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PDFpen Reviews

20 July 2020

Edit and annotate PDFs with ease.

5
ahmedhatata-ah
09 April 2019
Version: 10.2.4

Most helpful

The most convenient and reliable pdf software for mac , with many outstanding features and reliable results , annotation , OCR , merge and rearrange with powerful tools to create a beautiful pdf , finally a reliable application with stunning design. My daily use in my study and work , it make me have fun while study and working .
(2)

How would you rate PDFpen app?

Read 79 PDFpen User Reviews

3
Odysseus
27 May 2020
Version: 12.0.2
I concur with the others who observe that PDF Pen is "buggy as hell." Not only that, it is much less easy to use than its less-full-featured competitor, PDF Expert. They keep adding features, but they don't seem to fix long-standing bugs or update the dated UI.
(1)
5
Cerniuk (Captcha H8r)
22 May 2020
Version: 12.0.2
Supported by SME's not *Tear*-1 help desk script readers. Just had a great support experience and they even figured out what caused the problem (CleanMyMac corrupted the app when pulling localizations) with only a few small clues. Nice call Jeff!
(0)
nekton123
23 January 2020
Version: 11.2.1
In terms of price performance vs Acrobat, PDFPenpro is good value BUT it is buggy as hell when dealing with any complex PDF. I've sent numerous example of files that PDFprenpro cannot handle but none of the bugs seem to ever get fixed in the endless releases. A pet hate is how sometimes the text edit tool creates a duplicate of the text to be edited but leaves original ghost test behind. Checkboxes are another major fail.
(0)
5
DragonMaster
03 November 2019
Version: 11.1.2
One of the ultimate PDF tools. The Pro version even better. This is a must have!
(0)
5
ahmedhatata-ah
09 April 2019
Version: 10.2.4
The most convenient and reliable pdf software for mac , with many outstanding features and reliable results , annotation , OCR , merge and rearrange with powerful tools to create a beautiful pdf , finally a reliable application with stunning design. My daily use in my study and work , it make me have fun while study and working .
(2)
5
Novascotian
22 June 2018
Version: 10.1.1
Finally, an app that does precisely what it is supposed to. I love to be able to search PDF documents that arrive without a search facility and the OCR seems to be very accurate. Further, being able to scan and save a signature is great -- something I had struggled to achieve in other ways. Good stuff.
(1)
5
kfr3
02 November 2017
Version: 9.2.2
I am not using this in a business; strictly personal use. I use PDFPro mainly creating and editing PDF's on my geneology work. If you are using this for business, I cannot express an opinion.
(1)
1
Mac512k
07 June 2017
Version: 9.0.2
Can't download older versions you paid for. What a scam and waste of money. Now corrupt version don't work and i don't want newer version.
(3)
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1.5
StrictlyBagel
12 April 2017
Version: 9.0
Getting tired of the annual upgrade procedure and limited new functions. I'm switching to PDF Expert now. PDFpen hasn't improved much for me (at least in my workflow) over the last years and still has the same layout as earlier versions.
(9)
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0.5
just-dream-on2
09 December 2016
Version: 8.3
Watched the video and thought, "This will do nicely." Unfortunately, the actually software, as has performed on Mac at least, seems to have vague similarity to the videos/written instructions. I'm sorry I wasted my money on this awkward, counter-intuitive mess.
(5)
5
anonymous-skink-4599
02 May 2016
Version: 8.0
Just a note about Smile Software's customer support. I'd bought PDFpen 7 in February this year from the Mac App Store, but v8 insisted that I'd bought it before January and would have to pay upgrade price. I raised a support request on Smile's website, and sent them a copy of the email receipt from my original purchase. Within a few hours, I had a complementary licence in my inbox. What a nice change from having to deal with the 'support' from a certain large company whose name and competing product both start with 'A'.
(6)
Gary30
27 April 2016
Version: 8.0
I am still on PDF Pen 6 and it works fine on El Capitan. This is an app I use often enough that I would normally upgrade. However, I mostly find myself wanting to modify existing text in PDF files. For some reason, the process of actually selecting text and then modifying it seems clumsy and ill-conceived. I have really worked at mastering this procedure, but a pleasant experience eludes me. I saw others who found this app clumsy with regard to manipulating PDF elements when I looked into it a while ago. Does version 8 offer improvements in this regard? Otherwise, the new features of recent versions don't seem compelling to me.
(0)
5
willowski
18 January 2016
Version: 7.3.4
Excellent service and a product that simply works. I especially like the iOS PDF Scan Pro, but having the Mac App too helps for integration etc. Good luck with the future dev work. Willow.
(1)
5
bhaslett
12 January 2016
Version: 7.3.4
In my 30th year of computing I have in the past been stuck with Adobe Acrobat to manipulate and process my PDF files. I have finally found a software package in PDFpen Pro that provides all the tools I have been looking for to replace the very expensive Adobe product. Smile has put forth a fantastic program at a fantastic price and is the best MAC PDF manager. Thanks for the development excellence.
(0)
5
Esky212
09 December 2015
Version: 7.3.2
Awesome piece of software!

I use it several times every week for editing invoices and creating other documents for work. Very powerful and to me easier to work with than with Acrobat. However Acrobat has probably a steeper learning curve, for me PDFpenPRO 7 is absolutely sufficient and gets the job done. Easy and faster in my opinion :-)
(0)
Aetnaria
19 November 2015
Version: 7.3.2
Be aware that this $75 software does NOT include the following features: Create cross-platform fillable PDF forms Add interactive signature fields to forms Create and edit Table of Contents Correct typos in OCR text layer Automatic form creation - detects text fields and check boxes in existing PDF and makes them fillable Export in Microsoft Excel (.xlsx, .xls), Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx, .ppt), and PDF Archive If you want those, you need the Pro version for $125. Make sure you research the features you need before making your purchase.
(4)
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Jimge
17 November 2015
Version: 7.3.2
This is for PDFpen 6.3.2. Based on my experience, I would not upgrade. I did buy it as part of a StackSocial deal, so I am philosophically resigned to the issues. Maybe it is a bug. I wanted to edit text on a PDF. I selected the text, then went to the Correct Text button. It actually duplicated the selection, which I then could edit easily. But how to get rid of the original text. The Help section was not helpful. So I found the workaround. I was able to select the text, then go to Format Text in the Menu Bar, and select Redact Text Erase. But I was only able to do it once. To do another piece of text I had to save the document, reopen, then repeat the process. Is this a bug or a deficiency? Plus, the interface is somewhere between Windows XP and Mac OS9. Seriously.
(0)
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Jimge
17 November 2015
Version: 7.3.2
This is for PDFpen 6.3.2. Based on my experience, I would not upgrade. I did buy it as part of a StackSocial deal, so I am philosophically resigned to the issues. Maybe it is a bug. I wanted to edit text on a PDF. I selected the text, then went to the Correct Text button. It actually duplicated the selection, which I then could edit easily. But how to get rid of the original text. The Help section was not helpful. So I found the workaround. I was able to select the text, then go to Format Text in the Menu Bar, and select Redact Text Erase. But I was only able to do it once. To do another piece of text I had to save the document, reopen, then repeat the process. Is this a bug or a deficiency? Plus, the interface is somewhere between Windows XP and Mac OS9. Seriously.
(0)
0.5
Philmiler
02 November 2015
Version: 7.3.2
CRASHES ALL THE TIME. And the update process is the worst. First we're told it's free and later they charge for it.
(0)
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Jeremyan
02 November 2015
Version: 7.3.2
They do reply when you send them suggestions and bug report. But most of the time the answer is that they cannot do anything about it. Also, I would suggest think twice before purchasing this software even/especially at half price. They have so called money back guarantee. But I emailed and asked for an refund, I did not hear back. I bought through stacksocial at half price, but I highly doubt it is worth it. So they reply some tech support emails, when you ask for money back, they probably pretend they didn't see your email.
(0)
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4
neilticktin
05 October 2015
Version: 7.3.1
I was surprised to see the ratings shown here, given my personal experience with the product. If you are interested, you should look into them more deeply. What you'll find is that they are not about the product in daily use, but frustration in upgrading to this version from earlier versions. That's important to note, and Smile has gotten plenty of feedback on how to make it better in future versions, but it's not reflective of day-to-day use of the product. Take a look at the product use comments if you're interested in those.
(0)
3
Jeremyan
29 September 2015
Version: 7.3.1
PDFpen has some features that Preview does not provide. But it is in so many way inferior to Preview. Copy and past complex formatted PDF will not result in neatly formatted paragraph in Pages or Word. It also renders some form element like a drop down menu inappropriately. Both I tested in Preview and Adobe and they can do these tasks fine. So even if PDFpen may provide you some functionalities you can't get with free Preview, I wouldn't even recommend using PDFpen as your everyday PDF reader.
(0)
5
Ujpesti
23 September 2015
Version: 7.3
Wow! I am blown away by the poor ratings for this app. I do understand the disappointment of those who believed that the upgrades will be free in the future, but as a new buyer this hasn't happened to me. I just purchased the product for the first time and my review is only about PDF Pen 7. I always wanted to have a nice PDF app but Adobe is way too expensive for me and if you buy something cheep, well... you get what you paid for. I managed to have an app that will allow me to do some changes to a .pdf file and another that would allow me to add my signature to a doc. They all saved in their own format so it was cumbersome to work with. Then I got an offer for half price on PDF Pen I decided to try it. So far I am deilghted with the product. It works beautiful I even learned to save my signature so adding it to a document is only a click away. Adding text is a piece of cake, and I scanned one document and using OCR created a Word document that came out beautiful with not a single mistake. I am still learning the features and I did have a question that I emailed to support to which I received a reply within a few hours. So what can I say? Product works as expected customer service is awesome they earned my 5 stars. I wish all happy editing.
(0)
4.5
neilticktin
19 September 2015
Version: 7.3
I was surprised to see the ratings shown here, given my personal experience with the product. If you are interested, you should look into them more deeply. What you'll find is that they are not about the product in daily use, but frustration in upgrading to this version from earlier versions. That's important to note, and Smile has gotten plenty of feedback on how to make it better in future versions, but it's not reflective of day-to-day use of the product. Take a look at the product use comments if you're interested in those.
(0)
0.5
Beauzer
22 June 2015
Version: 7.1.1
Wow! Another pay-for update-bug fix. I already bought this app twice before. I'm not going to buy it again.
(3)
0.5
siestaguy
23 April 2015
Version: 7.1
Bait and switch - Beware of app "free" updates that will replace the version you paid for with trialware with limited functionality.
(3)
5
paul-41
02 March 2015
Version: 7.0.2
We use it to digitise invoices for our charity and then mark up with payment date and details once paid. Pretty straightforward really and this software works really well for our purposes. Like others, we had a bit of train wreck on a recent update which we didn't figure out was a paid up-grade before installing. It was quite a faff to uninstall, reinstall the old version, etc. However, all now happily sorted and we're on v7. I'm sure the company has learned something useful as a result of this.
(0)
0.5
Mcr
04 September 2014
Version: 6.3.2
Saw the email about the promo price, so decided to try this. To date, I primarily use Acrobat or NitroPDF, running in a Windows VM under Parallels. I keep hoping for a Mac PDF program that works as well as the utilities on the Windows side. Anyway I tried loading several PDFs that work fine in Acrobat Pro (windows) and NitroPDF. Several failed to load, or caused PDFPen to crash during editing (mainly tried substituting text and annotations). Some that saved fine in PDFPen and appeared to be okay, I then tried to reopen back in Acrobat and NitroPDF. On Acrobat, there was one file that caused an opening error saying the PDF was corrupted. On NitroPDF the same file loaded, but some of my edits didn't show, AND the file was missing a digital signature that was previously in the file that I had not even touched in PDFPen. These files were, IMO, not particular complex and definitely not large (largest was maybe 20 pages). Can't afford my windows clients to have ANY issues with PDFs I exchange, and majority of them use Acrobat (either Reader or Full version) or Nitro, so based on my experience I can not recommend this software in its current state, definitely not for Business purposes if you must have absolutely no issues (legal docs, signed contracts, etc). (FYI, I use Acrobat Windows just because I already have a license, not because I have any concerns about the Mac version, and most of my clients are Windows, so its the best way to ensure compatibility if I know I can open a file using Windows utilities.)
(5)
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1
Rgator
03 September 2014
Version: 6.3.2
I wish that you all were offering a deal on the PDFpen Pro version as well as this version!
(0)
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0.5
Noivad
03 September 2014
Version: 6.3.2
This app has been getting worse and worse in terms of stability and usefulness since v3 or v4. This app has taken tasks that should have taken less than an hour and stretched them to half a day or more because of the unpredictability, crashes and corrupted PDFs. Each time I contact support they seem not to be able to grasp english enough to give me the help I need, or it takes at least 3 exchanges before they understand my clearly written question or bug report. They have asked me to send them the file for them to examine, with no solution given. I have also explained that I can’t send them the files because the information within was sensitive or proprietary, and not able to be distributed outside the companies or clients involved. I have since given up completely on this app, and the price gouging for unstable new versions that add little in the way on usefulness, and waste a lot of time when they crash or the bugs come out. The pro version isn't worth anyone’s time either, because it is just as unstable. While I do not like having to pay Adobe anymore blood money, just suck it up and buy Acrobat Pro if you want most of the features this promises without the crash-happiness this company’s apps include at no added cost — except to your time and productivity. Bottom Line: Avoid Smile, because that is the last thing this company’s apps will get out of you.
(1)
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Frankns
14 August 2014
Version: 6.3.1
Smile's site appears to be down ... You'll get a "page suspended" notice. Anyone have a feel for how long this has been going on?
(0)
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0.5
Dbleagle0
06 May 2014
Version: 6.2
I originally purchased this app at 5.7.2. I have been running updates because the updated always said the updates were free. This latest version I was told my update was again free, so I downloaded the update. Now, it is telling me I need to pay $50 to keep using the program. I do not wish to pay $50 (or ANY $$ for that matter- I already paid for the program!). Now there is a big water mark on my PDF files! I need to re-load the last version I had that was working just fine. Until that happens, this gets minimum stars for the deception involved.
(7)
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1
anonymous-rabbit-5199
02 May 2014
Version: 6.2
I've tried the trial, by opening a PDF I created myself and afterwards noticing PDF pen made a horrible Watermark in it. IN MY PDF?! What an arrogance!
(3)
3
GianMarco.Tavazzani
07 April 2014
Version: 6.1.5
What makes this app indispensable (and the developer proud!) is its unique (did i loose some other app?) skill to not just recognise the characters but also the whole document is paginated. This should give you back the full control on a page as it was edited by the author say with Pages. But unfortunately it's still not ever the case and the developer should give an easy possibility to send him badly converted documents as feedback to enhance this very liked skill, beside some systematic badly character recognise (of absolutely standard and perfectly readable characters!). Bt the way, I can't wait for some more intelligent OCR which could make a kind of contextual evaluation of the probability that a character is inside a word, a word inside a sentence, which needs for sure an integration with a spell control and even a translator, all apps which have own smartness, but this is an issue of any OCR programs I've tested till now. For now I must consider 'still a bit' overpriced this app, being it 'still a bit' disappointing and needing a faster update
(1)
3.5
EarlaFern
02 January 2014
Version: 6.1.2
Maybe developers can think of a way to remove the leftovers that previous version left in applications after every updates. Others are just functioning all right as they advertised.
(1)
3
streblov
12 December 2013
Version: 6.1.1
PDFpen 5 jut was updated to 5.9.9 for Mavericks compatibility. Thanks for that :-) But: 5.9.9 still contains a bug I reported in March 2013: - Open a document - Set the toolbar to icons only - Draw a line, rectangle etc. - Click on a toolbar icon - Toolbar icons disappear :-(
(1)
3
streblov
09 November 2013
Version: 6.1
I have used PDFPen for years (since Version 2) an it helped me doing my daily business. But the program never seemed to be "rock solid" or "really fast". Occasionally I had problems with large PDFs with a lot of annotations which, in some cases, crashed PDFPen. The most annoying fact is, that PDFPen does nor support contextual menus. The developer just sees no need for it. But I do. Now I switched to Skim (free) https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24590/skim and PDF Signer ($9.99) https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/37970/pdf-signer. The two programs make me much happier than PDFPen does. Skim is much faster than PDFPen and has a lot more to offer regarding annotations although it can't fill forms. That's what I use PDF Signer for. One thing the Skim an PDF Signer can't do: OCR. But I rarely need that. And If, then I use Prizmo https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/31157/prizmo So I replaced PDFPen with three programs which are in each particular task way ahead of PDFPen. They cost the same an they fill half the space on my hard drive. No need for PDFPen anymore.
(1)
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5
VitoLT3403
31 October 2013
Version: 6.0.5
I love PDF Pen. I use it daily and it has made life much easier. The customer service is the best out there bar none.
(0)
4
Krag Surtur
16 October 2013
Version: 6.0.5
I have PDFs that I need to remove some pages but keep it 'fillable' with the computer. This does the job. I also create PDF files in a snap. Every business needs PDFpen!
(0)
4
MikeHush7506
04 May 2013
Version: 6.0.2
Program is fast and does what others won't Two supports went unaddressed 6.0.1 Open the library and even when not using took over 1.72 GB on my machine [librariand] was the app. for the library] No Response Scroll Tool was removed in 6.0.2 [my main tool] Support quickly replied that it was still there. [But it's not] Made them aware again that it's gone with no reply. Went back to 6.0.1 for scroll and kept the library closed Makes it one of my best programs despite terrible support.
(1)
3.5
Big77
24 March 2013
Version: 6.0
Don't get too excited about the PDF to Word conversion. When you convert your data is uploaded to NuancePDF.com which converts in the cloud. You're then asked to save the result. If you really want to do this, you can do it now for free via the NuancePDF reader app. But you might not want to bother -- in my limited testing the conversion was quite poor. The UI changed quite a bit in PDFpen 6. I found that quite confusing but I suppose I'll get used to it. So far I see no compelling reason to upgrade though the price is good while on special in case you want to stay current. Also note you'll have to buy the Mac Apple Store version if you want to save documents via iCloud (due to Apple restrictions).
(4)
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1
Bill-Clinton
19 March 2013
Version: 6.0
I downloaded the demo from the developer's web site. Would not open a simple, three-page PDF which opened normally in Skim, Preview, etc. i opened a much longer PDF but the program pinwheeled a lot, and used 100% of CPU while doing noihing obvious other than consuming 160 MB of RAM. Not able to test the Microsoft Word export in the demo version. This functionality requires an internet connection so presuambly it uploads the PDF and you download the Word file. Trying to scroll the found-text list is mostly unresponsive (with a long list) and results in pinwheeling. Making the program the front app takes about eight seconds before it receives focus, after which it uses 100% CPU for a while. After it does start accepting input, scrolling is sluggish and jerky. Similarly, after switching to another app, it hold focus for about 13 seconds. It pinwheels when trying to highlight text. It did an unsolicited Save while I was experimenting on a document. This Save locked the program up for four minutes during which the app was unresponsive and expanded RAM to 303 MB and of course taking 100% CPU. I tried to close the file and after four mintes of pinwheeling and 100% CPU use, I force quit the program. I really can't comment on whatever it is that this program is supposed to do because it is effectively unusable. I next did the only logical thing and put the program where it belongs, in the Trash. I don't know what other disasters this program contains but I'm done wasting my time on it.
(2)
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Fhall1
19 March 2013
Version: 6.0
Price on developer website says $29.99 - also trying to find out if this is a paid upgrade from V5.x or not - haven't spotted any info one way or the other.
(0)
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Koowan
14 December 2012
Version: 5.9.3
Nice app in principle, but it stalls and crashes constantly with large documents. Anything I tried above about a dozen pages or so brought on the rainbow beachball with nearly any action and often stalled the program completely, requiring a force quit. Switching between functions also brought on the beachball, both on my laptop and desktop machines. It could be a great program if it was stable, but unfortunately it behaves like beta software for anything bigger than a couple pages. Certainly not worth the asking price. DO NOT BUY.
(1)
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4.5
matrixbud
14 November 2012
Version: 5.9.2
I have been using pdfPen for years. It was always very good, and nice features have been regularly added. It is nice to use a program with a developer who stays with the app for so many years. Unlike a commenter below, last week I had a situation where pdfPen wouldn't save my changes and I received excellent tech support. I notified the developer and got an immediate response with suggestions and a work-around. The next day I received a beta version to test, and the problem had been fixed. A few days later, ver 5.9.2 came out with a permanent fix.
(2)
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Jerry0923
22 August 2012
Version: 5.8.5
Do not use in a professional setting. It cannot be counted on and customer support does not respond to inquiries AT ALL. Under a deadline I needed to redact material from certain documents for submission to another firm. The results were unpredictable and simply could not be trusted. Being under a deadline I just bit the bullet and bought Adobe Acrobat. It cost a lot more, but the results were flawless. Not in all cases, but certainly in this case: quality comes at a much higher cost. Save your time and aggravation. If not Acrobat test another competitor to find an alpha program that performs better than a beta.
(0)
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4.5
pkling
12 July 2012
Version: 5.8.1
A must-have.
(0)
4.5
Einar-10efc69b
19 June 2012
Version: 5.8.1
Easy to use, lot's of useful functions. Excellent user letters with helpful hints and tips. Well crafted app- now my default pdf app.
(0)
4
Noivad
19 May 2012
Version: 5.8.1
I got this as part of MacUpdate’s 2012 Spring Bundle. I would not have purchased it separately because I rarely use PDFs aside from generating them once and keeping them for reference (read-only). However, recently it came in very handy for quickly editing a document and tagging another up. The OCR is like all OCRs: subject to tons of errors, but such is the state of mainstream OCR. So, I do not hold poor OCR against it. The UI is a bit cumbersome to use, so I deduct a full star. The features are crippled compared to the full version. $40 more for a few more features is not worth it unless you are a business that runs on PDFs. The biggest problem I noticed is ease of use is pretty bad. Often I am simply trying to select txt in a field I just created, but instead it makes a new text box. Also, editing text is also cumbersome. Sure it ultimately saves me the, but the UI could be gone over with a finer tooth comb. It feels like a Windows app in many respects because of the bad UI decisions. One should not need a manual to do such simple things. I wish it worked more like InDesign or Quark, but a full blown native Postscript Layout Editor would be too much to wish for for less than $100. I imagine I will get a bit of use out of this, but mainly I will probably edit badly written forms. I used it to change the one multiple choice answer for the question, “Why are you leaving us?” with the actual reason that they didn’t account for having added no value and making my life more—not less—difficult. I also was able to fill out a form much more easily rather than print a copy, fill it out and rescan it. So this saved much time. Bottom Line: Worth it if you have to print fill out and scan documents to send back often, or if you deal with a lot of PDFs. A cumbersome and non-standard Mac interface mar what is potentially a great time saver. The price is right, and I anticipate businesses could save a lot of money by buying even the non-Pro version, printing less and training and allowing staff to OCR documents—as long as a person checks each page against the original document an corrects it.
(1)
3
Michael-ebc0da41
02 May 2012
Version: 5.8
Ease of use really hurts this app. Your constantly saying "I know this app can do this, now how do I do it". Menus are built poorly. Once you get past that it's a good app.
(1)