PDFpen
PDFpen
11.1

2.5

PDFpen

PDFpen

11.110 July 2019

Edit and annotate PDFs with ease.

PDFpen
$74.95
10 July 2019

2.5

See all reviews (143)
DownloadPurchase nowMacUpdateInstall with MacUpdate

Downloaded and installed 130,299 times

Category:

Business

Word Processing

Developer Website:
PDFpen

PDFpen

11.110 July 2019

Edit and annotate PDFs with ease.

Overview

PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics!

Features
  • Add text, images and signatures to PDF
  • Correct text in original PDF with editable text blocks
  • Fill out interactive PDF forms and sign them
  • Redact or erase text, including OCR text
  • Search and redact text; search and replace text
  • Export in Microsoft® Word format
  • Scan directly from Image Capture or TWAIN scanners
  • Perform OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on scanned documents
  • Viewable OCR layer for proofing OCR text from scanned pages
  • Adjust resolution, color depth and contrast, skew, and size of an image or scanned document
  • Sign PDF forms via interactive signature fields (not digital signatures)
  • Insert and remove pages; re-order pages in a PDF by drag-and-drop; combine PDFs
  • Move, resize, copy and delete images in original PDF
  • Save PDFs directly to Evernote
  • Copy and paste rich text; retain fonts and formatting when copying from PDFs, including columns
  • Context-sensitive popup-menus enable quick edits
  • Add (and print) notes and comments
  • Mark up documents with highlighting, underscoring and strikethrough
  • Save frequently-used images, signatures, objects and text in the Library
  • Apply business-related and sign here stamps via the Library
  • Print notes and comments with or without the original text
  • Print a list of all annotations along with the document
  • Full screen mode, as well as zoom to document width and zoom to actual document size
  • Password protect a document with up to 256-bit AES encryption
  • Compatible with iCloud Drive
  • Sync Library items with PDFpen for iPad and iPhone via iCloud
  • Automate PDF manipulations with AppleScript
  • Available in English, Japanese, German, French, Italian, and Spanish

What's new in PDFpen

Version 11.1:
  • Improves ability to select and copy column and table data
  • Adds automatic page rotation option for scans:
    • Rotate and deskew scanned pages independently of OCR
    • Rotate and deskew scanned pages when performing OCR
  • Other fixes and improvements

Requirements for PDFpen

  • macOS 10.12.0 or later

143 Reviews

Rate this app:

10 June 2010

Most helpful

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!
Like (15)
Version 4.6.2
09 April 2019
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 .
Like
Version 10.2.4
22 June 2018
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.
Like
Version 10.1.1
02 November 2017
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.
Like (1)
Version 9.2.2
05 August 2017
Like
Version 9.1
26 July 2017
Like
Version 9.1
07 June 2017
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.
Like (3)
Version 9.0.2
2 answer(s)
IMRAN™
02 July 2017
Same here. The Update Desktop App must have updated my registered purchased version to a trial new version. Purchased app installers should not disappear at least for several years.
Like (2)
Smile
30 August 2017
Older version downloads are available at: https://smilesoftware.com/pdfpen/download

Smile does not control the MacUpdate Desktop App.
Like (4)
12 April 2017
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.
Like (9)
Version 9.0
1 answer(s)
David1
26 July 2017
I left PDFpen a couple of years ago. PDF Expert does everything I need, in a more elegant way, and for less money.
Like (2)
09 December 2016
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.
Like (5)
Version 8.3
02 May 2016
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'.
Like (6)
Version 8.0
27 April 2016
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.
Like
Version 8.0
$74.95

2.5

Category:

Business

Word Processing

Developer Website:
DownloadPurchase nowMacUpdateInstall with MacUpdate

Downloaded & Installed 130,299 times

$74.95

2.5

Category:

Business

Word Processing

Developer Website:
DownloadPurchase nowMacUpdateInstall with MacUpdate

Downloaded & Installed 130,299 times

Don't like new MacUpdate? Back to old design.

143 Reviews

Rate this app:

10 June 2010

Most helpful

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!
Like (15)
Version 4.6.2
09 April 2019
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 .
Like
Version 10.2.4
22 June 2018
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.
Like
Version 10.1.1
02 November 2017
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.
Like (1)
Version 9.2.2
05 August 2017
Like
Version 9.1
26 July 2017
Like
Version 9.1
07 June 2017
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.
Like (3)
Version 9.0.2
2 answer(s)
IMRAN™
02 July 2017
Same here. The Update Desktop App must have updated my registered purchased version to a trial new version. Purchased app installers should not disappear at least for several years.
Like (2)
Smile
30 August 2017
Older version downloads are available at: https://smilesoftware.com/pdfpen/download

Smile does not control the MacUpdate Desktop App.
Like (4)
12 April 2017
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.
Like (9)
Version 9.0
1 answer(s)
David1
26 July 2017
I left PDFpen a couple of years ago. PDF Expert does everything I need, in a more elegant way, and for less money.
Like (2)
09 December 2016
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.
Like (5)
Version 8.3
02 May 2016
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'.
Like (6)
Version 8.0
27 April 2016
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.
Like
Version 8.0