PDF Editor for OS X with an IOS App

Hey everyone. Love the show. I’m looking for an awesome pdf editor (Like PDF Expert) but is more low power intensive. I’ve been having a lot of issues with memory leaks in PDF expert on my 2017 MBP, so I am trying to find alternatives. I figured I’d use the hive mind here.

Background: I’m a paperless litigator. I am in the court room 90-95% of my time. I use an ipad for most hearings, but occasionally use a MBP in the court room. They must play nice together.

Please help!!!

PDF Pen is a good alternative. More recent versions have become faster and less resource intensive in normal use (of course, some features like OCR are resource intensive).

There aren’t even a handful of ‘awesome’ PDF editors for the Mac. Apple’s Preview app can do a substantial amount with PDFs that people might not be aware of:

For reading and annotations, I’m a big fan of the freeware Skim app.


As an alternative that runs better old slower, older hardware? Having used a 2012 Mac mini until 18 months ago as a home machine, I’d easily give the nod to PDF Expert over PDF Pen.

The op uses a 2017 MacBook Pro, and I have the same. Recent versions of PDF Pen have dramatically improved in performance, enough to make me dump PDF Expert for it.

I experienced the same as the op, PDF Expert has terrible memory leaks that eat up resources. It didn’t in the past but recent version have introduced these issues.

It also plays well with the iPad, as he wanted.

Unless there were multiple, dramatically improved versions in 18 months, I think PDF Expert remains my choice, pretty much for any system, not just for ability but for the user interface and workflow.

iOS might be another story, as there are a lot of PDF apps I haven’t used, although I remain impressed by the unique features of LiquidText (most of which I personally don’t need).

When you are only interested in using annotations for markup, I have found that PDFExpert plays well to share on iOS and macOS. I am unaware of the memory leak issues. PDFExpert also plays well with other PDF editors, so that, unlike Skim or LiquidText, the annotations it creates translate to other PDF editors and even to apps such as DEVONThink. Finally, I especially appreciate the ability to work on documents in various cloud services (google, Dropbox, …) and with multiple accounts in the same service (google personal versus google work).

When you are interested in using annotations as resources to tag, take notes about, search, and map, I have found that MarginNote is a great app. Unfortunately, it flattens annotations, meaning it occupies its own ecosystem to some extent. It does however export to mind map formats. Also, MarginNote does not offer a full range of annotation tools (e.g. strike thru is absent), and its cloud services are limited to iCloud.


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