Editable templates only work in Adobe Acrobat Reader and NOT Mac’s default PDF viewer Preview. If you open templates in Preview they won’t work correctly – fonts will look weird and will be spaced incorrectly. Plus, saving your file in Preview will corrupt the template.
Please note that double clicking on a PDF file will open it it in Preview even if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. I recommend launching Adobe Acrobat Reader first, and opening templates directly from it.
Step-by-step Downloading Instructions
- Download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free here and install it on your computer.
- Download a fresh/new copy of your templates and save them to your computer.
- To save the templates to your computer without them automatically opening in Preview: move your mouse over the download link, Control+click and then select “Download linked file” (if using Safari) or “Save Link As” (if using Chrome).
- Open Adobe Acrobat Reader from your Applications folder.
- In Adobe Acrobat Reader, click on File > Open.
- Navigate to the folder where you saved the downloaded files (usually your Downloads folder unless you chose a specific location) and select them
- Your files are now open in Adobe Acrobat Reader!
Set Adobe Acrobat Reader as your default PDF viewer
If you use (or plan to use) a lot of editable PDF files on your Mac I recommend you set Adobe Reader as the default PDF viewer. This way all PDF files are automatically opened in Adobe Reader instead of Preview. Here’s how:
Don’t have Adobe Reader on your computer yet
- Download the Latest version of Adobe Reader (now called Adobe Acrobat Reader DC) and install it on your computer. It’s free and you can get it here from Adobe’s website.
- Although you may have now installed the latest version of Adobe Reader, your Mac will still use “Preview” when you click on a PDF file UNLESS you change the default PDF reader from “Preview” to “Adobe Reader”. To make that change, follow the simple steps below:
- Move the Adobe Reader icon in your “Applications” folder to the “Dock” which is where all your program icons are located at the bottom of your desktop.
- Open Adobe Reader from the Dock.
- Using the File / Open menu in Adobe Reader, locate and open any PDF file that you have on your computer.
- You should then get the following message: “Adobe Reader is not currently configured to be the default application for pdf files. Would you like to make pdf files open with Adobe Reader instead of Preview?”
- Click “Yes”
Already have Adobe Reader on your computer
- Using Finder, locate any PDF file. Right-click (or Control-click) the PDF file and select ‘Get Info’ from the menu you’ve opened.
- Under the heading ‘Open with,’ the current default application for opening PDF’s is listed (which will most likely be Preview). If there is no application listed you may need to click the triangle to the left of ‘Open with’ so that it points downward to reveal the current setting.
- Click on the application list to open a drop-down menu displaying additional applications. In this menu locate the most recent version of Adobe Reader and select it. If Adobe Reader is not listed you may not have it installed (check by selecting Other …. and navigating through your Applications folder to locate the icon for Adobe Reader – if you do find it, click to highlight it and then click the Add button).
- Back in the information window click the ‘Change All’ button so that all subsequent PDF files will be opened by Adobe Reader
- Click the Continue button to confirm that you’d like to change your settings. Now all PDF files will be opened by Adobe Reader.
If you wish to change your default PDF viewer back to Preview at a later date, you can follow the instructions above selecting Preview instead of Adobe Reader.