Preview is one of the finest apps in Mac for editing PDF files. Many Mac users do not know that you can simply drag and rearrange pages in PDF documents using Preview app. Similarly, you can also easily fill out PDF forms, insert your signature and contacts from Contacts app. This is very useful if you need to frequently fill PDF forms in Mac.
PDF Filling in Preview App
When you open fillable PDF forms, Preview app will automatically detect the text boxes to fill the content. In addition, Apple introduced AutoFill PDF form from the details in your Contacts app in macOS Sonoma. So, make sure you have the latest macOS version to get full benefit out of Preview app.
Filling Text in Form
- Simply double click to open any PDF form in Preview app. If you are using any other app set as your default PDF viewer, then right-click on the file and select Preview app from “Open With” menu.
- Click on the “Show Form Filling Toolbar” icon to view additional options. If you are using old macOS versions, click “Markup” menu to view addition toolbar icons.
The app will automatically detect and show all fillable text fields in the form.
Click on any field to select and double-click to start typing in the field. You can use Tab to move to next filed and “Shift + Tab” to move to previous field. If the text is wrapping to next line, just resize the text box to adjust it within the available space.
If you want to insert signature on the form, there are few options to first upload the signature in Preview app. Click on the “Sign” icon and then click on “Create Signature” button.
- Trackpad – you can use trackpad to sign using a finger. Once finished, press any key to terminate the tracking and then click “Done” button. If you made any mistake, then click on “Clear” button and sign again on the trackpad. You can also select a name for your signature from the “Description” dropdown.
- Camera – it is really difficult for most of us to write on the trackpad especially when you have complicate signature. Alternatively, sign on a white paper then show then go to “Camera” tab and show your signature. Preview app will detect the signature from the white paper and show the preview. Click “Done” to start using the signature on forms. Remember, you can only use camera option on iMac as there is no trackpad for desktop.
Once you accept the signature, it will be synchronized across all your devices and always available in Preview app. Click on the “Sign” icon and select your signature to insert in PDF. After that, you can drag the inserted signature and move it to correct position.
Filling Details from Contacts
The latest Preview app allows you to fill details from your Contacts app like name, email, phone number, etc.
- Double-click on any text field to edit or type.
- Then go to “Edit” menu and select “Insert > Contacts” option. This will open Contact app as a pop-up inside the Preview app.
- Click on the contact to expand and then select the detail you want to insert.
- The selected details will be filled in the form for you automatically.
I have selected mobile number but the app automatically inserted both name and mobile number in the form. So, Preview app will automatically fill the details from contacts in all relevant filed in the form.
Other PDF Editing Options in Preview App
You have few other options which can be useful in different situations:
- Redact – select a paragraph or section in the form to completely mask it to hide the content.
- Highlight, underline, strikethrough any selected text in different color.
- Insert speech bubble and text box anywhere on the PDF.
Remember, once you save the file there are no ways to revert to original state. Therefore, make sure to save as a different file if you want to retain the original PDF form.
Normally, you need to print the PDF form, fill it with handwritten, scan and then send in email or share through other apps. Now that you can stop that lengthy work and start using Preview app in Mac for filling PDF forms. The app will automatically detect all fillable fields in the form and allows you to insert contact, password and credit card details. With these features, you can fill the lengthy form in few seconds and share with others easily.