your Mac. This could be in your Documents folder, your Desktop, or any other location you prefer.

Step 5: Wait for the PDF to finish downloading

The download process may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the file and your internet connection speed. Wait patiently for the PDF to finish downloading before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Open the PDF file in Preview

Once the PDF file has finished downloading, it will be saved to the location you specified in step 4. To open the PDF file, double-click on it and it will automatically open in Preview, which is the default PDF viewer on Mac.

Step 7: Use Preview to view and edit the PDF file

Preview allows you to view and edit PDF files on your Mac. You can zoom in or out, rotate pages, add annotations, highlight text, and more. Simply use the tools provided in Preview to modify the PDF to your liking.

Step 8: Save the changes to the PDF file

After you have made the necessary changes to the PDF file, you can save the file by going to “File” and choosing “Save” or “Save As”. Make sure you choose the format “PDF” if you want to save the file as a PDF.

Step 9: Print or share the PDF file as needed

Once you have saved the changes to the PDF file, you can print the document or share it with others. You can also email the PDF file using the Mail app on your Mac.

Step 10: Use third-party PDF readers for more advanced features

If you need more advanced features than what Preview offers, you can download third-party PDF readers like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader for Mac. These readers offer more advanced editing tools, and are great for those who work with PDF files regularly.

Step 11: Keep your Mac updated to ensure compatibility with PDF files

Make sure your Mac is running the latest version of macOS to ensure compatibility with PDF files. Apple regularly releases updates to improve compatibility and security.

Step 12: Save your PDFs to the Cloud for easy access

To ensure that your PDFs are always easily accessible, save them to the Cloud using services like iCloud Drive or Google Drive. This way, you can access your PDFs from anywhere, on any device, as long as you have an internet connection.


Now that you know the 12 simple steps to download PDF on Mac, let’s delve into some of the other important aspects of downloading and working with PDF files on your Mac.

Firstly, it’s important to keep your Mac updated with the latest software updates. This will ensure that you have the latest security features and compatibility with various file formats, including PDF files.

Secondly, it’s always a good idea to save your important PDF files to the Cloud. This will ensure that your documents are always available to you, no matter where you are or what device you are using.

Finally, if you regularly work with PDFs, you may want to consider using third-party PDF readers like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader for Mac. These readers offer more advanced tools and features, and can greatly improve your workflow and productivity.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use keyboard shortcuts to work more efficiently

Mac offers a number of keyboard shortcuts that can help you work more efficiently with PDF files. For example, you can use “Command + F” to search within a PDF, or “Command + Arrow Keys” to navigate through a document.

Tip 2: Use Preview’s annotation tools for easy collaboration

Preview offers a number of annotation tools that can help you collaborate with others on a PDF document. You can add notes, highlight text, or draw shapes to easily communicate your ideas.

Tip 3: Use the Markup feature in Mail to annotate PDFs before sending

You can also use the Markup feature in the Mail app on your Mac to annotate PDFs before you send them. This is a great way to quickly add notes, highlights, or sketches to a PDF file.

Tip 4: Use PDF compression tools to reduce file size

If you need to send large PDF files via email or other file sharing services, you can use PDF compression tools to reduce the file size. This will make it easier to send and receive files, and will save storage space on your device.

Tip 5: Use OCR software to convert scanned documents into editable PDFs

If you have scanned documents that you need to edit, you can use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to convert the scanned images into editable text. This will make it much easier to work with the document, and will save you time and effort in the long run.

Tip 6: Use PDF password protection to secure sensitive documents

You can use password protection to secure your sensitive PDF documents from unauthorized access. Many PDF readers, including Preview, offer this feature, and it’s simple to set up.

Tip 7: Use PDF merge tools to combine multiple PDF files into one

If you have multiple PDF files that you need to combine into one document, you can use PDF merge tools to do this. This is a great way to simplify your document management and keep all your files in one place.

Tip 8: Backup your PDF files regularly to prevent data loss

Make sure to regularly backup your PDF files to prevent data loss in case of a device failure or other unforeseen circumstances. You can use services like Time Machine or cloud backup services to keep your files safe.

Tip 9: Use PDF accessibility tools to make your documents accessible to all

If you need to create PDF documents that are accessible to people with disabilities, you can use accessibility tools to improve the readability of your documents. Many PDF creators, like Adobe Acrobat, offer these tools and features.

Tip 10: Use PDF form tools to create interactive forms

If you need to create interactive PDF forms that your users can fill out and submit, you can use form tools to do this. This is a great way to simplify data collection and reduce manual data entry errors.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Downloading PDF on Mac


1. Convenience: One of the biggest advantages of downloading PDFs on Mac is the convenience it offers. You can easily download and store your PDF documents on your Mac without having to worry about lost files.

2. Portability: PDF files are portable and can be easily transferred to other devices like phones and tablets. Macs make it easy to download PDF files and transfer them to other devices.

3. Speed: The download speed for PDFs on Mac is usually quite fast, making it easy to get your documents quickly.

4. Space-saving: PDFs take up very little space on your Mac, making it much easier to store numerous documents without worrying about using up too much space.

5. Searchable: Most PDFs are searchable, making it easy to find specific information within the document without having to read through the whole thing.

6. Easy to share: PDFs are easy to share with others, whether it’s through email, cloud storage, or other means.

7. Security: PDFs are a secure file format, making it difficult for others to alter or edit your documents.

8. Versatile: PDFs can be used for a variety of purposes, including resumes, presentations, and legal documents.

9. Compatibility: PDFs are compatible with a wide range of software and operating systems, making it easy to open and view them on different devices.

10. Cost-effective: Many PDF downloads are available for free, making it a cost-effective option for accessing information and documents.


1. Limited editing capabilities: While PDFs are secure, they are also difficult to edit. This can make it difficult to make changes to documents as needed.

2. Compatibility issues: While PDFs are compatible with many different devices, there may be compatibility issues with some older software or devices. This can make it difficult to open and view PDFs on certain devices or with some software.

3. May be copyright protected: Some PDFs may be copyright protected, making it illegal to download or distribute them without permission.

4. Formatting issues: Depending on the software used to create the PDF, there may be formatting issues that can make it difficult to read or follow the document.

5. Large file sizes: Some PDFs can be quite large, making them difficult to download with slow internet connections or on devices with limited storage space.

6. Quality issues: Some PDFs may have quality issues, including blurry images or hard-to-read text.

7. Limited interactivity: PDFs are generally not interactive like other digital formats, such as HTML or video.

8. Consumes resources: Opening, viewing and downloading PDFs can consume significant resources of your Mac, especially if working with large or multiple PDFs at once.

9. Requires a PDF reader: To view PDFs, you will need a PDF reader installed. While many devices come with a PDF reader installed, others may require a separate download and installation.

10. Vulnerable to viruses: Although PDFs are a secure file format, they are not immune to viruses or other malware. Malicious PDFs can infect your Mac and cause damage or loss of data.


1. How can I download a PDF on my Mac?

To download a PDF on Mac, simply right-click on the link to the PDF document and select “Download Linked File”. The PDF will be saved to your Downloads folder.

2. Can I download a PDF without opening it on my Mac?

Yes, you can. Simply hold down the “Option” key while clicking on the PDF link, and it will automatically download to your specified location without opening in your browser.

3. How do I change the default download location for PDFs on my Mac?

You can do this by opening Safari > Preferences > General, then clicking on the “File download location” drop-down menu and selecting the desired location.

4. Can I download multiple PDFs at once on my Mac?

Yes, you can. Simply select the files you want to download by holding down the “Command” key while clicking on each file, then right-click and select “Download Linked File(s)”.

5. How can I view my downloaded PDFs on my Mac?

You can view your downloaded PDFs by opening the Finder and navigating to your Downloads folder, or by using the quick keyboard shortcut “Command” + “Shift” + “L” to directly open the Downloads folder.

6. Is there a way to automatically open downloaded PDFs on my Mac?

Yes, there is. To automatically open downloaded PDFs, go to Safari > Preferences > General, and check the box next to “Open safe files after downloading”.

7. Can I rename a downloaded PDF on my Mac?

Yes, you can. Simply locate the PDF file in your Downloads folder, right-click it, select “Rename”, and enter a new name for the document.

8. How can I delete a downloaded PDF on my Mac?

To delete a downloaded PDF on your Mac, locate the file in your Downloads folder, right-click it, and select “Move to Trash”. Alternatively, you can select the file and press “Command” + “Delete” on your keyboard to move it to the Trash.

9. Can I recover a deleted PDF on my Mac?

Yes, you can. If you have not yet emptied your Trash, simply open the Trash folder, locate the deleted PDF, right-click it, and select “Put Back”.

10. How can I quickly find a downloaded PDF on my Mac?

You can use the Spotlight search feature on your Mac by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen and typing in the name of the PDF file you are looking for.

11. Is there a way to download PDFs from web pages other than Safari on my Mac?

Yes, you can use other web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox to download PDFs on your Mac using similar methods.

12. Can I download password-protected PDFs on my Mac?

Yes, you can. However, you will need to have the correct password to access the document.

13. Is it possible to download PDFs to my iPhone or iPad from my Mac?

Yes, you can use AirDrop or iCloud Drive to transfer PDFs from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad.

Are you a Mac user who needs to download and view PDF files? Fortunately, downloading and viewing PDF files on a Mac is a simple process. In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to download PDF on Mac.

How to Download PDF on Mac

Firstly, launch Safari, your Mac’s default web browser. Search for the PDF file you wish to download by typing in the name of the file, the URL or keyword related to the document. Once you have found the file, click on the link. This will download the PDF file to your Mac’s ‘Downloads’ folder or the folder you have specified for downloads in Safari preferences.

If the PDF fails to open automatically, navigate to the ‘Downloads’ folder or the folder you saved the file in and double-click on the file. This will open the PDF document in the ‘Preview’ app by default.

If you would like a different app to open your PDF files, right-click on the file and select ‘Open With’. A list of apps will appear, choose the app you wish to use and click ‘Open’.

Conclusion and Closing

In conclusion, downloading PDF files on Mac is a simple process that can be done within minutes. With just a few clicks, you can download, open and view your PDF files on your Mac effortlessly. Remember that Safari is the default browser for downloading PDF files on Mac, and if the files fail to open automatically, you can always find them in the ‘Downloads’ folder. We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you through the process of downloading PDF files on Mac.

Thank you for reading! We hope this guide has helped you in finding the best ways on how to download PDF on Mac. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. Happy downloading!