I have many PDF files which contain comments and annotations made with Adobe Acrobat Reader. However, it will take many hours to copy these files with the comment being deleted manually.

Does macOS provide commands and tools to remove comments and annotations from PDF documents?

  • What have you tried so far?
    – nohillside
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 8:04
  • @nohillside I used Adobe Acrobat Reader to delete comments one by one, however, there are 90 files. It will take much time to delete all comments.
    – GoingMyWay
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 9:25
  • @nohillside Hi, I answered my question below.
    – GoingMyWay
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


The fastest way to solve it is to use pdftk, which is also available on macOS M1. Pdftk is free and easy to use.

Open the terminal and type

$ pdftk in.pdf output - uncompress | sed '/^\/Annots/d' | pdftk - output out.pdf compress

You can find the out.pdf without any comments and annotations.

Next, you can list all the files and process them with shell scripts.

To use the commands above, you can replace the in.pdf and out.pdf with your PDF files.



  • Ooh, is that just stripping out the Annotation objects from the actual pdf data stream? Nice hack, but also a bit scary.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 16:17
  • @benwiggy Yes. But it is fast and can remove all annotations. In some cases, you can quickly remove annotations for privacy.
    – GoingMyWay
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 3:18

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