I watched MacSparky’s screencast on PDFpen Version 6 and thought I’d have to wait several fretful days for the sale to happen but it’s here!
I’m a big fan of Smile Software’s PDFpenPro but I’ve always taken the position that Mac-lawyers who work a lot with PDFs need to invest in a full version of Adobe Acrobat Professional, just like I believe Mac-lawyers need to invest in a full version of Microsoft Office for the Mac. These are the “professional-grade” tools for our profession.
But with Version 6 of PDFpenPro, Smile is definitely narrowing the gap. Version 6 adds the ability to export to Word and form recognition which has historically been Acrobat Professional space. I’m still hesitant to completely abandon my Acrobat Professional recommendation, but I can tell you that I’m buying PDFpenPro Version 6 today because it’s that good.
First, go watch MacSparky’s screencast so some of his excitement can rub off on you.
Second, go read Smile’s blog post so you can understand the different purchase options. This gets a little confusing, but lemme offer some help: Buy the Mac App Store version so that you can take advantage of iCloud support. MacSparky has only barely commented publicly on why this is important, but when I’ve talked with him personally I completely understand the seamlessness of the system – PDFs sync between your Mac and iPad/iPhone via iCloud so you don’t have to worry about what folder they’re in, whether you e-mailed it, etc.
You only have 48 hours to buy PDFpenPro Version 6 on the Mac App Store for $39.99 before it goes back to its regular price of $79.99.
This may seem like a silly question, but PDFs are indispensable to the practice of law so this is an important consideration.
As I wrote in my review of Adobe Acrobat 9 for Law.com, PDF has become the lingua franca of legal documents – it is the standard for electronic filing, scanned documents, digital signatures, form distribution and much more. This means lawyers and legal professionals have to open and read a LOT of PDF files every day.
Opening & reading a PDF
About 90% of the time, all we need to do is open and read a PDF – we don’t need to highlight or annotate anything, create bookmarks, or do anything else except just read the content.
So 90% of the time, I’m opening PDFs in Preview, the excellent image viewer that’s built into Mac OS X.
Preview is truly a hidden gem that’s built into Mac OS X. It’s fast, functional and free, and it was designed by Apple to work within the Mac OS. It’s the default viewer for image files such as JPG or TIFF, as well as PDFs. That means out of the box, your Mac will open Preview when you double-click a PDF file.
I choose to leave Preview as my default PDF viewer, even though I have both PDFpen and Adobe Acrobat on my system. I leave Preview as my default PDF viewer because it’s fast and performs admirably when I simply need to open and read a PDF.
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I use the iPad to read a lot of news, websites, e-mail and documents. There are many occasions when I want to convert what I’m reading into a PDF so I can annotate and preserve the information. And I want to save it into Dropbox since that’s my “virtual file cabinet.”
Josh Barrett over on the most-excellent Tablet Legal blog has a couple of great posts on creating PDFs from your iPad, but he has a couple of reservations about the quality of the PDFs from the methods he outlines. I’m intrigued by the Save2PDF app, but I’d like to see some improvements before I commit to it.
Everyone’s been talking about AirPrint that showed up in the iOS 4.2 upgrade, but there doesn’t seem to be many people that have the compatible printers necessary to make it work out of the box. There are some workarounds but I wanted something simple and seamless.
Many people have ALSO been talking about Printopia, a new offering from the folks at Ecamm Network. I’ve been a big fan of Ecamm’s PhoneView which I don’t use all that often, but every once in a while it’s an awesome way to dig around the guts of my iPhone.
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