PDF Expert has gone subscription

I use PDF expert extensively. I was disappointed to see the most recent update has gone subscription for certain “pro” features.

I actively dislike subscriptions.I don’t know why developers adopt this model. If any app is subscription I actively will not buy it, even if it is good and useful.

I think Agenda’s model is ok, or the trusty old idea of buying an app.


The customizable toolbars seem nice, but probably not worth $50 annually for me.

I’m not against subscriptions in general, but I have been disappointed by the development of some apps I’ve subscribed to. Ulysses is one I’ve abandoned—the features just haven’t wowed me. I wish subscription products would publish a clearer road map of future development: the whole idea is that you’re buying into this thing for its future.


I too use PDF Expert a ton. We’ll see how it goes, I may take this chance to switch to PDF Pen.

I also dislike subscriptions but I actually thought they handled this well. The Pro features are new–nothing that I use at this point requires a subscription. I think that is fair. Now, if they require a subscription for features that I can currently use without one, I too will find an alternative. There is a limit to how many subscriptions make financial sense for a given user–everyone’s subscription tolerance, of course, will vary.

In fact, I will not be renewing my subscription to Drafts, which expires in Sept. I’m just not getting enough out of it to justify a subscription. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with TextExpander–I can probably create a bunch of longer snippet templates in an other application and copy/paste when needed. I’ll miss the dropdown menu feature but I can leave blank spaces for that. I use Ulysses a lot so I plan to keep that subscription. I will also keep Apple Music and 1Password. This leaves me with only four subscriptions–only three if I drop the premium version of Day One.


I love PDF Expert and I’ll be interested to see where this goes. I won’t be upgrading right now since I have 6 pro, but it would be really tempting if they add OCR into the mix.

Because they need to earn a living?

(which does not mean that I’m fine with every App changing to the subscription model)

From their FAQ: “all current PDF Expert 6 users can still use all the features they had before, without a subscription.”


For those of us coming over from PDF Expert 6, most of the pro features are enabled. There are about three additional pro features that are not. I’m not sure if we will eventually have to join the subscription model to continue to access the pro features that we have thus far been able to retain, that is unclear to me. I share the subscription fatigue that others have mentioned. My bigger problem with PDF Expert’s pricing is you have to pay $50/yr for an app that does not even OCR pdfs (unless someone knows something I don’t know). PDF Expert is my favorite PDF app, but I am also considering alternatives. I have PDFPenPro, but I’ve never found it as nice to use as PDF Expert.

That said, the update is nice and continues the tradition of Readdle to develop PDF Expert as a power tool with very efficient interface.

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I was using PDFelement before PDF expert. Maybe its time to have another look at it :slight_smile:

Do you know which ones are not? According to an article I read about this earlier today (9to5mac or macstories) Pro/IAP features from v.6 purchasers should carry over to our new apps. According to the notes from the update:


Readdle is perfectly clear about which features are free for past-purchasers (i.e., everything you had before):


Yes, I just went to their site and they highlighted, “First things first, all current PDF Expert 6 users can still use all the features they had before, without a subscription.” That’s good enough for me to allow the app update.


The current version of PDF Expert for the Mac is Version 2.4.24. Great app, except for lack of OCR. No subscription, one-time purchase. At least for now.

Apparently all of the posts above refer to the IOS version of PDF Expert. Maybe I missed it, but I do not see that mentioned anywhere. Significant omission.


Exactly, which is what I said above. :-). Again, I think they are handling this well.

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Except they did remove some basic features. For instance, the annotation summaries no longer includes page numbers. I may be in the minority here, but that basically makes the entire program obsolete for me. Such a bizarre decision.

Good enough for me, too. And I like the new interface — things are where I expect them to be, but everything seems cleaner somehow.

I just noticed that, too. That’s a problem for me. Also looks like the stamp tool is gone. I used that one a lot.

EDIT: I was wrong. Stamps are still available.

My sentiment exactly - well said.

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I think that 50 $/€ per year is normal and nothing new. If you use PDFPen Pro on your Mac, you will have to shell out the same amount of money per year to stay current. Yes, it is no subscription, but still…

What is new is that PDF Expert 7 is the first PDF app on iOS I am aware of that is almost as feature rich as a MacOS app. What I do not understand is the omission of OCR in PDF Expert 7 because Readdle sells Scanner Pro and this app has OCR.

I would be fine to pay 50 $/€ per year for an app that enables me to do anything in a PDF both on my iPad and on my Mac. Maybe, with SwiftUI this will become feasible eventually because of having the opportunity to have a unified codebase to some degree.

Until this happens, I will keep using PDF apps on iOS more as a reader and for annotations and I will create and edit PDFs on my Mac. Otherwise I would have to 100 $/€ per year for PDF editing both on my Mac and on iOS. And that is too much.

I too do not see subscription models as an issue, but at the same time I do not see myself jumping onto every subscription that is available and interesting.


Just to mention… If you get Setapp for the Mac, you get Ulysses and PDFpen as part of that, and PDFpen does OCR.

Not to mention a bunch of other apps.

I was very skeptical about Setapp, but having using it for the past ~10 months or so have convinced me it’s worth a serious look.


Same here. Setapp is just nice.

The only issue is that I need some of the options only PDFPen Pro offers: batch OCR, export to Excel, table of contents, bookmarks. :slight_smile: If there ever will be an app that offers everything in combination both on iOS/iPadOS and MacOS for 50 bucks per year, I will subscribe in a heartbeat.

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