Need a PDF app for Mac

Another vote for PDF expert. I have used it and PDFPen Pro - I prefer expert for its annotation feature set

Another STRONG +1 for PDF Expert.

Yet another +1 for PDF Expert. I’m not sure why we don’t hear more about this fantastic app. I used PDF Pen for years but switched to PDF Expert in early 2017 and haven’t looked back.

Something I noticed about my usage of a PDF editor: 98% of the time I’m just opening PDFs to reference something quickly or read page after page. So speed is at the top of my priority list. I also like clean non-distractive UIs, especially for reading for any extended period.

So why not just use the very quick-to-load Preview? Because of the other 2% of time spent with with PDFs when I need to sign, form fill, highlight, annotate or edit. I don’t want to have to switch to another app. Ideally my default app for PDFs would be the app for reading, editing, etc. PDF Expert let’s me do just that!

  • Clean UI (e.g. I love the new tab, everything’s right there but its minimal):
  • Fast to open, edit, etc.
  • Does everything I’ve ever needed
  • Easy to figure out without having to click and search the web
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I completely agree that PDF Expert has a simplified UI and easier design, but the lack of OCR is a non-starter for me. I’ve been running a paperless lifestyle for the last two years and can’t imagine doing it without OCR to find all my documents that I have filed away.

If and when PDF Expert adds OCR, I’ll make the change to that app but for now I’m still using PDF Pen.

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Great point on OCR & PDF Expert! I too am a fan of the paperless life. Forgot to include my experience on that front…

I thought I’d miss having OCR when moving over but was surprised to find I haven’t at all. (Of course, YMMV!)

ScanSnap (macOS) and Scanbot (iOS) OCR all my dead trees before they ever reach PDF Expert. (On iOS a lot of folks really like the integration between PDF Expert and Scanner Pro, also by Readdle, but there are a few Scanbot features I really love.)

All my other PDFs are already “natively digital” and therefore OCR’d (ebooks, manuals, white papers, financial statements, etc.) or become so by printing to PDF.

Finally, I use DEVONthink Pro Office (only the Pro Office edition includes OCR) as my OCR fallback plan if I ever were to need to get an OCR version of something not-so-modern.

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I prefer PDF Expert’s UI, but PDF Pen has OCR and allows you to create fillable PDFs. I decided for the price, PDF Expert is my choice. I recommend doing the free trial for both. See which one you find yourself gravitating toward and make a purchase.

If money is an obstacle, Preview is very solid.

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If you want OCR you could install Tesseract via Homebrew. Pretty accurate OCR via the commandline.
For more sophisticated OCR I use Abbyy Finereader.
I’m a PDF Expert user too.

Bad news everyone, there nothing better for pdf creation than Acrobat.

But PDFPen Pro is the next best thing for form creation.

For day to day use, I use PDF Expert because it’s fast and awesome and does all the annotation and form filling I need.

I must admit that my PDFpen Pro is version 7 I think. But the cost of updates was to much for me after upgrading a few times.

I have to say I sure like the price of pdf expert a lot more. A good majority of my assignments, labs, worksheets, etc are in pdf. I won’t be creating a lot of pdf but will need to be able to answer the questions by filling them out. Would pdf expert be good for this?

The main thing I will be doing with the pdf software is filling out assignents for school. I don’t really need OCR I just need a good app that makes it easy to load and interact with my assignments. Plus through student discount I can get the software for 29.99. Sounds like PDFexpert would be the best for me?

I would make sure you can’t do all you need with Preview.

re: OCR, I have been happy with OCRKit from ExactCODE.

I’ve been using PDF Expert for years, both in Mac and IOS and I am totally happy with it. It covers all my needs flawlessly (mostly creating, editing, merging, filling and marking up).

+1 for PDF Expert, both Mac and IOS.

I’d trial it with some assignments, but it should be great for that.

I use a combination of Preview and Bluebeam Revu because I deal with engineering drawings all the time. It has a tool chest that is conceptually similar to PDFPen’s library of symbols. It is definitely slower than preview, but if you need to annotate drawings or even documents, the keyboard shortcuts allow for a very fast workflow. You can try it free for 30 days, but I would recommend waiting to purchase it. The next version is in beta, renders PDFs much more quickly, and has a better interface.

PDF Expert, for sure. Just try it out. Readdle makes such great apps, you’ll be impressed. OCR functionality, full markup and annotation, everything you’d want. Plus, a fantastic indexing system that makes searching for key words or phrases (like, the keywords in a homework question??) super fast.

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Another good OCR option you may already have:

FYI, PDFPen is part of the SummerFest sale currently going on.

Don’t forget Skim. It’s free, and more scriptable than anything else out there. Annotations use a Mac-only format that predates annotation in Preview, but converting back and forth is easy and reliable.

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I really appreciate all the input! Thanks!