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Top 10 PDF Annotator Software for Mac and Windows

Top 10 PDF Annotator Software for Mac and Windows

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Annotate means to add notes as an explanation or comment. Sometimes we need to annotate PDF files to explain its content clearly to its viewers in the form of highlights, texts, or other geometrical shapes. Thus, you need software that offers an annotator PDF file for free.

Annotator software allows you to annotator PDF files for free. Most of them are rich with features and annotation tools like a highlighter, notes, text box, underline, shapes, stamps, and signatures. Few of these PDF annotators also carry annotations like sticky notes, etc. You can also use some of this software to share your annotated PDF directly via email, Evernote, Dropbox, or Facebook.


Image Alt: annotator free software

Part 1: Top 10 PDF Annotator Software for Mac and Windows

Here is our list of the 10 carefully selected annotator PDFs for free software you can bet on to get the job done.


  1. PDF Agile

This PDF reader and converter offer customers an easy way to set up a customized e-filing system. With this annotator PDFs for free tool, users can also better handle PDF files and document metadata.



  • Convert Word, Excel, PowerPoint, TXT, pictures, and CAD files to and from PDF.
  • Organize and manipulate PDF documents by users to complement their processes.
  • Split and combine documents; easily apply stamps, watermarks, headers, and footers; and drag and drop pages inside a file or from one document to another.
  • Users can improve their digital reading experience by switching between Reader Mode, Full-Screen Mode, and Slideshow


  • It is not free to use

Image Alt: pdf agile

  1. PDF Reader Pro

This application works as a good annotator PDF for free for Windows and Mac devices. It is a powerful annotator tool that allows users to add highlights, text boxes, strikeout, anchored notes, and underline on a PDF page. In addition, it provides freehand, which will enable you to draw anything on a PDF page.



  • It is flexible, effortless, and compatible with all devices
  • It allows users to edit documents in different formats, like JPEG, Word, and Excel


  • The response late of customer support is sometimes late
  • Resulting from lots of pop-up ads, the application crashes a lot

Image Alt: pdf reader pro

  1. Microsoft OneNote

This digital notebook is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and the web. This can annotate PDF files by providing flexible and powerful annotating tools, including lists, sketches, clippings, photos, tables, etc. In addition, it is the most user-friendly PDF annotator tools that are available on the internet.


  • It supports video and voice functions
  • It has an interactive web browser feature
  • It allows sharing works on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler.
  • It provides cloud storage services and syncing notes across your devices.


  • There is no private encryption.
Image Alt: microsoft onenote
  1. Adobe Acrobat Reader

Currently, no annotator PDF for free software can match the level of Adobe Acrobat Reader. This system-based program is entirely free to download and install, and there is a wide range of PDF annotation tools that you can use easily. 



  • It provides a text-to-speech feature
  • It is suitable for viewing, signing, managing, and creating PDF documents.


  • Some features are premium which is a bit expensive.
  • It is a bit slow with larger files.

adobe acrobat reader

  1. Foxit Reader

This is another annotator PDF for free that has all the functionality you require. The interface is excellent, and therefore it is highly rated by users.  



  • The design and user interface is user-friendly
  • The night mode is excellent for reading at night


  • Sometimes is relatively slow, taking more time than usual
  • While reading multiple PDFs, it is difficult to see which PDF is active.
Image Alt: foxit reader
  1. Nitro Reader

This app does not have many advanced tools but is still a useful PDF annotator for Mac and Windows. It performs a standard annotation, ensuring that the PDF appears clean and professional. 


  • It requires a relatively small download
  • Users can customize the top toolbar for quick access to the often used options.


  • Nitro Reader sometimes crashes and restarts slowly.
Image Alt: nitro reader
  1. Expert PDF

This application is one of the most user-friendly PDF annotators. The PDF bookmarking and comment addition also come with this program. In addition to that, it also has several tools used to create separate sets of PDF annotations easily.  


  • The interface is robust yet not hard to learn
  • Collaboration via comments is beneficial.


  • The converted PDF documents do not adjust to the software interface
  • It is challenging to edit the order of the pages in the PDF document.
Image Alt: expert pdf
  1. PDF-XChange Viewer

This is the best PDF annotator for users used to Microsoft Word. The interface is straightforward to learn for beginners, and there are many annotation tools available in the PDF-XChange Viewer software.  


  • It provides a wide range of tools
  • It has an intuitive interface that helps users get familiar with the tool.


  • It does not include all PDF creation
  • Removing evaluation watermarks is impossible unless you have a user license.

Image Alt: pdf xchange viewer

  1. PDF Annotator

This is a simple yet powerful annotator for PDF documents. It can restore the document to its original page in one click effectively and eliminate the annotations without any damage to the file or its layout.


  • It allows the addition of images to an existing PDF file
  • Allows for group and lock annotation
  • It has an aligned annotation function for an easy view and organized layout.
  • You can take a snapshot of the ongoing work.


  • The app is only specialized for annotation purposes
  • Cannot handle large PDF files without sacrificing performance
Image Alt: pdf annotator








  1. PDF Max

PDF Max is also an excellent annotator PDF for free to help you annotate PDF documents for desktop and mobile users, a cross-platform program for synchronizing documents.



  • It allows users to mark essential things in journals, and books, underline cross-out tools, and highlight
  • It allows the usage of fingers in taking handwritten notes or highlighting text on PDF pages.


  • It may sometimes crash when opening files
  • Sometimes, it may not open files or show “File does not exist.”

Image Alt: pdf max


Part 2: Comparison Between the Top 10 PDF Annotator Software

PDF Annotator




PDF Agile


  • IOS and Android
  • Windows
  • Mac

Split and combine documents; easily apply stamps, watermarks, headers, and footers.

PDF Reader Pro

$59.99 for a perpetual license

  • Mac OSX 10.10 and Up
  • Windows 10 and 11

iOS and Android

PDF highlighter, strikethrough, freehand, text box, sticky note, stamps, images.

Microsoft Onenote

  • Free for 5 GB $1.99 for 50 GB per month

Type, highlighting, or ink annotations.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

  • Acrobat Pro DC: $14.99/month
  • Acrobat Standard DC: $12.99/month
  • Windows
  • Mac

Adding notes, rotating files, addition and modification of signature

Foxit Reader

  • Foxit PDF Editor Pro: $16.99
  • Foxit PDF Editor Mac: $159.00
  • Foxit PDF Editor Standard: $14.99

Foxit PDF Editor: $159.00

  • Windows
  • Mac

Typewrite tool, note highlighter, strikethrough, double strikethrough, underline, and pencil.

Nitro Reader

For Windows: 1 - 20 Licenses $179.99

20+ Licence: Contact sales

For Mac: 1 - 20 Licenses $179.99

1 - 20 Licenses $129.99

20+ Licence: Contact sales


  • Windows
  • Mac

There are limits on available tools, and it doesn't include more advanced annotation tools.

Expert PDF


  • Windows
  • Mac

Sticky notes, text highlighting, and strikethroughs

PDF Xchange Viewer




highlight tool, strikethrough, note tools, and drawing tools.

PDF Annotator



highlight, underline or make notes and drawings on a PDF page.




highlights and handwriting, insert PDF texts and stamps, etc.



With the help of annotator PDF for free, students and professionals can annotate PDF documents much more quickly. Additionally, you can transform your work productivity with handy online tools like those mentioned in the article. Also, ensure to go through the reviews and choose the best that fits your needs and explore.



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