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Annotate PDF on Mac, Preview or Skim?

If you have got a PDF file on your Mac and want to add some annotations or markup some text while reading, there are two free apps for you: Preview and Skim. Preview is a built-in PDF Reader provided by Apple for reading and simply editing PDFs and images. Skim is another excellent free PDF reader for Mac OS X. Both of the apps provide annotation functions, but there are also some differences. Knowing the differences can help you choose your favorite and appropriate app. Here are the annotation functions: Text Box Tool, Sticky Note Annotation, Graphic Annotation, Text Markup and Links.

Preview:

Annotate - Preview


Skim:

Annotate - Skim

 

And following is the simple comparison of the annotation functions of Preview and Skim:


Text Box Tool: Both Preview and Skim enable users to add and edit text within text box to PDFs, and also allow users to customize the font, color and size for the text.
Differences: Preview helps users add text within transparent text box, while Skim enables users to customize color and transparency of the background, as well as color and thickness of the border.

Preview:

Annotate - Preview


Skim:

Annotate - Skim

 

Sticky Note Annotation: Both Preview and Skim can help users add and edit sticky note annotations to the PDFs.
Differences: Preview provides standard sticky note annotations beside the white margin of each page. Skim named this kind of sticky note annotations as anchored notes. This kind of anchored notes displays in the sidebar of the PDFs.

Preview:

Annotate - Preview


Skim:

Annotate - Skim


Graphic Annotation: Both of the apps able to help users add and edit graphic annotations, including editing the color, thickness of the graphic annotations.
Differences: with Preview, users can draw and edit arrow, oval and rectangle annotations on the PDFs. With different name, Skim allows users to add circle, box and line annotations to PDFs. What's more, Skim also enables users to draw freehand graphic annotations on the PDFs.

Preview:

Annotate - Preview


Skim:

Annotate - Skim


Text Markup: Text markup includes highlight, underline and strikeout PDF texts. Both of the apps can help users deal with this. And there isn't any difference of this function between these two apps.

Preview:

Annotate - Preview


Skim:

Annotate - Skim


Links: Preview enables users to add links between the pages or add hyperlinks, while Skim doesn't provide link function.

Links - Preview


More: Generally speaking, the annotation function of Preview and Skim is quite familiar. But Skim provides a bit more. With Skim, users can view all the annotations in the sidebar and export them out to other formats separately, which would be very useful to many of us, while Preview doesn't have this function. What should also be noted is that: Skim provides several methods to export the edited PDFs, so users can choose whether to save the PDFs with or without notes by their own needs.

Annotate - Skim


Now you have a general view of the annotation functions in Preview and Skim? Just try your favorite one and add annotations to your PDFs on Mac.

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