PDFpen 7

PDFpen 7

PDFpen 7When I am working with PDFs and doing something beyond just viewing and simple manipulation, the application I use on my Mac is PDFpen. I’ve been using it for years.

Smile just came out with PDFpen 7, and it has some nice updates and a few cool new features.

(By the way Windows folks: PDFpen is a Mac application, but a similar and great program on Windows is Nitro Pro.)

Some “nice to have” new features if you use it a lot are the Yosemite-ification of the interface, a pop-up context menu for editing (you can select the text and right-click if you want to apply markups and edits), and if you like to use the same colors for your drawing tools it will now remember them.

If you are someone that signs PDFs on your computer (as I am), you can use your trackpad to drop in your signature. I don’t personally do this – I have a copy of my signature in the PDFpen Library and just drop it in that way, but now you have options.

For me, the coolest feature of PDFpen 7 is the ability to view and proofread the OCR layer of your document.

For example, if you have a searchable PDF, you can see how accurate the OCR was by going to View > OCR Layer.

PDFpen 7 View OCR Layer

You can see the text that your computer sees overlayed on top of the scanned image.

PDFpen 7 View OCR Layer

Very cool. If you have PDFpen Pro, you can take things a step further. You may have noticed that in the scan, the mug I bought was 16Oz, but OCR read it as 16Gz. With PDFpen Pro 7 you can actually fix the OCR layer. This is awesome if you need to have accurate OCR text.

PDFpen 7 Fix OCR Layer

Another feature of PDFpen Pro is the ability to export a PDF to Excel. I have found that the more “table-like” the PDF is, the better the results of this are. Makes sense I suppose. You can also export to PDF/A for archiving purposes.

There are more changes (iCloud Drive support for example), and you can check out these great screencasts that friend-of-DocumentSnap David Sparks put together on Smile’s site.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 3 comments

Mike - February 5, 2015 Reply

Does PDFpen support dynamic stamps? For example, I made a “Paid” stamp in Acrobat that I use on my electronic bill statements. Acrobat supports a JavaScript language to make stamps dynamic.

Mine has a rubber stamp-like graphic, and automatically fills today’s date, then pops up a dialog into which I enter my payment method (e.g. “BofA Online” or “check #1234”). This was a learning experience to set up, but once done it’s super useful.

Bob - February 2, 2015 Reply

The folks over at Smile have a compelling upgrade here. I use their software quite a bit and the new overlay functionality will help. Now I have to integrate it into the scanning flow so it is a bit more automated.

    Brooks Duncan - February 2, 2015 Reply

    Yeah, the nice thing about PDFpen is there are a lot of things you can do with AppleScript to automate things. If you want to do something, you probably can.

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