Freshly Squeezed Reviews: PDFPen for iPad

Feb 20, 2012 | Reviews | 0 comments

PRODUCT: PDFPen for iPad
AUTHOR: Smile, Inc.
REQUIREMENTS: iOS 5 or later
TEST RIG: iPad2; 32 GB, Wi-Fi
I’m heavily into the concept of the paperless office. And once I get all of these files and bills off of my desktop, I swear I’ll begin. I have to. My daughter is heavy into minimalism and keeps lecturing me. Plus I bought the Take Control eBook about creating a paper office.

I have made some inroads. I’ve broken the habit of just tossing paperwork onto my desk. Instead, I deal with the bill or document right away, then recycle the paper and envelopes. In fact, I’m finding more and more insurance and medical companies let you sign and forward forms electronically. A real time saver. And that’s why we’re reviewing PDFPen for iPad.
“PDFpen for iPad, the mobile version of our award-winning PDFpen, lets you take control of your PDFs even when you’re not at the office. … You don’t need to get back to your Mac to take care of important PDFs. Great for leases and job applications, whenever quick turnaround is a priority. … If you need to change the price in a catalog or correct the spelling of your client’s name, you can do it even when you’re on the road.
“Together with PDFpen for Mac, you have an unbeatable combination. Store your PDFs in iCloud and you can edit them on your Mac!”
Again, I find that my iPad has inserted itself as the hub of my daily workflow.


PDFPen for iPad can be used either as an adjunct to its desktop bretheren or as a stand alone app on its own. You can open .pdf documents from over have a dozen places including iDisk, Dropbox, and Evernote. And, of course, iCloud.

You have two options for your layout (and I don’t mean or portrait and layout.) You can set it to resemble Keynote, with the list of pages in a sidebar on the left or you can layout all of the pages in a grid.
It’s annotation options are many and extremely customizable. It has everything from highlighting variations to a half dozen pages of proofing symbols. You are able to choose your font and size, you can share and print, and email tech support from within the app.
You can also easily access the information on what app the .pdf document was created with including creation and modification dates, among other tidbits.


I’ve only had a short time to work PDFPenf, but what you notice immediately about PDFfiP is how much more natural it feels to annotate a document with your fingers. And, needless to say, being able to swipe through the document makes things very easy (if it was needless to say, then why did I say it?)?
The iPad version has all of the power (and as I just said, a much more conducive platform than the Mac version) of it’s desktop counterpart. If you’re already a user of the desktop version, you’re going to fall in love with the iPad version within seconds. Your workflow won’t skip a beat.
This also a perfect tool for group projects. I pretty much work on my own, so I didn’t get to test it in a communal workflow. But it seems like it would be dead simple and extremely efficient.


Nada. Was not left wanting for anything. In fact, I was trying to divise a system to incorporate more of it power into my workflow.


Steve had all of us buffaloed when he initially described the iPad as a consumer device. As many third party developers have learned, the iPad is a production tool that will only grow stronger with each successive upgrade. And Smile is well aware of this.
If you’re an entrepneur or student, the purchase of PDFPen for iPad is a no-brainer. Leave your apartment with only your iPad and and you cn still accomplish your work. If your an actual business person (y’know, someone with an actual paying job) then PDFPfi is perfect for catching up on projects while you’re out to lunch.
Again, as with Text Expander, Smile has nailed it. An indispensable app with plenty of power and a minimal learning curve. I’m 99.9% certain that I’ve barely even scratched the surface of its abilities. Again, another excuse to get out of performing work bites the dust.

RATING: 10 out of 10

©  Frank Petrie 2012


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