Is PDF Expert for Mac worth buying?

I love great Mac software. I have the Affinity Suite and use it every so often, I’m no longer a professional who uses it at work due to work issued PCs etc. But nevertheless, great Mac software that’s always there.

Just got an email from Readdle, a promo citing that I’m eligible for the special education pricing. That’s $40 / £32 for a £75 retail price PDF Editor. I liked the iOS apps before the subscription model, and my student status can run out anytime now that I’ve finished university. So I won’t have this option forever.

If any of you use it, do you find it worthwhile? Thanks

I like it. It’s light-weight and responsive. I can’t go into the deep ins and out of the software as I’m not an expert, but it does virtually everything I need it to do.

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I don’t think so. I bought it when it first came out hoping it would rapidly catch up to Smiles PDFPen but since them PDF Pen has had two major updates and PDF Expert has had a bunch of small updates and a huge price increase.

For me a better solution is going to be PDFPen Pro 12 which I upgraded to and I’ll likely augment it with Highlights which is looking like an excellent way to notate and collect PDF for research

Why not try the foss Skim
Not a fan of Readdle’s recent movement to subscription models. The Mac version could fall any time.

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What are your needs? On the Mac I use Skim, which is free, for everyday dual-page pdf reading, just because I’m used to it and have been using it for years. But I also own PDF Expert for signing, annotating, cropping, and editing.

At stacksocial PDF expert is currently available for $30,-


Thanks! Skim was new to me. Just downloaded it and for pdf viewing it seems very fast.

I’m going to give Skim a try. Mostly viewing, annotating and signing PDF forms would be my main personal use. If this doesn’t cut it, I’ll look further into the others you guys recommended. The thought of PDF Expert for Mac falling into the subscription is very real and concerning for me. I think it’s probably a matter of time, and I suppose putting my money towards the company shows support I don’t approve of for the model.

It’s well worth it to me. I use it everyday. Not so much for reading (I do that on paper mostly), but for editing, removing pages, creating PDFs, printing, etc.

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The big thing I love PDF Expert for is highlighting a document and then exporting all those highlights into a text file that I can put into evernote, roam, etc.

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I think it’s absolutely worth it. Manipulating PDFs makes sense to me in that program, unlike the built in Preview app, which I still don’t know what to do even after I’ve done it, or PDF Pen which looks like an old timers Mac App. It’s fast and it integrates well with other Readdle apps if you’re into that. You’ll be missing out mainly on OCR and the title bar isn’t the same as other Mac apps (drag the icon to different folders, renaming, etc.)


So glad that I’m not the only one still confused by Preview, even after I’ve been using Macs for 15 years.


Thanks, that’s a killer deal! Just got it and am thrilled :smiley:

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I bet there’s tons of us. Its probably like when you forget someone’s name, but you’re in too deep to ask them again. You’ve built a whole friendship, know important facts and milestones, just no name.


I use it multiple times per day. Merging files, annotation, tabbed view all work well for me.

You didn’t mention why you’d need it. Personally, I’ve tried PDF Expert and PDF Pen, but I didn’t find any compelling features that I would regularly need that I couldn’t get from Preview or from a free online service. With 2 grade-schoolers, I’ve been using a lot more PDFs lately, in addition to the minor website management I do for a non-profit. Preview is great for all kids of annotating, merging files, rearranging and deleting pages, certain text editing, bookmarks, signatures etc. I’ve found it simple and intuitive. And no extra $. There are other functions I need like resizing and “lossless” file compression for those files that are inexplicably too big - for that I use regularly and for free.

Any PDF creation I have to do is a simple “Save As” command from whatever document (Word, Excel, etc) creation app I’m using. The ability I used that was unique to a PDF editor was to change the main content in a PDF which I didn’t create in the first place, and that arguably comes with its own set of questions.

I just discovered that PDF Expert has a Split Vertical or Horizontal view so you can view two articles (or the same one) in the same tab. So I can read on the left, and look at figures and tables on the right. Glad to have stumbled across this!


I’ve been using PDF Expert on the Mac since picking it up during the StackSocial promo. I find it noticeably slower to launch than Preview. It runs well enough but the time taken to open a file continues to be a minor annoyance. I wonder if others have experienced this as well.

Can PDFExpert on Mac create a fillable PDF Form?

Nope, one of the few shortcomings of the software :frowning: