Anyone use PDFpen?

Yes, I do. I get quite a number of reference forms to fill out for students which are in PDF format. As my handwriting is now unbelievably awful and in any case the possibility is there to submit on line, I find it very useful.

I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely wonderful, and I guess you might be able to do the same thing in Skim, but I got PDF Pen first and so continue with that as it does the job I want it for.


I see that filling forms is highlighted as a key feature, so I’m wondering whether my aim of producing PDFs with images and internal links is one that can be satisfied by this app.
Easy enough to get text and images into PDF form, but editing these is the issue.
Any experience in this regard?

I’m fiddling with the demo and stumbling a bit…


If you actually want to edit the content of a PDF, to the best of my knowledge is lashing out the loot on a copy of Acrobat Pro. All PDFPen does is allow you place text boxes or graphics precisely on a layer above the main PDF layer. If I remember rightly, you can then flatten it if you want – it’s a few months since I had to use it – but you can’t modify the text or the graphics in the PDF itself. I have the standard PDFPen, not PDFPen Pro, so I don’t know if that will let you modify the actual PDF. You’d need to have a look. For me, I couldn’t justify the extra outlay.


Hi there,

It you are still on trial time, you may want to look at PDFclerk from SintraWorks too.

From all the pdf apps out there, this is the one I like the most. (Together w/ Skim, which is great for annotation.)


Picking up what seems to be your other question is, I produce lots of PDFs … notes for my students and documents that I have to provide the university with, exam papers and the like. I always make these PDFs so that no-one can mess with them; or, since I’m here in China and everyone else uses Chinese Windows + Office and I can guarantee that I’ll go to great length laying out an exam paper to look really good, and if I send it in RTF format (or .doc as exported from Nisus) Chinese Word used by the person who’ll print it will screw up the layout completely. Doesn’t happen with PDF.

Quite simply, I produce the document in Nisus Writer Pro, InDesign or whatever, then simply export or print to PDF. If I need to edit it, I go back to the original, edit that and re-export/print to PDF.


Thanks for all of this. I’ll look at PDFClerk.

PDFpen does allow editing.

Yes, easy to make PDFs with Nisus (I use Mellel), but inserting internal links in particular is not possible this way.

I’ve just had a look at both a demo of PDFClerk Pro, and once again at PDFpen and PDFpenPro.

I found that PDFpen and PDFpenPro will edit text in a PDF produced by printing to PDF from Nisus Writer Pro, but that they mess up the line length by not matching kerning and spacing, so in a justified text, that line becomes much shorter. PDFpenPro does a slightly better job. When it came to a PDF produced by exporting from InDesign, they both messed it up completely. Although it seems perfectly easy to move graphics around, and presumably delete them and maybe replace them, the text flow remains what it was, so moving the graphic to another part of the page will leave a blank space where it was, and presumably overlay the text at the point it is moved to.

PDFClerk Pro, I couldn’t get to edit a text at all. You would have to just put an opaque borderless text box with the new text over the old one, but the text wouldn’t be flowed at all with the existing text. On the other hand, it did look to me at a quick glance to be much better at putting in hyperlinks, and manipulating signature settings, etc. Valente may have found a way of editing with it … I couldn’t.

So it looks like a case of “You pays your money and you takes your pick”. I’ll stick with the basic PDFpen, as that does what I need. As I say, as I produce the PDFs, any editing I’ll do by going back to the original.


Just for your information, PDFpen is on sale over at maczot.com
Whether it is worth it is for you to decide,