I'm looking for a PDF editing app with the following requirements that runs on macOS 11.6.5 (Big Sur):

  • highlight text, different colors
  • add comments/notes, same as above
  • write and draw free-hand
  • (nice-to-have, but not a strict requirement) free

Do you have any suggestions?

  • Try goodnotes..
    – Manan
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 16:48
  • 1
    What have you tried so far?
    – nohillside
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 17:55
  • @nohillside nothing, but I googled a bit and I found these two apps: highlightsapp.net pdf.wondershare.com/how-to/add-comments-to-pdf.html however, they don't seem to support freehand note-taking
    – DeltaIV
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 19:58
  • How exactly would you do freehand writing (tool-wise), I see neither a trackbad nor a mouse as a useful solution for this?
    – nohillside
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


It might surprise you, but the built-in Preview app has all of these features.

Here's an Apple Support article that describes all of the markup tools: https://support.apple.com/guide/preview/annotate-a-pdf-prvw11580/mac

  • This indeed surprises me. I see that I can add comments & notes, but what about freehand writing? Notes are written like regular text, using the selected font.
    – DeltaIV
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 19:53

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