Sign, annotate, read PDFs with this streamlined app
PDFs are wonderfully convenient ways to read eBooks, fill out forms, or just provide users with a high-resolution, easy-to-read format. Apple's iBooks allows users to read PDFs on their iPhone and iPads, but sometimes we feel like it's missing a few key features, like the ability to annotate the PDF you're reading. That's where apps like PDF Max 4 Pro come in, which allow you to do more with all those PDFs you've been stockpiling.
The behemoth of PDF applications becomes more behomothy
Adobe Acrobat has long been the official PDF reader for Mac and it's just about as long since you ever needed it because you're on a Mac. You have Preview. If you want to do more than Preview offers then you have excellent tools like PDFpen. Nonetheless, Acrobat was the app made by Adode, the creator of PDF, and it was powerful. Now it's more powerful: it isn't just a single app anymore, Adobe Acrobat DC is more like a front door to an entire service that sees you using PDFs across Macs, iOS and more via a new service called Adobe Document Cloud.
One feature worth buying the whole app for
It remains true that the Preview app you get in OS X is an excellent PDF reader and that you can do a lot with it. However, to do more, you need tools and we keep recommending PDFpen from Smile Software. Maybe this tells you a lot about the things we like doing with PDFs but if there were one feature that sold PDFpen to us, it was this: the ability to change text. If you know you can do this then you know it's useful but if you don't then you may not have quite got this yet: when someone sends you a document in PDF specifically so that you can only read it, you can edit it anyway. Use your new powers only for good.
Get more from Apple's underrated Preview app
Preview is one of the reasons that life is better on a Mac than on a PC. There are many reasons but Preview is right up there as is the way that OS X works with PDFs. It does this so smoothly that you don't appreciate it until you go to a PC and cannot believe for the life of you that it can be this tough or that you have to install extra software just to save a PDF. Yet, even as we hurry back to our Macs, we still don't appreciate OS X quite enough. For as well as creating and viewing PDFs, OS X lets you manipulate them – and it does so all in Preview. Here's how to combine two PDFs into one. That's a useful thing all by itself, but along the way you'll see how to add and remove pages, you'll see how to rearrange them too.
Easily convert webpages to PDF to read later with this PDF converter tool
PDF creation apps have been exploding onto the App Store for quite some time, so we're pretty used to them by now. We've had some that we've loved, and some that we've loved a little less, than others. We've found that we tend to think higher of the ones that offer more features that are closely related to their desktop counterparts, though we've been pleasantly surprised by many of these pared-down programs. Today, we sat down with Air PDF, by the same creators of Power DOS, to check out how this one stacks up to the others.
TurboScan turns your iPhone into a high quality portable scanner
Not every household these days has a scanner, and you're quite a bit less likely to run into a person who keeps a scanner with them at all times. This is the main motivation for the recent surge in "scanning" apps in the App Store, or photography-based apps that convert images into PDFs or high-resolution JPGs. We sat down with TurboScan by Piksoft, to see how it stacks up against other similar apps.
You'll want to use PDFs more when you've got one of these
Right, here's the thing: by the time we're done here, you really must own PDFpen for Mac. It's just a question of which version -- and it's a more complicated question than it might be. For while there's now a new version 7 and it introduces some excellent features, it introduces them in two editions -- PDFpen and PDFpen Pro -- yet its very best abilities are already right there in version 6. Plus, there is the iPad version which we've already said we rate very highly.
Prepare Kindle and iBooks versions of your PDF documents
Lets just cut through it -- if you need to convert PDF documents into the ePub format that iBooks or the Kindle app for iPad and Mac use, then the eponymously-named PDF to ePub Converter does the job. It's quick, and it's easy to use, plus it has options for setting different colors for the text and page background. It's biggest problem is that there aren't many situations when most people would need to use any converter at all: iBooks and Kindle both open and display PDF files natively.
Edit PDFs as well as read them in this updated essential
Here's a true story about what PDFpen 2 does. A Windows-based firm produced a year-end report that was about 80 pages and most importantly took many, many hours to create. It was all highly complex, auto-generated figures -- and one huge spelling mistake. They didn't see the mistake until the final PDF was about to be sent out to clients. Fixing it meant re-running the whole process, re-calculating everything: it meant not sending the report until tomorrow. Luckily, one guy in the firm had PDFpen on his iPad. He opened that PDF, typed in the correct spelling, sent the PDF on its way. Total time: five minutes -- and three of those had been spent on panicking.
Downloads made available earlier than official launch
Version for iOS adds comment, form printing, more
Adobe is just waiting on Apple's review process before releasing a new version of its Adobe (Acrobat) Reader app for iOS, and while waiting has also updated its Android version to add features that will match the iOS version. Reader, which was last updated for iOS in July, allows users to view and work with PDF documents, including adding text and filling out forms. Among the improvements in the new version are cloud storage, improved forms interactivity, support for FormsCentral PDFs and more.
Connects to FormsCentral, EchoSign services
Adobe has announced Acrobat XI, a cloud service-enabled version of its PDF creating and editing software. Acrobat XI can now merge content from multiple documents into one PDF file while retaining source file integrity, and adds the ability to export documents to Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel among other features.
Available as $1 companion for direct upgraders
Mac app developer Smile has introduced a version of its business-oriented PDF editor PDFpen to the iPad, allowing users to add text, images and signatures to PDFs, fill out forms and perform many other editing, annotation and management functions with PDF documents, will full iCloud support to allow seamless transfer between iOS and Mac OS X machines. The company also release a new version of PDFpen for Mac for both Mac App Store and direct-update customers.
Allows PDFs to be displayed within web content
Apple has released Safari 5.1.2, a bugfix release that contains several improvements, including addressing issues that can cause some webpages to flash white and other issues that would cause hangs and memory leaks. The new version improves stability and allows PDFs to be displayed within web content. The update is available for Lion (10.7.2), Snow Leopard (10.6.8) and Windows XP SP2 or later.
Mac OS X Lion: Pogue's Take
Smile Software has released an updated version of its PDF editing tool, PDFpen. Version 5.6 allows users to set the name used with notes and comments, and adds support for anonymous notes and comments. The update also features a new preference that allows documents to be displayed at their physical size. Additionally, numerous bugs and crashes have been resolved. PDFpen 5.6 and PDFpen Pro 5.6 can be purchased online for $60 and $100 respectively.
Research network and library coordination app
Mendeley, a collaborative social network for researchers combined with a cloud-based document management and storage application, has hit several milestones lately: over 1 million individual users, over 100 million research papers in its database, and the release of Mendeley Desktop 1.0 for all three major platforms. The app works as a PDF document management tool and offers levels of public and private collaborative sharing.
New format could challenge PDF format
Wolfram has launched Computable Document Format (CDF), a new document format that the company hopes will become a standard for embedding interactive content within a document. The company hopes to line up publishers and other organizations seeking to "bring documents to life." Wolfram still has not ironed out the business model behind CDF.
Custom stamps, group annotations also improved
Qoppa Software's Java-based PDF annotation editor PDF Studio has been upgraded to version 6.6, offering a new tool chest pane, more custom stamps, support for group annotations, a simpler method of importing files into PDF pages in the current PDF document, and the ability to edit nonLatin Unicode text in document properties and annotation content.
Can also overlay/underlay pages, proof marks
SintraWorks -- known for its PDFClerk management software -- today unveiled its new PDF imposition tool, CommandPDF. The package consists of two command-line tools that handle the imposition and automation aspects, and a GUI manager to design and test imposition templates. The program can also overlay or underlay pages of documents -- useful for multi-language editions or letterhead -- and overlay proof marks as well.
Adds new Workgroup Manager product to the mix
Enfocus have updated their entire family of PDF preflight and editing software to version 10, and introduced a new tool to enable management of Pitstop Pro among multiple users. The new application, PitStop Workgroup Manager, works with floating licenses of Pitstop Pro to share preflight profiles, action lists, workspaces and more from a single point.
Annotations include text, drawing, highlighting
PDFs come into focus on the new update to GoodReader and the new Readdle App, PDF Expert for iPad. Good.iWare's GoodReader, available for both iPad and also iPhone -- as a separate app -- offers reading capabilities for PDFs, text files and Office and iWork files. It also focuses on reading extremely large PDF or text files, including those over 1GB in size.
Callout annotation added, security improved
PDF Studio, a full-featured PDF editor positioned as an alternative to the more expensive Adobe Acrobat, has upgraded to v6.5 -- a significant update that adds several new features and offers improvements in every area. The most significant changes include a new batch dialog to manage, open and view several documents at once on startup, a new callout annotation tool, a calibration tool to supplement the existing measuring tool which will allow users to set scale directly from a drawing, and dragging and dropping pages across documents, among others.
Version 5.1 adds full Snow Leopard support, more
Recosoft has launched PDF2Office 5.1, updating it PDF translation software which focuses on Microsoft Office compatibility. PDF2Office recovers the data stored in PDF documents for use in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It recovers page breaks, graphics, annotations and formatting. PDF2Office Services also support Pages, Keynote and TextEdit.
PDF converter recognizes forms, formatting, tables
Solid Documents has launched Solid PDF to Word for Mac. The PDF converter arrives on the Mac platform with the ability to export to formats compatible with Word, Excel, Pages, HTML and text, giving a user numerous choices when editing a PDF document is necessary. The converter recognizes headers and footers, retains formatting, recovers tables and recognizes hyperlinks. It can also recover rotated text and recognize and reconstruct PDF forms.
Version 5.0 improves drag and drop performance
Monkeybread has announced Combine PDFs 5.0, updating its PDF merge/split software for the Mac. Combine PDFs allows users to merge PDF files and images into a single PDF file. Using drag and drop, several PDF files can be dropped on the program icon. A window appears allowing the user to change the order in which the files are joined. Users can split a PDF file or create a new PDF file with interleaved pages from two different PDF files. Combine PDFs uses simple, 40-bit encrypted passwords for their PDF files. With the password applied, users can choose whether anyone can view the PDF directly or even print or copy content. Combine PDFs also features stronger, 128-bit encryption as an option.
Also adds full Snow Leopard compliance
Recosoft has released PDF2Office Personal 5.0 for the Mac platform. The program rebuilds the layout of PDF documents for Microsoft Word. It automatically reforms paragraphs, preserves styles and regroups independent graphic elements. It also creates tables, and processes headers and footers, endnotes and footnotes, and columns and sections. The software operates as a plug-in.
Device offers 6-inch 800x600 display
Booken has announced that its upcoming e-book reader, the Orizon, will support multi-touch input. The device integrates a 6-inch SiPix display with 800x600 resolution, along with 1GB of integrated memory and a microSD slot for further expansion. Other known specs include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an accelerometer, while supported formats include ePub and PDF.
Utility supports document creation and editing
Coherent Graphics has introduced Proview 1.0, a new utility for creating and editing PDF documents. Users can manage PDF bookmarks, add or remove attachments, or add information such as text and dates. The utility allows multiple documents to be merged into one, while single files can be split into sections or at bookmark boundaries.
New version preserves transparency on TIFF, PNG
Zevrix has launched PDF Checkpoint 1.2, updating its PDF preflight and conversion software. The app exports PDFs as images, and splits and reduces the size of PDF files. Hundreds of files can be handled at a time via drag-and-drop batch processing.
Utility supports drag-and-drop conversion
ExactCODE has released OCRKit, a utility that converts images into searchable PDF files. The software uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to extract text from graphics files in formats such as PDF, TIFF, JPEG, BMP, and PNM, among others. Users can convert items by dragging files directly onto the OCRKit application icon.
Software now supports Snow Leopard
Recosoft has updated its Mac-based PDF conversion tool for Microsoft Office, PDF2Office Professional. The software converts PDF documents into formats such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint and HTML. It automatically recreates the original layout of a document, detecting styles, forming paragraphs and regrouping graphics. It can also extract images, and supports tables, headers and footers, column formatting and endnotes and footnotes.
Converter keeps layouts, graphics intact
Recosoft has launched a new PDF converter for Apple's iWork suite, PDF2Office for iWork v1.0. The software attempts to restore layouts in its conversion process, recreating paragraphs and tables. It can also regroup independent graphic elements. Users have access to preset conversion options and font mappings, but can also make fine adjustments as necessary.
Sente 6 improves syncing multiple libraries
Third Street Software has released an update to its software for academic-reference management and file organization, Sente 6. The application delivers tools for creating and maintaining libraries containing PDF files, with options to search and sync content. With the latest version, maintaining multiple copies of a reference library and assigning tags have both been simplified. A new PDF Markup command has been added, while the program now supports hundreds of additional Bibliography formats.
PDF editor put to scrutiny
MacNN has reviewed the latest edition of PDFpen, an editor that serves as an alternative to more expensive tools from the likes of Adobe. The software provides mostly basic functions, such as text insertion, notes and signatures, and various forms of image manipulation including line illustrations. Pages can also be reorganized as needed before printing.
Uploads PDFs to multiple locations
Readdle has begun selling Scanner Pro, a new iPhone application. Users can scan in paper documents via an iPhone's built-in camera; the images are then converted into multi-page PDF documents, which can be uploaded to several different destinations. These include e-mail addresses, Wi-Fi-connected computers or any WebDAV server, such as a MobileMe iDisk folder.
PDF Checkpoint app with batch processing
Zevrix Soltuions has released the PDF Checkpoint, a new PDF workflow automation tool with batch processing capabilities. The app allows users to preflight multiple PDF files and retrieve detailed information on documents fonts, color paces, attributes and images. PDF Checkpoint delivers drag-and-drop capabilities for files, and provides automatic moving or copying of files to specific folders after preflighting. Additionally, the software includes functions for exporting PDF pages as images, or splitting files into single page PDF documents.
Several new features
SQLabs has updated its Mac PDF management software, PDFGarden, to v3.0. The utility combines, transforms, arranges and reorders multiple PDF documents via drag-and-drop adjustments. Thousands of PDF files can be managed at a time, and documents themselves can contain thousands of pages. It utilizes Apple's Preview app and Quartz rendering technology.
FlightCheck Pro 6.5 update
Markzware has released a v6.5 update for FlightCheck Professional, its specialized preflighting tool. The software scrutinizes output documents for problems that could potentially affect the print process, such as trapping, overprinting and mismatched color spaces. The app then flags source issues, which can be corrected through a separate publishing suite.
PDFClerk Pro 3.9 released
SintraWorks has released v3.9 of PDFClerk Pro, used to create and edit PDF documents to meet the specifications of print-shops. The latest version allows users to optionally print individual pages and features both French and German localization. The update also fixes various bugs from the previous version.
Finder Rename, AudioRefurb
Warranty Hero 1.3.2 ($15) allows users to keep track of a products life-span and its accompanying warranty. The application can track a products name, vendor, purchase date and a warranty expiry date. Optional information for serial number, price, and a product image can be entered as necessary. Version 1.3.2 includes several new interface enhancements and removes an error dialog window from the demo version. Multiple bugs were also fixed with the update. [Download - 5.3MB]
axaio has released new versions of its MadeToPrint line of products, used to standardize output from InDesign and QuarkXPress. The line consists of MadeToPrint Standard, MadeToPrint Auto, and MadeToPrint Server. The Auto and Server versions integrate into various publishing systems, including vjoon's K4 and WoodWing's Smart Connection Enterprise. The update exports fully imposed PDFs.
Recover PDF Password ships
Eltima has introduced Recover PDF Password, an application used to retrieve misplaced PDF file passwords. If only the owner or user password is known, the application can duplicate the document with all printing, editing and copying restrictions removed. Files are dragged and dropping into the application, which then prompts users with a "Decrypt" button. The application supports Unicode passwords, Acrobat 9.x files and 256-bit encrypted files.
Little Disk, Coloristic
Combine PDFs 4.4 ($30) is a utility that allows users to merge PDF files and images into one PDF file. Users can also split a PDF file or create a new PDF file with interleaved pages from two different PDF files. Version 4.4 includes a new preferences window which allows users to set PDF files to open in either Acrobat Reader or Preview. The applications main window has been modified to fit better on smaller screen and several bugs have been fixed in this release. [Download - 5.4MB]
pdfToolbox 4.3 update
callas has posted an update to pdfToolbox, its signature publishing suite. The software is claimed to handle every stage of PDF workflow, from initial creation through to font and color management, as well as preflight. Layers allow users to selective combine or separate elements. Version 4 lets users generate a PDF directly from layers or layer views; the feature primarily aids in creating alternate versions of a document, such as foreign translations.
iBank Widget, iStat Pro
PDFClerk Pro 3.8 ($45) provides tools for performing a larger number of manipulations to existing PDF documents, as well as allowing the creating of PDF documents from non PDF files. In version 3.8 the annotation reordering feature now works for all supported annotation types and positioning, sizing and rotating objects now works on all selected objects. The update also features a new fullscreen option with an optional Kiosk mode. [Download - 7.9MB]
PDF Merge, Countdown
FTP Maker 1.4 ($30) is a tool that helps users create a custom FTP Uploader package to be distributed to employees/customers/co-workers for simplifying the process of sending files to an FTP server. The generated package contains all of the connection parameters meaning the user does not have to manually set them up. Version 1.5 has added a new log feature along with a new parametric prefix for creating a single zip file with custom prefix. The new version also allows users to hide settings in the generated FTP Maker Uploader. [Download - 2.5MB]
eMail Bounce, Photo Print
Combine PDFs 4.3 ($30) is a utility that allows users to merge PDF files and images into one PDF file. Users can also split a PDF file or create a new PDF file with interleaved pages from two different PDF files. Version 4.3 includes two new menu commands, one for reordering pages for duplex 2 on 1 page book printing, and the other for removing blank pages. The update also includes German and French localizations and improves the softwares memory usage. [Download - 5MB]
PDF Enhancer 3.5 announced
Apago has announced V3.5 of its PDF Enhancer software. The program is used to produce various types of PDF files, eliminating unnecessary information to decrease file size and speed up the use of each PDF. The upgrade supports more device link profiles and color patterns, improving font handling and color management. These new features help ensure more accurate color conversions, lending to device-specific colors. V3.5 also includes an ICC-based color conversion engine, a page box added to the interface, and stamping managers.
Quarterly Adobe patches
In keeping with a scheduled plan, Adobe has released the first of its quarterly patch collections for Reader and Acrobat. Both programs have been upgraded to v9.1.2, addressing "critical vulnerabilities" which could trigger a crash and allow hackers to assume control of a computer. Mac and Windows editions are equally affected.
Adobe adopts patch cycle
Adobe will be adopting a quarterly patch cycle, at least with regard to Reader and Acrobat, explains the company's security and privacy director, Brad Arkin. Patches for the PDF tools should now be released every three months, and on the second Tuesday of said month. The timing is meant to coincide with Microsoft's famous "Patch Tuesdays," Arkin notes, thereby giving IT workers an opportunity to test updates from both companies before propagating them across a network.