Best Current PDF Software for MacOS

At the risk of starting a topic that has previously been discussed (I searched and sorted by date!), what is the current best choice for a PDF reader/editor that has the following options:

  1. Opens PDFs every time, without blurred text or fails (unlike my version of PDFPen Pro, 12.2.3)
  2. Allows LIGHT editing (redactions, adding some text, light annotation)
  3. MUST OCR.

I think those are my requirements. Obviously, #3 is why I don’t use Preview.

I’ve not any problem OCRing from Preview — except when the PDF file has copy protections set.

1 Like

I like PDF Expert. Pricey, but having the same software on iPadOS and macOS, and having just about every feature I could want (and you’ve listed) makes it my favourite.


For extremely heavy OCR (500 pages) Adobe Acrobat is superior. But it is not really priced for regular consumers. But I would recommend it if you have to do heavy OCR for a brief times (this allows you to get it for a reasonable price for 1 month)


It’s one time to cry when you buy. But it’s far superior than anything else. You really don’t have to upgrade to their latest releases. Still running one from 2014 version what ever it was.

PDF Expert is the best over.
ABBYY FIneReader Pro has the best OCR
Acrobat DC Pro is the most powerful.

1 Like

I’m using PDF Reader Pro. It’s definitely not without its flaws, but it was the best I could find given the price I’m willing to pay.

Subscriptions, especially not those over €/$50/yr are a no go for me. And shelving out €/$170 for a lifetime (what’s a lifetime when it comes to software?) license for PDF Expert is also just a tad too much given my relatively humble use of the program.

A major issue with PDF Reader Pro is that it seems to make itself the default pdf app every now and then. Even though the setting to do that is off. It’s creepy behaviour from an app. But like I wrote, I haven’t found anything bettter so far. Better as in working well and reasonably priced.