This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2015-03-02 at 5:37 p.m.
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“Take Control of PDFpen 7” Documents PDFpen for Mac and iOS

by Adam C. Engst

If you’re wrangling PDFs using Smile’s PDFpen 7 [1] or PDFpenPro 7 [2] on the Mac, perhaps along with PDFpen for iPad & iPhone [3], check out Michael Cohen’s new 171-page “Take Control of PDFpen 7 [4].” It provides updated documentation of the Mac versions and an explanation of the touch-based interface of the iOS version, plus help on moving documents between them using iCloud, Dropbox, iOS’s Open In controls, and even iTunes.

As massively useful as PDFpen is, working with PDFs — regardless of the app — can be complex, and Michael clarifies and demystifies the confusing bits. After a quick overview of the PDF format to set the stage, Michael walks you through PDFpen’s tools and navigation, along with the many ways you can create a PDF from within the program. You’ll learn how to take notes on a PDF, copyedit and comment on a PDF, fill out PDF forms (complete with your signature!), add and remove pages, and edit text and graphics in a PDF. You’ll even find out how to export a PDF to a formatted Microsoft Word document.

For PDFpenPro users, Michael explains how to create an interactive PDF form and get user-submitted data back via email or the Web, plus how to control whether a PDF can be printed, modified, and annotated. PDFpenPro users will also learn how to export to Excel and PowerPoint formats, and how to edit the OCR layer in scanned documents. Finally, an appendix describes the many useful AppleScripts that ship with PDFpen.

So if you’re looking for help with PDFpen’s many features, check out the $15 “Take Control of PDFpen 7 [5],” available now in DRM-free PDF (natch), EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats. And if you don’t yet own PDFpen and want to go beyond the limited features for working with PDFs in Preview, remember that TidBITS members save 20 percent on PDFpen [6] when bought from Smile’s site, not to mention saving 30 percent on all Take Control orders (for both discounts, click through from your Member Benefits [7] page).