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Take Control of PDFpen 5
Learn to create, edit, and manipulate PDFs with Smile's PDFpen 5!
Have you ever had to fill out and sign a PDF-based form? Or change the date on a PDF-based flyer? Comment on a document sent around your workplace as a PDF file? Scan a document to PDF and OCR the text? Smile’s PDFpen 5 can perform these and many other PDF manipulations more easily than Adobe Acrobat, and at a fraction of the price. With clarity and humor, Take Control of PDFpen 5 explains precisely what you can do with PDFs using PDFpen and its big brother, PDFpenPro.
What about PDFpen 6? If you're running PDFpen 6, read Take Control of PDFpen 6 instead. In addition to explaining how to use PDFpen 6 on the Mac, this ebook also discusses which version of PDFpen 6 to buy and looks at using PDFpen on an iOS device.
After a whirlwind history and overview of PDF, you'll take a tour through PDFpen’s tools and navigation. With those basics taken care of, you’ll learn how to:
An appendix describes the many useful AppleScripts that ship with PDFpen.
If you want to try before you buy, you can download a free trial version of PDFpen or of PDFpen Pro. The fully functional trial versions put a Smile watermark on your documents. (Also, you can download a free sample version of this ebook!)
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Michael E. Cohen has taught English composition, worked as a programmer for NASA’s Deep Space Network, helped develop the first commercial ebooks at the Voyager Company, co-founded a major university’s Humanities computing center, taught a number of people, and played with a lot of new technology. He's the author of a number of books, including Take Control of PDFpen 6, Take Control of iBooks Author, and Take Control of TextExpander.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book tells you how create, edit, and enhance PDF documents with PDFpen and PDFpenPro from Smile. It was written by Michael E. Cohen, edited by Adam Engst, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Although I don’t remember the exact date, I do recall the first time I ever saw a PDF. I was working at the Voyager Company, a cutting-edge multimedia company housed in a condemned four-story building on the beach a half mile north of the Santa Monica pier.
In those days we were busy putting out a number of Expanded Books—books on floppy disk, presented in HyperCard—which were possibly the first commercially successful ebooks. Representatives from Adobe had come to Santa Monica to discuss some new technology with us, something that they called “Carousel,” to see if we would be interested in using it for a next-generation Expanded Book product line.
We sat in the shabby common room of the Voyager suite as staff, children, and dogs wandered in and out, while the Adobe folk pitched us their new creation.
Two things stood out for me: the text in the PDF looked really good, much better than the text in the screen-rendered bitmap fonts that we used for our Expanded Books, but the PDF files were, when compared to the typical HyperCard stacks we distributed, enormous. No way could one of those fit on a floppy! What’s more, there were no inexpensive tools for creating and customizing PDFs, and there was no standard Mac application that could display PDFs at the time (HyperCard shipped with every Mac back then).
So we took a pass, with a polite thank you for your interest, we’ll talk with you again sometime, enjoy your visit to the beach.
Today, Voyager is history, the building demolished, HyperCard a distant memory, and PDFs are ubiquitous. Ebooks may have started in HyperCard, but they are now in many other formats, including PDF. Such as the one you most likely are reading right now.
And now there are inexpensive powerful tools for customizing PDFs. Such as the ones that this book is about: PDFpen and PDFpenPro.
We could have really used these programs back on the beach in Santa Monica. I blame it all on floppy disks.
Smile bills these two applications as “PDF editing software for Mac OS X.” That’s true enough, as far as it goes, although it’s rather like calling a 17-tool Swiss Army knife a mere pocketknife.
As you’ll see as you read through this book, with PDFpen you can edit PDFs, create PDFs, combine PDFs, split PDFs apart, perform OCR on PDFs, manipulate images in PDFs, and much, much more.
This book covers version 5 of both PDFpen and PDFpenPro, the latter of which has some advanced features beyond the already copious set that PDFpen offers. In this book, everything I say about PDFpen also applies to PDFpenPro; when I do deal with features that are exclusive to PDFpenPro, however, I make that clear.
Finally, if you are a user of PDFpen and discover that the PDFpenPro features are what you need, choose PDFpen > Upgrade to PDFpenPro and you’ll have the upgraded software in a matter of moments.
Use this Quick Start to get to the information you need about how edit PDF documents with PDFpen and PDFpenPro.
Although the book covers PDFpen 5, many of the program's features work as they did in previous versions. Of course, if you use PDFpen regularly, upgrading to PDFpen 5 is probably worthwhile. If not, though, you may still find this book useful; while some PDFpen defaults have changed from earlier versions of the software, and while the information in the book about PDFpen 5's new features will not be relevant to users of previous versions, much of the material—perhaps 70%— is still applicable.
Both PDFpen 5 and PDFpenPro 5 require Mac OS X version 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
May 15, 2013 -- We do not plan to update this particular ebook to further describe PDFpen 5. However, Take Control of PDFpen 6 is available.
March 21, 2013 --
The fine folks at Smile have released PDFpen version 6, and PDFpen Pro version 6. Key new features include PDF-to-Word conversion, support for Apple's Mac OS X Auto Save and Versions features, and more flexibility for viewing and printing annotations. The new version 6 runs under 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion.
February 8, 2012 --
Direct iCloud access for PDFpen and PDFpenPro and a new iPad app: Smile has been busy of late.
—Michael E. Cohen
August 30, 2011 --
Smile has just released version 5.5 of PDFpen and of PDFpen Pro, which is available as a free upgrade to registered owners of PDFpen 5 and PDFpen Pro 5. This latest release adds an Insert Page Numbers item to the Edit menu, with various options for placement, alignment, number form (such as numerals, letters, or Roman), and starting page number. It also provides expanded options for Bates numbering (a special format used for legal and business documents, described on pg. 126 of "Take Control of PDFpen 5"), including prefixes and the number of digits to be used. In addition to page numbering enhancements, the update includes support for full-screen mode in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
—Michael E. Cohen
October 1, 2010 --
I asked Jean MacDonald at Smile for help with this question. She replied, saying, "One that I know of is Nitro PDF. They have Evernote integration like PDFpen, which is how we got to know them."
September 24, 2010 --
Tune into a pair of episodes from the MacVoices podcast to learn a whole lot more about PDFpen, which was recently released in Version 5, as well the PDF format generally, and Smile generally.
In MacVoices #10109, Michael Cohen, author of Take Control of PDFpen 5 , chats with MacVoices host Chuck Joiner about how he approached writing the ebook, and why the ebook begins with a conceptual and historical look at the PDF format, and the implicit assumptions and goals of the PDF format. The discussion then turns to various foibles of editing PDFs and features of PDFpen. Also, find out which Mac application Michael describes as an "atomic fly swatter."
In MacVoices #954, recorded in 2009, the three Smile principals join host Chuck Joiner to talk about the history, philosophy, and product line of the company. (Smile was formerly named SmileOnMyMac, but its name was changed in 2010 because they now also develop for iOS.)
September 23, 2010 --
Have you ever had to fill out and sign a PDF-based form? Or change the date on a PDF-based flyer? Make comments on a document sent around your workplace as a PDF file? Scan a document to PDF and OCR the text? For those tasks, I generally turn to Smile’s PDFpen, which can perform many PDF manipulations more easily than Adobe Acrobat, and at a fraction of the price. That’s why we’re happy to bring you Take Control of PDFpen 5 to demystify the many sorts of PDF manipulation you can accomplish using PDFpen. Written by Michael E. Cohen, whose electronic publishing credentials predate even PDF (he helped create Voyager’s Expanded Books in the early 1990s), the 132-page ebook explains precisely what you can do with PDFs using PDFpen and its big brother, PDFpenPro. The book costs $10.
After a whirlwind history and overview of the PDF format, Michael walks you through PDFpen’s tools and navigation. With those basics taken care of, you’ll then learn how to:
An appendix describes the many useful AppleScripts that ship with PDFpen.
This ebook was created in collaboration with Smile, with Michael providing feedback during the PDFpen 5 development process and PDFpen's developers tech editing the book for complete accuracy.
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