I've heard from a lot of lawyers that want to use iPads for reviewing PDFs but are freaked out by the idea of storing client documents "in the cloud". Yesterday Smile and Transporter announced support in the PDFpen applications for Transporter storage. The result is that now you can store PDFs in your own private Transporter cloud and still access them on the go using PDFpen. Clever.
It's always fun unloading nerdy secrets and this one has been weighing on me. I've made no secret of the fact that I like to use optical character recognition in my PDFs and I've never been entirely happy with the options for pulling this off with my iPhone or iPad. Not anymore.
Today Smile released PDFpen Scan+, an app designed to capture documents and images and turn them into OCR'd PDF images. I've been using it in the day job for a month and it works great.
The workflow is pretty simple:
1. Shoot a picture of a document, or look at an existing picture.
2. Set borders and save to PDF.
3. Apply OCR and watch the magic happen. The application supports 16 languages.
The app will send the completed PDF with OCR to PDFpen or any other PDF-friendly app. You can also send it away via email or up to your cloud storage. PDFpen Scan+ is another outstanding app by an outstanding group of people. There is an introductory price of $4.99 but it is going to go up so get it now.
Also, here's a small video I made.
As promised, for the next two days you can get PDFpen 6 for $29.99 and PDFpenPro 6 for $39.99. I recommend getting it from the App Store for the iCloud support. I just purchased my copy of PDFpenPro. Because I know the developers, I could probably have asked them for a free promo code but I didn't. I plan on using the heck out of this software and in these days of $1 apps, I want to make sure that companies willing to put more effort into their products can stay in business. Anyway, that's enough of the soap box. It's a great app and now is your chance to get it at a great price. If you missed it before, here is a link to my PDFpen 6 screencast.
This weekend's Mac Power Users episode announced the pending release of PDFpen for Mac, version 6. I've been in the beta test and I really like this update. PDFpen has always been a great PDF solution on the Mac and this upgrade really improves upon it.
The new tool bar and edit bar make performing quick edits much easier. Everything is accessible with one mouse click. The new icons are also all retina friendly and look great on my fancy MacBook Pro.
Export to Word
I'm trying to figure out if I'm an edge case but I really love this new feature. Shady attorneys send me PDFs (when they should be Word or Pages documents) for review on a weekly basis. Now I can easily take the PDF, convert it to Word, and send it back to them with change tracking. I've already been doing this and they think I am some sort of dark wizard. This new feature does a really terrific job, capturing things like columns, graphics, and even some typography. This feature is worth the upgrade price alone.
Here is another great feature I didn't know I needed but now love. If you scan a form, you no longer have to manually add the form fill in boxes. PDFpen does it for you, with one button. (This is a Pro version only feature.)
Because the App Store doesn't provide for upgrade pricing, Smile is going to put the apps half off for the first 48 hours they are available in the App Store. That's $30 for PDFpen and $40 for PDFpen Pro. Buy it then. I'd get the Pro version because some of those features are really useful and at $40 it is a steal. You can do the traditional upgrade route through Smile but if you want iCloud support (I do), you'll need to buy it from the Mac App Store. (Both the version they sale directly on their web site and the Mac App Store version support Dropbox syncing.) Exactly when this sale starts is unclear. Last I heard, they are waiting for the green light from Apple. As soon as it does go on sale, however, I'll post and tweet about it. You're going to want to get in on this sale.
I love it when a software company delights me. This new version of PDFpen does just that. It takes a product that I already loved and makes it better (without screwing up the things I loved about it to begin with). Here is a video I made showing off some of my favorite new features.
A friend asked me why on earth I'd need a PDF app on my phone. Rather than explain briefly, I made a 40 minute video. Here is my soup to nuts explanation of how I use PDFpen for iPhone.
If you haven't bought the app yet, you should right now. Smile just dropped the price (for a limited time) on PDFpen for iPhone* to $2. (PDFpen for iPad* is also on sale for just $7.) Watch the video, buy the apps, tell your friends. You can't go wrong.
* Affiliate link lining my pockets one nickel at a time.