macOS 10.14 Mojave on a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) Preview Version 10.1 (944.6.16)

Preview.app fails to adjust the font size of text entered in PDF text fields appropriately to the text field size:

screenshot of text fields mismatch animation of the wrong sizing of the text font

The first screenshot is an already annotated PDF from a colleague with the last 2 text fields field added by them (with an appropriate font size scaling) and the first 3 fields edited by me, with wrong scaling. However, this also occurs on unedited PDFs as well.

Notice how it starts with correct scaling, and then glitches out, after I exit the text box.

Some mention the font settings of the text annotation tool. This seems to be ignored for text fields in PDFs however (set it to 3pt to test): screenshot of font size configuration

This problem occurred even before I updated to Mojave.

This only occurred with Preview on my Mac. Adobe Acrobat displays the values with appropriate scaling.

  • 2
    Despite the window colour in your second screenshot: searching for this info will be improved if you add the version of OS and Preview to this question. Oct 31, 2018 at 13:05
  • Preview has just never been that good for interacting with PDF forms, to be honest. It's not entirely Apple's fault; the PDF spec is a labyrinthine tome (this old version is over 700 pages long), and nobody other than Adobe tends to implement more than the 80% of it they think most of their users will need most of the time.
    – calum_b
    Oct 31, 2018 at 13:28
  • Re: the font size; the text needs to be highlighted when you change font size.
    – Natsfan
    Oct 31, 2018 at 14:19
  • @jmh I can't. As soon as I click on the font button the text gets deselected. Nov 2, 2018 at 18:18
  • @calum_b I agree, just switched to Adobe Acrobat as I have to edit and print a lot of PDF forms. The PDF spec: That's insane! Especially since PDF is such a widely used format. However, Apple managed to implement at least text fields correctly before and broke it at some point. Nov 2, 2018 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


This is not an issue anymore (for me at least) with more recent versions of macOS (e.g. macOS Monterey 12.3). All text in form input fields scale correctly at all times.

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