returning to university and need in depth text editing and PDF reading

macOS and Mac Apps

Hello all, as the subject says I need some help in text editing and reading on the Mac.

I am returning to university and am looking for ways to do what I used to do on a windows but on the Mac.

I am looking for suggestions on the following.

A PDF reader that I can use quickly and reliably. I need something I can open a file in and always get the same results from. I have tried adobe but it seems very fiddly. I open a file and it some times works or the other times it will only show parts of a document. So if there is another reader then please let me know, but if you know of ways to make adobe more reliable I would appreciate the help.

I am looking for a document or some sort of assistance that allows me to edit text like I used to on windows. For example I go to a word and I want full font information, on jaws I can get all the info, on voice over I get very little information. Is there a better way to do this. Is there a shortcut document or some thing that shows how to do this. I would rather do this on Mac than windows.

I have only really used the Mac to do music production but I need to expand so that I can use it for every day text editing. I need to be able to read text books, write essays and more. If anyone has suggestions I would really appreciate it.
I really need reliable ways to do this or I will have to change over to windows to complete study essays and the like. Please anyone able to help!



Submitted by Kevin Shaw on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

I've created 3 guides to editing and formatting in Pages.

Part 1 focuses on the basics of formatting a document so it looks decent to sighted users.

Part 2 is all about using style shortcuts and styles.

Part 3 covers more advanced topics.

I'm planning on writing a fourth instalment where I'll cover the document inspector and adding the final polish to documents as well as using built-in templates. I'm working two jobs though and will need to budget time for this.

Submitted by Carlos M Contreras on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

For me, reading PDFs files is a painful experience on the Mac, and I'm talking about the ones in searchable format. I use Preview, and I have to read them one paragraph at a time. haven't found how to be able to use the read all command. Also, finding text is another pain.

My solution has been to convert any PDF file to a text format using ABBYY Fine Reader, and then read it in Textedit or Pages. I'm sure this is not what you wanted to hear, but is the best solution I have. The good thing is that then you will be able to copy and paste text from those files in an easy way

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Use windows and no problems.

Submitted by Maurício Sá on Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Do all your tasks on Windows using NVDA or JAWS and you won't have a problem.
Using macUS with VoiceOver is asking to suffer, looking for complex alternatives to something that can be done much simpler.

The Apple team went to great lengths to deliver a good screen reader, but that was in the past.

Submitted by Jason White on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

I've had positive and negative experiences of various PDF reading applications under Mac OS, Linux and Windows. There is no indisputably best tool, especially for untagged PDF files (and, unfortunately, most of them are untagged). However, I can support the recommendation for ABBYY FineReader, as it is an OCR application which can process scanned images of print supplied in a PDF file. It also recognizes formatting and layout well, including footnotes. I haven't used it on the Mac, but there was a new Mac version released recently that would be worth trying.

For writing, you could consider whether to use Markdown or LaTeX rather than a word processor, then convert document to whatever format you need (PDF, HTML, ODF, Microsoft Word, etc.). With Pandoc Markdown or LaTeX you can use BibTeX to generate citations and bibliographies automatically.

If you have HomeBrew installed on the Mac, you can run
brew install panda
brew install mactex
to install everything, then use your preferred text editor - and there's plenty of documentation online - available from your preferred Web search engine.

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Wednesday, November 24, 2021

I use xelatext tools for making an usual not math document.
I think this tool is available on mac.
But you have to study a lot of materials to create a good PDF.
If you don't want to study creating PDF this way, as I said, use windows.
By the way for making music PDF I use lilypond. The similar tool but for music.