PDF Pen Sold By Smile

SMile have flogged PDF Pen to Nitro.
Keeping TextExpander.

PDFpen app sold to Nitro; Smile retains TextExpander - 9to5Mac

Nitro blog posting here Nitro + PDFpen: Extending PDF Productivity to Mac, iPad and iPhone (gonitro.com)

Looks like I’ll be hanging on version 13 - Nitro isn’t cheap!


Looks like $144 currently for Nitro. Makes me curious how often they do paid updates.

I have been genuinely unhappy with PDFPen since I got it 4 years ago. Search doesn’t work in large PDFs and I found the interface incredibly confusing. Was kind of surprised it was so highly recommended.


I wonder if I should upgrade from 12 to 13 before things get murky…

is 13 worth the upgrade?

The one nice thing about Smile was that they offered a very generous upgrade discount, from pretty much any previous version.

Although the Nitro PDF Pro app is Windows-only currently - I wonder if this acqui-hire is the beginnings of moving it to Mac?

In a related note, I find it interesting that a company like Smile effectively had two completely separate internal teams (TextExpander & PDF Pen), such that they could just sell off one product and the devs that go with it. I was of the impression that Smile was a smaller company than that.

I just upgraded, and will be requesting a refund. Does not do anything that Adobe doesn’t do, and PDF Expert is much better at editing secured PDFs than anything else

PDF Expert is much better experience than PDF Pen, which I find clunky. I keep hoping PDF Expert it will get form creation support. That and watermarking is all PDF Pen does for me.


So Smile is only keeping TextExpander, which crashes a lot these days and has not seen any kind of relevant active consumer development ever since they went subscription despite all their promises.
I really have to wonder what’s going on through the head of management.
And I hope the future is going to make me eat my words as we’ll now see renewed focus and development of TE! Including on iOS!
(one can dream.)


I think I’m also going to once again default to PDFExpert. I can use my current version of PDFPen Pro to OCR or I can use DevonThink for that purpose. I tried to use PDFPen as my primary PDF application but annotating with it is just too frustrating.


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You could also try ocrmypdf for that purpose. It has Tesseract as the ocr engine. Probably the same one as used by PDFPen. An easy install through brew. And since it’s a cli application it’s very easy to use in automation.

For better (top) quality ocr I recommend ABBYY FineReader. But that ain’t free.

Have you used it for awhile? Do they have reasonable upgrade policies?

Subscription for new users sadly, there was a thread about it on here a while ago.

@vco1 Thanks for the suggestion. I took a look but that is way above my IT pay grade. :slight_smile:


Do you not have a friend in the I.T. department? IMO, that’s the first person you should befriend in any organization. The second is the person that handles petty cash :wink:

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Even though I have a sub to adobe, I still prefer PDFPen Pro…

Ocrmypdf is actually pretty simple once you get it going - you use the same code in Terminal and just change the path for each PDF.

I’m not experienced enough nor brave enough to mess with terminal commands. :slight_smile: I think I’ll stick with just downloading apps. My bad I’m sure but with zero experience with terminal commands or any kind of “programming/coding” I best leave well enough alone. :slight_smile: I KNOW that my IT department would prefer me to avoid terminal commands. :slight_smile:

+1 for PDF Expert rather than upgrading PDF Pen. Can’t remember which version I have of PDF Pen, stopped using it ages ago. PDF Expert is much better.


When the latest version of PDF Pen (pro) was announced I decided to jump to PDF Expert. But I could never actually use it since it crashes so frequently and their tech support wasn’t able to solve the issue for many weeks now - so back to PDF Pen which works good for my needs (and doesn’t crash…)

I went ahead and tossed Smile $35 to upgrade to PDFPen Pro 13. No way I am paying $180 for Nitro and then pay some upsale to sign and fill in documents (if I am reading their website correctly). I will use PDFPen Pro until it dies, then go to Adobe.