After PDF was annotated, saved and PDF closed I want to reopen PDF but I can not anymore edit it, can not select annotations, arrows. Any workaround?


I am not really sure, but if you could at least open the file with Preview app, there might be an option to revert to previous version from the File menu.

  • works, but looking for a way to edit – János Aug 7 '15 at 10:13
  • Save it after you revert it to a previous version and then try to edit it. – Anton Todorov Aug 7 '15 at 10:16
  • but then I loose the changes .. – János Aug 7 '15 at 10:18
  • that was not mentioned in your thread, however.... Revert the file, do your changes and unlock the document as mentioned bellow: 1. To lock a document, choose Lock from the pop-up menu next to the document name in the title bar. 2. To unlock the document, choose Unlock from the pop-up menu next to the document name in the title bar. P.S. If you don’t see the pop-up menu, move the pointer next to the document name in the title bar, and then click the downward-facing arrow. – Anton Todorov Aug 7 '15 at 10:22

Once you save an image in Preview the changes you have made become part of the image - i.e. they can no longer be edited. However, Preview does store all previous saved versions of a file. To restore an image to a previously saved state (i.e. undo recent changes) choose File > Revert To > Browse All Versions. You can then scroll through all previous versions of the image file & choose one to restore. Best analogy of this functionality is the way Time Machine works.

  • The UI was cool, but when I reverted and saved again, the old changes somehow came back! So...seems like it didn't work at all. – teradyl Jan 12 '20 at 2:46

I have found annotations in Preview to be unpredictable. You could try opening the PDF in Adobe Acrobat if you have it—you'll probably find that each of Preview's fancy looking annotations are also there as an editable comment.


Annotate your images in Notes instead. Same set of tools as in Preview, but you can re-edit annotations to your heart's content.

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