Alternatives to PDFExpert Pro subscription

Listening to the latest MPU podcast (on iPad workflows) made me realise that I’m really not getting much value from what is a fairly expensive annual subscription to PDF Expert.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the app - and use it most days, primarily for:

  • Highlighting
  • Annotating
  • Signing Documents
  • Exporting to DevonThink

The problem is that only the signing of documents is part of the subscription plan with PDFExpert so it feels like I’m paying a lot for one feature.

David mentioned PDF Viewer, which I’ll definitely check out but I thought I’d ask in here whether there were any other thoughts on alternatives I should look at. Or perhaps, anything in the subscription plan that other PDFExpert users find really valuable.

Thanks in advance!

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I did not even know they offered a subscription. I bought it once from the App Store and also for the iPad. My business uses PDF Expert exclusively and all our paperwork is PDF. We are a paperless office.

I checked their website and do not see a subscription service offered. Bought in 2016 and I think I paid $15.00 at the time.

It’s an iOS thing – scroll down to in-app purchases


I forgot that. We alway use it on a Mac. I see that my iPad is more limited and encouraging signing up for Pro. Is there a pro for the Mac app or do you just get it all with the standard one time buy? It all appears to work on my Mac but maybe I am missing something.
We were able to get away from Adobe 5 years ago and save a lot of money.

According to Readdle:

While PDF Expert for Mac is a one-time purchase, the PDF Expert for iOS PRO pack is subscription-based.

This comparison table by Readdle seems to support different?

EDIT: Oh, only if you used PDF Expert 6 before… (I did/do - also have the v6 IAP)

I don’t have the subscription but am grandfathered in. I am sure I use the reduce file size feature.

I use it everyday and didn’t know there was a subscription service either. I too bought it years ago and have been using it ever since.

I used to use PDFpen pro for most pdfs. However, since Smiles sold that to Nitro, I feel that the level of customer service and the app itself is not as good. I am also looking for PDF alternatives, hence I welcome everyone’s thought and feedback

PS. I also has this thread going on this forum,

Why not use DEVONthink for all of those? I used to use PDFpen Pro and other apps like liquid text, but now use DTTG for all my highlighting, annotating, and signing needs.


Ah yeah - the Reduce File Size feature, that has been a life-saver in the past. I’m not sure how I could have forgotten that!

Thank you, I’ll check that out too!

As an alternative to the Reduce File Size feature in the Pro version I’d recommend PDF Squeezer. It’s also on Setapp.

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For iPadOS, check out iAnnotate

Have a look at GoodReader. One-time and sub options, but you need to check it has all the features you need

Second on GoodReader.

It doesn’t look as fancy but works more reliably in the file management and syncing department. But its pencil integration is subpar.