Have we settled for sub-standard access to PDFs on Mac?

macOS & Mac Apps

When ever I receive a PDF it fills me with a low level of dread because, I know, it will be a pain to read. The experience is so very poor on Mac that I find myself avoiding reading anything that is a PDF.

Now, am I missing something here or is access to PDFs on Mac still horse shit? I recall that it is far better on Microsoft Windows but, as PDFs don't seem to be going away any time soon, where is the improvement to access for this ubiquitous format on Mac?




Submitted by nightowl on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

I read the majority of PDF's on my Mac or iOS device. On Windows, it still frequently crashes my windows computers just to read a PDF file. I typically have no problem unless the PDF file is copied images of pages from the book. Other than that, I can navigate and read them much easier on a Mac or iOS device.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

If it's an important pdf, I convert it to plain text. I share your dislike of pdf format.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

I do the same, highlight all and convert but it feels like it but it feels like it should be like navigating a web page... One has to do a lot of drilling down to get to pages which is down right dumb. It's just a crap implementation.

Submitted by nightowl on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Personally, I just use Voice over navigation keys to just find the page I want since just pressing VoiceOver+right arrow typically goes a page at a time, then one just has to interact with the page when found. I find it more efficient than using page down or page up trying to find the right page number.

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Friday, April 9, 2021

I don’t know if Mac users have “settled,“ but it’s definitely never been good. not sure what night owls technical issue is, but Google, edge, acrobat reader, and other windows applications all allow cursor navigation by word character line etc.
with mac, all we get is either character or by object. And an object is usually a paragraph or something like it. nobody can review a technical document with that. My solution on Mac is either to open it in Microsoft Word, which will open PDF files, or else use OCR software like fine reader pro or readIris to convert it two plain text, even if it has a text layer. Or, of course, voice dream reader on iOS. for all the noises adobe makes about accessibility from the consumer standpoint, even their own creation tools for making documents accessible are themselves not accessible in acrobat pro on windows or Mac. They could fix the text review options on Mac in a day if they wanted to.

Submitted by SeasonKing on Friday, April 9, 2021

Even on Windows it's not a very good experience. Almost all the documents have no paragraphs, that means read next para command will read just next line.
Whoever designed PDF, they did a absolute bad job in accessibility, and the Darwin awards in accessibility goes to them, probably for many many years.