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5 Apple Notes Tips for Managing PDFs on Mac


Apple Notes has gotten better at handling PDFs. The recent upgrade to macOS Sonoma added several noteworthy features. This guide focuses on the Apple Notes tips you’ll need to effectively manage PDFs.

Import a PDF Into a Note

Obviously, you can’t do anything with a PDF in an Apple Note – until you have put it into a Note! Importing a PDF into an Apple Note is as simple as dragging it in.

Add More Than One PDF in a Note

Multiple PDFs added to Apple Notes

This is one of the new features that were introduced with macOS Sonoma. It’s no longer necessary to click the PDF icon to open a PDF in Preview. You can now add more than one PDF to the same Apple Note by dragging each one, one at a time, into the note. The files will automatically line up.

You can then click on each PDF to read it. This is extremely helpful if you have a series of PDFs on the same subject and need them all to provide context.

Easily View the PDF in a Note

View As menu in Apple Notes to change PDF viewing size from Small to Medium or Large.

Previously, you could view a PDF inside a note, but it was often difficult to read, as it was too small.

macOS Sonoma solves this by letting you enlarge the contents of the PDF file. Click the downward arrow next to the name of the PDF file. When the drop-down menu appears, click View As, then Small, Medium, or Large.

Annotate and Collaborate on a PDF in a Note

Many PDFs require you to add information. The document can be anything, such as an application form or tax declaration form. It’s been the norm to do this in iOS – but not on macOS. Sonoma now makes it much easier to mark up a PDF document or add information in Apple Notes on a Mac.

Drop down that menu next to the PDF name, and select Markup.

Markup menu option in macOS

You can add a signature.

Apple Tips Notes Signature

You can also choose your font and font color if you plan to add text.

Apple Tips Notes Fonts

If you choose a pen on the left of the top bar, you can also annotate the PDF.

Apple Notes Tips Pdfs Mac Sonoma Annotating

Share a PDF in an Apple Note

Once you have made your annotations, comments, and the like to the PDF note, it’s time to send it.

The recipient obviously needs to have Apple Notes themselves, and for the novel features to be present on the other Mac, the recipient also needs to have updated to Sonoma.

Assuming all of that is squared away, share the note by clicking the Share icon.

MacOS Share Menu

You can share your PDF in an Apple Note through:

Invite With Link is particularly convenient, as you don’t have to send the document back and forth. It’s all done through iCloud.

Apple Notes is a very useful note-taking and document storage platform. It may not have the features of a rival platform, such as Evernote, but it can still hold its own. You can lock Notes with a passcode, for example, which is extremely useful if you’re using Notes for work.

Image credit: Canva. All screenshots by Mark O’Neill

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Mark O'Neill

Mark O’Neill is a freelance tech journalist, editor, and bestselling spy fiction author. Originally from Scotland, he now lives in Germany with his wife and his dog.

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