Learn to create, edit, and manipulate PDFs with Smile's PDFpen 6!

Take Control of
PDFpen 6

Michael E. Cohen

Produce and polish PDFs with aplomb using Smile’s PDFpen, for a fraction of what Adobe Acrobat costs! Michael E. Cohen explains how you can create, combine, edit, annotate, and protect PDFs. Also learn how to perform OCR, fill out forms, sign forms digitally, make interactive forms, and much more. Covers Mac and iOS versions!

This product has been discontinued.

Have you ever needed to give feedback on a PDF, but stumbled around trying to insert comments and proofreading marks? Or spent way too long trying to refresh the date on a PDF-based flyer? Maybe you wanted to fill out and sign a PDF-based form without printing it and faxing it back? What about making your own PDF-based form with fill-in fields that could be submitted over the Internet? Or have you wished you could OCR scanned text so you could revise it right in the PDF? All these tasks—and much more—can be done with PDFpen from Smile.

Even better, there’s an in-depth guide for all these tasks. Written by Michael E. Cohen with clarity and humor, Take Control of PDFpen 6 turns you into a PDF productivity powerhouse while you work at your Mac with PDFpen or PDFpenPro, or on the go with your iPad or iPhone.

Mac compatibility? PDFpen 6 requires 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion, or 10.9 Mavericks. For help with PDFpen 7 in 10.10 Yosemite or 10.11 El Capitan, read Take Control of PDFpen 7. Or be even more modern with Take Control of PDFpen 8.

Save 20% Members of Take Control’s sister publication, TidBITS, can save 20% on all Smile products purchased through the Smile cart. To learn more, visit the Membership Benefits page. To access the coupon code, make sure you’ve logged in and click through from the Your Member Benefits page.

Michael begins with a rundown of your purchasing options: PDFpen versus PDFpenPro, from Smile versus the Mac App Store, and the advantages of an iPhone or iPad version.

This ebook was created in collaboration with Smile, with PDFpen’s developers tech editing the manuscript.

Next, you’ll meet PDFpen, starting with a general overview of the PDF format, followed by a tour of PDFpen’s user interface—including the new Editing bar. Then Michael jumps into the many ways you can modify a PDF:

  • Add and remove pages, and combine pages from multiple files into one PDF.
  • Directly edit the text, plus add comments and professional editing marks.
  • Redact confidential text.
  • Add clickable page and URL links, add page numbers, and add images.
  • Make a clickable table of contents (PDFpenPro only).
  • Change the look with a Quartz filter (for example, make it black-and-white).
  • Reduce the file size with a Quartz filter.
  • Password-protect it.
  • Turn it into a formatted Microsoft Word document.
  • Prevent other users taking certain actions, such as printing or editing (PDFpenPro only).

You’ll learn how PDFpen is your friend when it comes to forms:

  • Fill out forms with ease.
  • Add a handwritten signature—in the iOS versions, you can write with a stylus!
  • Print just form entries on a pre-printed form!
  • Create an interactive PDF form for both Mac and Windows (PDFpenPro only). You can even make your interactive PDF form collect data and send it to you via email or the Web.

And, that’s not all! You’ll also learn how to:

  • Move PDFs in and out of PDFpen in iOS, so that you can fluidly share them between your Apple devices—Michael describes several approaches, including iCloud, iTunes, Dropbox, and Open In.
  • Get the most out of Apple’s AutoSave and Versions features—or turn them off for PDFpen if you find them troublesome.
  • Scan a document to PDF, and make the text editable with OCR.
  • Print a PDF with its annotations appearing at the end.
  • Store frequently used items (like a logo or signature) in the PDFpen Library.
  • Turn a Web site into a multi-page PDF (PDFpenPro only).

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 trial versions put a Smile watermark on your documents.

Michael Cohen

About Michael E. Cohen

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, and co-founded a major university’s Humanities computing center. He has authored several books, including Apple Interface Mysteries, Take Control of PDFpen, Take Control of Pages, and Take Control of TextExpander.

What’s New in Take Control of PDFpen 6

There are two kinds of newness involved in this new edition: what is new in the software itself, and what is new in the environment in which PDFpen runs.

Additional features: 

  • PDFpen provides a different way to access its tools with its new Editing Bar; I explain how it works in Understand the Tools
  • PDFpen can now Export to Microsoft Word.
  • PDFpenPro lets you Protect Your PDFs by granting specific permissions to users.

Changes in the Apple environment:

  • The latest versions of Mac OS X change how you can Save or Export Your PDFs
  • The advent of the Mac App Store changes how you might buy PDFpen as well as what it can do; see Get Your Hands on PDFpen for an overview. 
  • The introduction of Apple’s iCloud service brings new ways to share PDFs among devices, which I explain in Head in the iCloud
  • The availability of PDFpen for iPhone and for iPad means there are new platforms on which you can edit PDFs; see Use PDFpen on iOS to learn mobile editing techniques and find the tools you need, and for advice on how to Get PDFs in and out of PDFpen on iOS.

What version of PDFpen/PDFpenPro on the Mac does this book cover?

The descriptions of the Mac versions of PDFpen/PDFpenPro in this book are based upon version 6.0.2. Because prior versions of PDFpen/PDFpenPro 6 had some differences from version 6.0.2, you should update to (at least) version 6.0.2 in order to best benefit from this book.

What are the system requirements for PDFpen 6?

PDFpen 6 runs in 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion, and 10.9 Mavericks.

What about later versions of PDFpen?

For your PDF-juggling ease, we've now published Take Control of PDFpen 7 and Take Control of PDFpen 8. PDFpen 8 requires at least 10.10 Yosemite.

Does this book talk about PDFpen/PDFpenPro 5?

With respect to the Mac version of PDFpen/PDFpenPro, this book focuses on PDFpen 6. In areas where PDFpen 6 is a lot like PDFpen 5, the book does describe PDFpen 5, sort of. But, if you want help with PDFpen 5, you should read Take Control of PDFpen 5. PDFpen 5 and PDFpenPro 5 work with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion, and 10.8 Mountain Lion.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • PDFpen Quick Start
  • Learn about PDF Files
  • Understand the Tools
  • Navigate a PDF Document
  • Create a PDF
  • Take Notes on a PDF
  • Copyedit and Review a PDF
  • Fill Out PDF Forms
  • Edit a PDF
  • Make an Interactive PDF Form (Pro Feature)
  • Publish Your PDFs
  • Use PDFpen on iOS
  • Appendix A: The PDFpen AppleScripts
  • Learn More
  • About This Book
  • June 15, 2016 -- We won't be updating this book again, because it is fine as is. However, for your PDF-juggling ease, we've also now published <a href=pdfpen-7>Take Control of PDFpen 7</a> and <a href=pdfpen-8>Take Control of PDFpen 8</a>. PDFpen 8 requires at least 10.10 Yosemite.</p>