These days, an ever-increasing amount of “paper”—contracts, tax forms, bills, reports, and more—comes into our lives as PDF files. We generate this virtual paper too, since it’s so much easier to save a document as a PDF and send it to a colleague via email than it is to print and send via fax or email. To read, edit, and manipulate all these PDFs, you need the appropriate tools and skills.
Given the high price of Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, many Mac users have turned to Smile’s affordable PDFpen apps to help them sign PDF forms, handle scanned documents, make changes in existing PDFs, create new PDFs from a variety of sources, and to export PDFs to other file formats (including Word and Excel). With Take Control of PDFpen 9, you’ll learn how to do all these tasks and more on your Mac with PDFpen or PDFpenPro or on the go with PDFpen for iPad & iPhone.
If you haven’t used PDFpen before, this free book is an excellent way to find out what it has to offer.
TidBITS members can save 20% on all Smile products purchased through the Smile cart, including PDFpen 9 and PDFpenPro 9. 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.
Take Control of PDFpen 9 begins with a guide to purchasing options: PDFpen versus PDFpenPro, from Smile versus the Mac App Store, and the advantages of the iOS version. Next, you’ll meet PDFpen with an overview of the PDF format and a tour of the interface.
With the basics out of the way, highlights of what you’ll learn to do include:
- Add and remove pages, and combine pages from multiple files into one PDF.
- Mark up a PDF with highlights, comments, editing marks, and more.
- Edit a PDF by fixing typos, adding text, formatting text, and redacting confidential text.
- Scan a document into a PDF, and make the text editable with OCR.
- View and work with OCRed text in the OCR layer (PDFpenPro only)
- Add clickable links, page numbers, and images.
- Make a clickable table of contents (PDFpenPro only).
- Password-protect a PDF. And (PDFpenPro only), prevent others from printing or editing a PDF.
- Turn a PDF into a formatted Microsoft Word document, or (PDFpenPro only) export it in Excel or PowerPoint format.
And, you’ll find directions for working with PDF forms:
- Fill out forms with ease.
- Add a handwritten signature.
- Apply a digital signing certificate.
- Print just form entries on a pre-printed form.
- Create an interactive PDF form (PDFpenPro only) that can collect data and send it to you via email or the Web. You can add an interactive signature field, which makes it easy for the form to be signed online.
An appendix describes the useful AppleScripts that ship with PDFpen.
This ebook was created in collaboration with Smile, with PDFpen’s developers tech editing the book.
- What's New
This updated version of the book covers the latest improvements in PDFpen 9, including these new and revised features:
- A new Find and Highlight command that saves a step when you want to highlight something that can be expressed in a searchable word or phrase
- New dynamic positioning guides to help place objects and imprints
- A new Hand tool that makes it easier to reposition a PDF in the document window and to scale your view of it
- A new capability to select, copy, and delete annotations from the Annotations sidebar
- An added capability for exporting to various graphic formats (previous versions could only export to TIFF)
What are the system requirements for PDFpen 9?
PDFpen 9 runs in macOS 10.11 El Capitan and 10.12 Sierra.
Does this book talk about PDFpen/PDFpen Pro 8?
No, it does not, but, if you want help with PDFpen/PDFpen Pro 8, you should read Take Control of PDFpen 8. PDFpen 8 runs in macOS 10.10 Yosemite, 10.11 El Capitan, and 10.12 Sierra.
- Update Plans
No current plans for an update, since a new version was released in July 2017.
Posted by Joe Kissell
Versions 9.1 of both PDFpen and PDFpenPro, released on 26 July 2017, add several new conveniences in addition to the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.
Bookmarks have been added to PDFpen’s bag of tricks. You can set bookmarks on any page in your PDF so you can quickly go to the bookmarked page later. Choose Edit > Bookmarks > Add Bookmark. The bookmark is added to the first page that appears in the PDFpen window; that is, if the bottom of page 23 and the top of page 24 both appear in the window, the bookmark is associated with page 23.
To go to a bookmark, choose choose View > Table of Contents. The bookmarks appear at the top of the Table of Contents sidebar and are named for the page with which they are associated. Click a bookmark to go to its page. To delete a bookmark, select it in the sidebar and then choose Edit > Bookmarks > Remove Entry.
Although bookmarks by default are named for the page with which they are associated, owners of PDFpenPro can rename individual bookmarks in the Table of Contents to provide reminders of why those pages have been bookmarked.
The latest versions of PDFpen and PDFpenPro also remember the location of each PDF document window on the screen so it will appear in the same place when you open the document again. This is especially useful when you are working on multiple documents at a time and have carefully arranged your windows. You need do nothing to use this feature: it happens automatically.
Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)