Josh Bracken
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+2

Getsomesauce reviewed on 05 Jan 2013
Flaex is incredibly simple but incredibly broken. It's sad but true. It's a one-trick pony that's lost it's trick. So, it's just a pony. Out to pasture.

I discovered two ways to get it to still kinda work:
1) Use it under 10.6 Snow Leopard. I have Snow Leopard Server loaded as a virtual machine in Fusion and Flaex still runs like a champ.

2) Under 10.7 Lion and later, though Flaex crashes soon after launch, it still dumps the contents of the .swf file to the file system before crashing. You can still access those files, albeit crudely.

On your system, route yourself to /var/folders/**/******************************/*/jp.afunishi.Flaex

where * is some random character. Basically, you gotta search around for the right folder within /var/folders/ until you find the one containing "jp.afunishi.Flaex". To get to /var/folders/, in the Finder go to Go->Go to Folder…, then type "/var/folders" into the dialog box.

Within jp.afunishi.Flaex are all of the files from the .swf which were extracted before it crashed...theoretically.
[Version 0.4.3]



burypromote
+14

Getsomesauce reviewed on 10 Jun 2010
Since PDFPen/PDFPenPro's 4.0 release in September of 2008, Snow Leopard's Preview.app has gained the ability to finally recognize columns and can now intelligently select them, Acrobat Professional remains as the juxtaposition-of-choice when comparing PDF programs, Skim stands as an incredible bastion of liberty and utility in the free-app PDF-readin' world, PDFClerk Pro looms tall as a uber-powerful PDF manipulator for content-centric publishers, PDF Studio attempts to position itself as the end-all be-all PDF program for all platforms, and Formulate Pro proudly stacks itself in the realm of free, one-trick ponies that are walking through a molasses-laden land of unguided development. Check out for SmileOnMyMac's curious view of how PDFPen/PDFPenPro compares to the other programs out there.

Amongst this army of PDF utilities, PDFPen/PDFPenPro remains a wonderful and powerful PDf editor and manipulator, but it still frustrates the user unnecessarily and belligerently.

Pros and Exciting Nuances:

1) What I love most about PDFPen/Pro is its ability to complete simple tasks quickly. There are very few hidden abilities. This program puts all of its cards on the table the instant you open the program. Most of the tools/commands you'll need are on the toolbar, and the menus barely contain any nested commands. In contrast, PDFClerkPro is by far a more capable and powerful PDF manipulation program, but it's talent is certainly obscured and you'll need time to ramp-up in order to understand how it works. Others like Skim and Preview.app remain relatively simple but effective at performing most tasks that people need. This program combines the essential talents of an image editor, vector graphic designer, word processor, PDF manipulator, and PDF annotator in one magical package.

2) There have been many, many advancements since the release of 4.0. You can turn off the page numbers! You can set the tab order of Form fields (PDFPenPro only)! Continuous scrolling! Extensive AppleScript support! SmileOnMyMac continues to pour pure love into this program.

3) I love their support. Got a question? Get an answer! Those SmileOnMyMac kids will get back to you in a real, live way. However, I'll admit that it's a little strange to get an email reply from a company that also makes TextExpander.

4) It's a joy to be able to draw and make edits to a PDF such that people using any other PDF viewer on any other platform can still view it as you intended.

5) Consistent development: Version 1.1: February 2004. Version 2.0: January 2005. Version 3.0: October 2006. Version 4.0: September, 2008. I understand version 5 is in the pipeline for likely release in late 2010 or early 2011. The upgrade from v3 or earlier to v4 currently costs you $25. The upgrade from PDFpen to PDFpenPro currently costs $50.

6) This is important: The library palette is wonderful. Grabbed an image off the web that you think you'd like to use later? Shove it in the library. Draw something cute that you'd like to save for future work? Shove it in the library. Use your signature often to digitally sign PDFs? Pull it off the library shelf! Want to add proofreading edits to a PDF? You can!

7) Want to highlight text like you have a highlighter in your hand? You got it. Need a grid? You got it. Want your edits to "snap" to the grid? You got it! Want to strikeout or underline text? You got it! Want to make an image or some text link to a webpage or link to another page in the PDF document? You got it!

8) SmileOnMyMac recently updated the core OCR engine (as of version 4.5, me thinks.). If you're on a PPC, you'll see the same ol' Tesseract OCR engine, but for you Intel folks out there, you get version 15.5 of the OmniPage OCR engine. OmniPage delivers decent results, which are certainly better than Tesseract. As I understand it, the mainstream OCR engines available for the Mac are ABBYY, OmniPage, and ReadIris. Other options include Tesseract (PPC PDFPen/PDFPenPro and the new "PDF OCR") and OCRpus (VelOCRaptor), which are fancy front-ends to google code projects, and OCRKit, which is a relative newcomer. Programs like DevonThink or NeatReceipts usually just license one of these other OCR engines. In my humble tests, ABBYY beat out all the rest by providing a much more intelligible layout and better tolerance for poorly scanned pages. ABBYY even managed to help straighten crooked PDFs. Nonetheless, the inclusion of OmniPage in PDFPen/PDFPenPro is a huge improvement!

9) Lovely ability to create and edit the Table of Contents (PDFPenPro only). This seems like an incredibly underused ability, which is probably because the interface to create and edit Table of Contents entries is a bit lacking, but its power is undeniable. PDFClerk Pro is much, much better at this, but it's nice to have at least rudimentary abilities.

10) Here's a hidden gem for you: PDFPen and PDFPenPro can open Word documents. Just select open any Word document in PDFPen / PDFPenPro and it'll open and be converted instantly to a PDF for your use. Nice!

Cons and Annoyances:

1) The User Interface (UI) will kick you in the shin and take your lunch money. The UI will inform you that your dog you had when you were a child didn't really go off to a happy farm to live with other animals. The UI will make you cry. The inspector palette (objects property palette, etc), instead of being a useful, contextual palace of resourceful information and utility, is instead an island of pain and a relentless reminder that SmileOnMyMac has your money. The menus are a confusing mix of poorly placed options (why does something in the View menu permanently edit your PDF?). There are companies out there, like Cultured Code (maker of Things) and Panic (maker of Coda, Unison, and the sexy new Transmit) that go through painstaking lengths to make sure every line, every font, every button, every line of text in a dialog box, every user element is clear, precise, and beautiful. PDFPen/PDFPenPro sorely lacks this attention to detail. I'm absolutely not saying SmileOnMyMac doesn't care, but I am saying they have a long, long way to go.

2) Does it use the current version of the PDF standard, which is version 1.7 as of this writing? Nope. It uses version 1.3...which is from 1999. This makes me whimper in sadness. Then again, Preview.app uses it too.

3) I've been wrong about PDFPen's ability to crop an image. I have brought shame upon my house. For that, I'm sorry. PDFPen/PDFPenPro can indeed crop an image. However, the manner by which a user crops an image is so lame and inexcusably unintelligible, I won't feel too badly. Seriously, the UI used to crop an image makes it exceptionally difficult to see what you're cropping or edit your crop boundary.

4) For the love of all that is holy, why can't PDFPen/PDFPenPro handle permissions? Can you set the permissions for a PDF, such as restricting printing privileges, or the ability to copy text? No. This makes me whimper quietly to myself as I draw my knees in closer and hug them tightly and start to slowly rock back and forth. It will let you enter passwords which may restrict you from opening a PDF. However, it will not handle document permissions, which might restrict you from printing, copying, or otherwise editing a PDF document. This is an incredibly odd omission.

5) Still painfully slow. 64 bit? No. Ability to use multiple processors? Barely. Pull up a long document and run it through the OCR process. Scroll a long document. Then, just wait.

6) The "Correct Text" feature is a cruel joke on humanity. Can you correct text? Yes. Does the corrected text look like it belongs in your document? No. It appears in a different font, in a strange location, and poorly constructed. Using the "Correct Text" feature is akin to cutting out letters from a newspaper and gluing them to the page. Sure, the correct text is there, but just doesn't blend in.

7) What, no right-click? No contextual menus? Why have you forsaken me?

8) Is there a way to rotate a text box, image, or drawn feature? Nope. Is there a way to de-skew/straighten a PDF? Nope. Watermarks? No.

9) Still, sad printing support. Want to print non-continuous pages? You can't. Want to scale pages to fit the whole page? You can't (The option is there, but just doesn't work).

10) It's just plain buggy. It's Bugfest 2010. It's buga-rama-rama-ding-dong. The Orkin Man tendered his resignation after using this program. The bugs are there, and they're numerous. You'll still find workarounds, scratch your head, and still be able to get your work done, but you'll be sent through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, then acceptance).

Again, PDFPen/PDFPenPro is a very powerful workhorse and handles quite a bit of the everyday things you need to do. However, you'll need to use it in conjunction with another stable and powerful PDF program such as Preview or Skim. From my discussions with SmileOnMyMac, they're receptive to bug reports and are committed to making this a fantastic and powerful PDF program that is accessible to everyone. Happy PDF'ing!
[Version 4.6.2]



burypromote
+1
GetSomeSauce commented on 24 Feb 2009
Just to expound on TFINDLAY's wise words, with Quartz Filters, you can take total control of the compression process. In Leopard (perhaps Tiger or earlier, I'm don't recall), in your Utilities folder you'll find "ColorSync Utility". With this program, you can create you own quartz filters which allow to you compress PDFs as much as you see fit. When you start ColorSync Utility, you'll see how Apple programmed their "Reduce File Size" quartz filter that you see in Preview. It's remarkably easy to make your own filter by modeling it off Apple's filter. Head on over to for a quick tutorial. Also, some nice guy on Apple's Discussion boards put up a bunch of premade filters you can download that do the same thing. A follow-up poster even posted AppleScript code and Automator recommendations to make compressing PDFs a snap! Check out for more on that. Happy PDF-Shrinking!
[Version 5.7]


1 Reply

burypromote
-1

+8
GetSomeSauce replied on 24 Feb 2009
Sorry - here are those two links...

How-To - http(colon-slash-slash)www(dot)hoboes(dot)com(slash)Mimsy(slash)?ART=360

Apple Discussion Board - http(colon-slash-slash)discussions(dot)apple(dot)com(slash)thread(dot)jspa?messageID=6109445&tstart=0

Good Luck!
burypromote
+2
GetSomeSauce commented on 12 Jan 2009
I confirmed this by using the program and by visiting the Toast 10 forums:

Roxio's web site claims "Save streaming web video from your favorite web sites and burn to DVD ...", but it actually does not support the saving of streaming web videos. Videos that are downloaded to your browser's cache when viewed, such as from youtube or espn, will work with Toast. True streaming videos that require a constant connection to the website, such as from nbc, abc, and hulu, will not work. This is just a warning for people who think this feature alone sounds like a reason to upgrade.
[Version 10]



burypromote
+27

GetSomeSauce reviewed on 23 Oct 2008
PDFpenPro is a powerhouse of thought and action, but its inclusion into your workflow may prove to be a frustrating experience.

For the money, PDFpenPro (and PDFpen) offers tremendous value compared to other paid offerings such as Acrobat, PDFClerk, and PDF Studio while offering tremendous abilities over the free alternatives such as Apple's Preview or Skim.

Pros and Exciting Nuances:
1) The addition of an OCR engine to the program is a powerful move by SmileOnMyMac. No other program aside from Acrobat has even ventured into this realm.
2) It's applescriptable.
3) Little things - This is the only PDF program I've found that correctly selects/highlights PDF text when the page has multiple columns.
4) It has the ability to edit text that is already in the PDF as well as draw in your own text boxes to add text of your own.
5) It's a Universal binary.
6) Incredible tech support. So incredible, it's practically emotional.
7) Library Pallet - Collection of commonly used shapes and signatures.
8) Primitive layer control. That's a good thing.
9) It has the ability to make an integrated image transparent. Totally genius.
10) Very nicely prepared and thorough help system.

While wrought with exciting capabilities, Apple's bomb.app (Remember? From 10.0? Google it.) is occasionally more productive. You'll need to exercise patience save often.

Cons and Annoyances:
1) It's buggy. It's Buggy McBugbug. It's bugtastic. It's Bugfest 2008. The bugs are manageable and you'll come up with workarounds, but they're there and numerous.
2) No ability to scroll from one page to the next. You can scroll through a single page, or scroll through the thumbnails, but no scrolling through an entire multi-page document using the scrollwheel or slider.
3) Can't scale the document size.
4) No ability to crop an image. (Yes, there's a menu option called "Crop Image", but it just scales an image without letting you crop it...and yes, you can crop an entire page, but not a separate integrated image.)
5) Can't zoom by creating a zoom window. KnowwhatImean? Sure, You can hit the "+" or "-" buttons to zoom in or out, scroll around the document, then hit those buttons again, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to select a portion of your PDF and have it zoom right in/out for you?
6) Very, very, very limited ability to handle PDF permissions.
7) Very limited control over printing options. Want to scale an image to fit the entire page when printing? You can't. Want to print non-contiguous pages from your PDF (in one step)? You can't. Sadness reigns.
8) The OCR engine WILL crash on you. The longer the document, the higher the chances.
9) It's slow. Sluggish, like a wet sponge. It's Sloe McSlow. It appears to only be able to use one processor, and suffers for that.
10) No way to turn off those pesky page numbers that appear at the bottom right of every document.

On the whole, I love this program. It's chock full of such sweet milk and honey that it makes me happy to be alive. However, you'll only keep your sanity when using PDFpenPro if your PDF workflow includes a stable companion such as Preview or Skim. I think it offers a good value for it's cost and features, but that's just my vote. By the way, if you want PDFpenPro, go to their website and start to purchase PDFpen (non-Pro) and it'll offer to sell you (also known as "upselling") PDFpenPro for $90...which is $10 off. Happy PDFing.
[Version 4.0.1]



burypromote
-2
GetSomeSauce commented on 20 Jun 2008
Wow. It turns out Gus (of FlyingMeat) really does follow his own words. Version 1.0 was $30. Version 1.1 was $40. Now Version 1.2 is $50 (The macupdate price is incorrect as of 08/06/20). At this rate, version 2.0 will be $130. Is it really THAT good of a program? Me thinks not.
[Version 1.2]


1 Reply

burypromote

+8
GetSomeSauce replied on 25 Jun 2008
You're right, I'm wrong.
burypromote
-2
GetSomeSauce commented on 23 May 2008
"People have been saying this for years: If nobody's complaining about the price of your application, then you've got it too low. ... Originally VooDooPad was only $9.95, and right it's 30 dollars, and I, um, just keep on raising the price and nobody's complaining. They keep on buying it. OK, I'll do that."

-Gus Mueller, MacVoices [Podcast] #881, May 7th, 2008
[Version 1.0.2]



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GetSomeSauce commented on 23 May 2008
"People have been saying this for years: If nobody's complaining about the price of your application, then you've got it too low. ... Originally VooDooPad was only $9.95, and right it's 30 dollars, and I, um, just keep on raising the price and nobody's complaining. They keep on buying it. OK, I'll do that."

-Gus Mueller, MacVoices [Podcast] #881, May 7th, 2008
[Version 1.2]



burypromote
-15
GetSomeSauce commented on 23 May 2008
"People have been saying this for years: If nobody's complaining about the price of your application, then you've got it too low. ... Originally VooDooPad was only $9.95, and right it's 30 dollars, and I, um, just keep on raising the price and nobody's complaining. They keep on buying it. OK, I'll do that."

-Gus Mueller, MacVoices [Podcast] #881, May 7th, 2008
[Version 3.5.1]



burypromote
+1
GetSomeSauce commented on 02 Oct 2007
Hi! I'm beaTunes. I love RAM. Munch, munch, munch. I love to eat up RAM and swallow it whole. Mac OS X Advanced memory management? Ha! I'll still take all available RAM with a side of virtual pageouts and eat them with fava beans and a glass of chianti.

This program is FANTASTIC at determining the BPM for your songs but it does suck the life out of Mac OS's memory system and it does crash. Often.

Despite this, it's a wonderful program with incredible potential. Thanks bea people!
[Version 1.2.3]


1 Reply

burypromote
-1

+8
GetSomeSauce replied on 04 Feb 2008
Thanks again beaPeople! You're the best! I love watching this app mature.
burypromote
-1
GetSomeSauce had trouble on 17 Nov 2007
I semi-figured out why it wasn't working with Safari 3.0.4 under 10.5(.1)

SIMBL 0.82 should be installed under /Library/InputManagers/

Nothing SIMBL-related should be installed under User/Library/InputManagers

I had 0.8.2 installed under /Library/InputManagers and 0.8.0 installed under User/Library/InputManagers

I deleted 0.8.0 (I don't know what other program installed it), restarted, and PithHelmet AND KeywordManager started working again.
[Version 2.8]



burypromote
-1
GetSomeSauce had trouble on 13 Nov 2007
I installed the latest version (the re-revised version) into a fresh install of Leopard and I can't get it to work. It neither appears as a menu item nor in the preferences. I'd pay again if I thought I could get it working again sooner. I love this program and miss it dearly!
[Version 2.8]



burypromote
-1
GetSomeSauce had trouble on 18 Jul 2007
Still crashes iTunes 7.3.1 on a MDD 10.4.10. Anyone else?
[Version 1.1.9]



burypromote
-1
GetSomeSauce had trouble on 12 Jul 2007
Seems to crash 7.3.1 too.
[Version 1.1.8]



burypromote
-1
GetSomeSauce had trouble on 17 Mar 2007
Does anybody know what $32 buys you? Are there free upgrades? If Lemke releases v6.0 tomorrow, would we need to cough up another $32 for it?
[Version 5.9.5]


1 Reply

burypromote

+8
GetSomeSauce replied on 20 Mar 2007
Thanks Mr. MacUpdate dude. I'm sold...and thanks for this wonderful site.
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