PDFpenPro 10 is the full version of the two PDF apps offered by SmileOnMyMac in the Mac App Store and costs around £ / $ / € 125. This article briefly looks at the main features and limitations, running version 10.2.1 on macOS Mojave 10.14.3.
PDFpenPro is designed primarily as a PDF editor, with a friendly, modern interface based on highly configurable toolbars. Document viewing options are not as dynamically flexible as in PDF Expert, but are well covered as global preferences in their preferences.
Remarking tools include a wonderful user-expandable library of tags, which includes a complete set of traditional editing tags. Those who work with publishers who still expect to be used should be happy with them.
Its signature support is also more comprehensive as you can install Mac-compatible digital signatures that can then be used to sign their documents. The snag here is that they need to be Mac compatible: SmileOnMyMac recommends that only DigiCert and GlobalSign appear to face it today, even though this is worth checking with potential vendors before investing in their product.
You can, for what it is worth, self-designate using your own certificate generated by macOS certificate assistant. Although it cannot be traced back to a certification authority, it should provide reasonable assurance of the integrity of the protected PDF file. PDFpenPro is more signature-conscious, for example, noting that a certificate in a test file had a trust problem.
Unfortunately, PDFpenPro does not have a command to remove all annotations. If you are preparing a long document for publication, you still need to work through it next to removing them manually. But since the app has good script support, this is something that can be easily automated in AppleScript.
Editing is definitely the power of PDFpenPro. In the beginning I found the editing tools a bit idiosyncratic, but after some use they feel more comfortable. A feature that I particularly like is its attention to dimensions: shown above when dealing with a built-in image, and belo w in its special ruler tool, which tells you the distance between some two points on a page. Open it with the Shift key held and it will lock to run vertically or horizontally.
However, the shift key modifier does not work when the size of the images is kept to retain their proportions, which I found frustrating.
PDFpenPro contains the two standard editing tools, to answer or delete passages in a PDF. However, these only work for text: I couldn't find any tools for an image, other than just removing the image from the document.
The effects of redaction appear to be applied to data files stored routinely, but if you want to feel safer, you can export the document in flat PDF format. This sample provides the most comprehensive removal of edited content: In a test file where I had edited the entire text and saved flat, the resulting file was completely worn out of content, leaving no trace of what was removed. Other than exporting, there is no tool for clearing foreign content in a PDF file.
PDFpenPro adopts the "modern" Mac save file conventions unless you disable it in its preferences: autosave and standard access to saved versions through the macOS version is standard. This proved invaluable during editing, especially when significant changes were made to a document, such as the ultimate attack.
Unusually, PDFpenPro handles its own conversion of Word. Doc and. Docx documents to PDF without having to open them in Microsoft Word. This means that users who do not have Word installed can still import their own documents. The app also imports HTML directly from websites, and has built-in optical character recognition (OCR) for scanned documents.
Opening a PDF file containing pure images will trigger it to ask if you want to perform OCR on that document. But as with any OCR, the results are not always as good as you want, and you may end up spending a long time unscrambling the text avte rwards. At least you have good editing tools to do this.
PDFpenPro does not convert other common formats, such as RTF or plain text, to PDF, nor can it make a raw PostScript file to PDF on the same way that Preview can.
Export is another of the strong strengths of this application. Any PDF document can be exported to a variety of Microsoft Office and other formats, including PDF / A-1b, likely to be popular and important for PDF file variations. The latter is performed via Nuance OmniPage Cloud services, which results in remote conversion. My test file is quickly converted, and according to Adobe Acrobat Pro, you fully meet the requirements of PDF / A-1b.
Copying text from a PDF document passes it in Rich Text format, as well as can be retrieved from the source. When inserted into a suitable app, this helps to transfer some useful styling. Unfortunately, the default color used for this text is not bimodal, so it may appear black in gray when in dark mode. PDFpenPro does not attempt to darken the PDF content, but otherwise has full Dark Support for Mojave.
PDFpenPro is not the right tool, though, if you have to work with variant standards. It displays a warning when you open a document in PDF / A format, which is good but allows the user to override the protection of the original if they want.
Its performance on PDF / X-4 tests is almost identical to PDF expert and other applications that use the Quartz engine, with many errors. There is no support or indication of, floating and labeling in PDF / UA either. PDF documents that it c reates are displayed as encoded using the built-in quartz engine, rather than any alternative.
PDFpenPro didn It does not go well with three damaged test files: two of the three caused immediate crashes when trying to open them, which is not good . Help provided in the mandatory PDF Help book is comprehensive without the need for access to any external source.
PDFpenPro is an excellent PDF editing tool that will meet the needs of anyone who does not work with PDF / A, PDF / X or PDF / UA specialist variants. I wouldn't pick it as my regular PDF reader, but if you need good editing support and can only buy an app, you won't be disappointed when you use it as a reader. At significantly lower than the cost of your first-year use of Adobe Acrobat Pro, it must be the first choice for those who do not need to edit PDF Expert needs. It's an impressive tool and an excellent value.