The all-purpose Mac PDF editor!
PDFpen 6 and PDFpenPro 6 come with extensive online help, which you can access from the Help menu in the program. You can also view the latest Help online or download a PDF version. (PDFs of PDFpen 5 Help, PDFpen 4 Help and PDFpen 3 Help are still available.)
Read the Frequently Asked Questions below. Your question might already be answered.
Can't find your answer?
If you can't find the answer you need in the Help or the FAQs, send an email to PDFpen Support. Smile's responsive support team will answer your email as quickly as possible!
We try to answer all our support mail within 24 hours — and most of the time much sooner than that! If you've emailed us and have not had a response within 24 hours, your email may not have reached us for some reason. Please resend it.
"Thank you so much for your reply! Everything you told me worked like a charm. To be honest...I didn't even expect a reply. I've emailed companies so many times and as far as I can recall...this is the very first time someone ever even bothered to reply at all. You not only replied...but you replied promptly—and—actually solved my problems!"
—Doug Hoyer, Kailua, Hawaii
See the installation instructions here.
PDFpen or PDFpenPro 6 can only be upgraded for free via download of the direct-purchase version of PDFpen or PDFpenPro 6, not via the Mac App Store version. When you launch the downloaded app, you'll be prompted to locate your PDFpen 5 Mac App Store receipt file, as that can only be read with your permission. Once your receipt is verified, PDFpen or PDFpenPro 6 will offer to contact our server and issue you a license to the direct purchase version.
The latest versions of PDFpen and PDFpenPro are compatible with the latest versions of 10.8 and 10.7.
Yes, if you are the only user of those computers. If you have multiple computers used by more than one person in the same household, you can purchase a Family Pack license, which covers 5 computers in the same household. (Click here for more information.)
See this comparison chart of PDF editing features in other PDF editing software.
PDFpenPro has all the PDF editing features of PDFpen. PDFpenPro also has the ability to:
PDFpen v.5 was released on September 9, 2010, so we stopped selling PDFpen v.4 licenses on that day. A PDFpen v. 5 license can be used to register version 4. This license will also work in the future to register PDFpen v.5 should you update to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and need to be able to run PDFpen v.5.
Yes, there is a 30% education discount. Please visit our education store for more details.
Smile submits applications for review by the Mac App Store on the day that they are released. Apple must approve the update, and has sole control over when they appear in the Mac App Store.
Look for the PDFpen icon in the Dock. If you click you'll see that the upper-left text in the menu bar changes to "PDFpen". To proceed, select "File > Open" from the menu. PDFpen needs you to open a PDF file to begin. PDFpen can launch PDFs, Word documents and other image formats such as JPG, TIFF, PNG. If you prefer to start from scratch select "File > New One Page Document".
Select a PDF file in the Finder, and then select File > Get Info. Locate the "Open with" section in the resulting window and change it to PDFpen. Click the Change All button that then appears below and PDFpen will be the default.
Documents saved by the PDFpen demo retain this watermark. The only way to remove the watermark is to purchase a license for PDFpen and register the application.
When you open a watermarked document with a registered copy of PDFpen, the watermark will be removed automatically and you can simply save again to permanently remove it. Do not save watermarked documents using File > Print > PDF > Save as PDF... or the watermark will remain permanently as though you'd printed to a physical printer.
If you have questions regarding PDFpen's export to Word feature, please see Word Export.
Yes, PDFpen works with pen tablet devices such as Wacom Bamboo, Axiotron's Modbook etc. For quick markups, you can use the "Scribble Tool" for freehand drawing on your PDF. To use this tool simply, launch your PDF with PDFpen, select the Scribble Tool and write away.
Yes, PDFpen uses your default email client for that function. To set your default email client, launch Apple's Mail application and visit its General preferences. Set your Default email reader to Outlook or another email application then quit Mail. PDFpen will now use your newly-specified email client for File -> Email Document.
You will need PDFpen or PDFpenPro 5.7 or later on OS X Lion 10.7.2 or later to access PDFpen documents on iCloud (Mac App Store version only). The latest Mac App Store versions of PDFpen come iCloud enabled.
Apple restricts iCloud access to applications purchased through the Mac App Store.
Yes. Select the text you want to modify using the “Select Text” tool, and click the "Correct Text" button in the toolbar. The selected text will be replaced by an editable text block.
By default, a tool will stay selected after each use. To override this, double-click the tool. The Select tool will become active after each use of the Text tool. You can also uncheck the "Keep tools selected after use” option in Preferences.
Select the text box, and choose "Edit > Wrap Text" from the main menu.
Note: If you use the text box tool to drag out a text box, instead of just clicking to create a text box, Wrap Text is the default behavior.
To change the font on your current document, choose Format > Font > Show Fonts and select your font type and size. If the size does not change automatically, go to the Cog dropdown menu and choose "Edit Sizes." To set you default font size for current and future documents, choose PDFpen > Preferences. Then, under "General Preferences," you can select "Default font."
Is this a document-specific issue? Otherwise, authors of PDF documents may set permissions separate from those in the operating system. These permissions govern the abilities to edit, save and print documents, and PDFpen respects these permissions. To edit you will need to contact the original author of the document and ask for a version without restrictions.
You can reduce the color depth and resolution of images and scanned pages by choosing Edit > Resample Image. Reducing a color scan to monochrome text will significantly reduce file size. For color images you can recompress them with a selective JPEG quality so they take less space but remain in color. See the PDFpen Help for more details under "Images, Signatures and Imprints" and "Scanning." Another way to reduce file size is to apply a Quartz filter when saving the document.
Choose Print from the File menu, and then click Save as PDF. The resulting file will not be editable in most PDF viewers. It will still be editable in PDFpen 3.X / PDFpenPro 3.X and later versions, because these versions allow you to edit any images in a PDF file, including ones that have been added by PDFpen and PDFpenPro.
Why are my pages not rendering in order?
PDFpen draws thumbnail images of document pages in the background, and the most recently requested sequence of images (e.g. where I've just scrolled to) is drawn first. If you have two processors you'll find that pages are frequently rendered out of order as PDFpen utilizes both of them to generate the thumbnails.
Yes. In order to open a Word document in PDFpen/Pro, from PDFpen/Pro select File > Open and then locate a DOC or DOCX file on your HD. It will open in PDFpen/Pro as a PDF. In order to export a PDF to a Word document:
We use Apple's Image Capture framework for our scanning support, so your scanner should appear in the Image Capture application. If you do not see your scanner, you might try contacting Apple (AppleCare for your Mac) to see if they can help get your scanner working with Image Capture. Once that's sorted, it should also work with PDFpen.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is the process of converting a bitmap image of text (like a scanned document) into text that can be selected, copied and searched by PDFpen and other text editing software. When you OCR your document, the transformation occurs directly on the page as a text layer image-- it would not create another document. There is no extra output file. After the OCR progress bar finishes, you can edit the content of your document on the page in front of you.
Note: OCR will not produce an exact rendering of the text. You will need to proofread and edit the results. Some scanned documents perform better than others. See our OCR tips.
Simultaneously hold down the Command+Option keys while choosing Edit > OCR Document. If you let go of Command+Option while in the Edit menu, the OCR option will switch from “OCR Document” to “OCR Page.”
On Intel-based Macs, PDFpen uses the OmniPage OCR engine, version 15.5, from Nuance Communications, Inc. For more info on OmniPage, please choose Help > License Agreement from the menu or visit http://www.scansoft.com/omnipage/capturesdk/linux/ and note that not all features of the SDK are licensed for use in PDFpen.
On PowerPC-based Macs, PDFpen uses the Tesseract Open Source OCR Engine. For more info on Tesseract, please choose Help > License Agreement from the menu or visit http://code.google.com/p/tesseract-ocr/.
You can sign your document by importing a scanned image of your signature onto the document. Images in JPEG, TIFFs and PNG formats work best. You can find more information on working with signatures here. If you do not have a scanned image available, you can also sign the document using the freehand Scribble Tool.
If an image is embedded on your document like a watermark (unselectable), you can “white-out” the images by using drawing annotations e.g. scribble tool/textbox/ rectangle tool. For example, creating a rectangle using the Rectangle shape tool with white background fill should cover up the marks.
You can create or eliminate borders around the textboxes. To create borders, increase the Stroke width > 1.00 in Object Properties. Conversely, if you want to eliminate borders, change Stroke to "None" in Object Properties; or, click on the square color swatch to change the border color to "white".
The original document may be off spec, or you may have uncovered a bug. Please try opening the original in PDFpen then select File > Print > PDF > Save as PDF... Open the newly saved document and perform your edits. If that works, please consider sending us the original document so that we can analyze why and hopefully make PDFpen handle that more gracefully in a future release. You can also send us your crash log to examine.
The document may be off spec or you may want to check your system for font errors. To check your system for font errors, launch Font Book in your Applications folder. Select the first item in the Fonts (middle) column, then choose Edit > Select All from the menu followed by File > Validate Fonts. If there are problems, you'll need to remove the problem fonts then quit and re-launch PDFpen again. Otherwise, feel free to email us with a copy of your document with details of what you are trying to do and the problems you are having editing so we can examine and reproduce your issue from our end.
Is your document a scanned document or a bitmap image of text the size of a page? If so, please OCR your document.
The issue may be that you are working with vector graphics (images embedded onto the document like a watermark). In these cases, text cannot be selected. To edit your document, use the Text tool and create a text imprint box with solid background fill and type over the existing text.
PDF readers only have read and write capabilities, and typically cannot save forms. Only PDF editors can save forms. This is how it works across the board. If you are using PDFpenPro v.5x, you can create a "Submit" button which allows users and recipients to work beyond the limitations of PDF Readers. Most Readers support submitting forms in HTML, FDF, XFDF, and PDF formats. You can find more information on PDF applications and submitting forms via Help in PDFpen or online.
Choose Arrange > Show Tab order to adjust tab order on your form.
Yes. Choose File > Save (or File > Save as) from the PDFpen menu. Check the box next to "Secure Document with Password" and enter your desired password in the field. Re-enter the password in the Verify field, before saving the PDF.
As of version 6, you can set document permissions. This is a PDFpenPro only feature. (See more on PDFpenPro).
Yes, to do this choose Script > Number Pages Using Bates Numbering… If you are familiar with AppleScript, you can hold down the Option key and change the script in the Script Editor.
To create a Header or Footer, choose the graphic you want to use. Drag the graphic onto the first page and position it. Then, choose "Imprint all Pages as First" from the Script menu. The Header or Footer should apply throughout the document. If you do not have a graphic, you can create a textbox with the Text tool. Type your text in the box. Then, go to the Script menu > Imprint all Pages as First.
Please send us a detailed email and our fast and friendly support team will respond.
Online serial number lookup is available.
"You are the best! What wonderful support. Thank you so much for all the "how to" emails and the video support. You make this program so easy to learn. I write a newsletter and was sent a form to insert in a PDF format. I wanted to add to the bottom "Created by..." and you people made it a snap with your support."
-Rose Marie T., Redondo Beach, CA
"Thanks very much for the prompt response to my question. I've heard on podcasts how responsive Smile is, and I've now experienced it firsthand."
-Martin from Maryland
PDFpen 6.x and PDFpenPro 6.x are compatible with OS X 10.7 and 10.8 (Lion and Mountain Lion).
New book from Take Control: The ultimate road map to becoming a PDFpen power user!
132 pp., $10
Get the power of PDFpen on the road! With iCloud and full-featured PDF editing power, it's a mobile app that doesn't feel like you left some important features back at the office.
With PDFpenPro, you can: