First, Adobe Acrobat. Almost anything that can be done to a PDF can be done by Acrobat and you’ll pay for the privilege. Second, at the other end of the scale for Mac users is OS X’s own Preview app which reads PDFs, and gives you a few editing options.
In between there’s a host of PDF editors which range from a few dollars to you-get-what-you-pay-for. I’ve reviewed a number of the lesser and less expensive PDF editors. If you can’t afford Acrobat, then PDFpenPro is the choice for discerning Mac users.
To be honest, as much as I’ve used the less expensive knockoffs, PDFpenPro is more like Adobe Acrobat Lite. It’s a PDF editor so you can annotate, add text, make corrections, add signature, drop in OCR scanned documents.
That’s all well and good but many PDF editors do that. What most of the lesser versions don’t do is to create cross platform interactive PDF forms– Mac and Windows. In fact, PDFpenPro can export PDFs to Microsoft .doc and docx format so Word users can read the files.
As you would expect from a full featured PDF editor, PDFpenPro comes with a comprehensive Toolbar that’s almost self explanatory. As with Preview, PDFpenPro lets you create a digital signature and drag, drop, and resize it within the document.
Images in a PDF document can be moved, copied, deleted, or resized from within the original. Text can be erased or redacted; use full search-and-redact or search-and-replace tools. All the standard annotation tools are built in, of course, and you can password protect a PDF using 256-bit AES encryption.
The Mac App Store version lets you use iCloud (though, with OS X Yosemite, even non-App Store apps can use iCloud files) for file sync and backup. If PDFpenPro is a bit rich for your budget, there’s PDFpen 6, which is nearly half the price tag, minus a few of the more esoteric features.
The only issue I’ve run into with either version is the same as I have with other PDF editors– editing OCR documents is a pain (maybe more the nature of Optical Character Recognition than the editor). For an app with a significant price tag, PDFpen on the Mac App Store does not have a trial version. Fortunately, the developers are savvy Mac users have have a trial version available, as well as half a dozen instructional videos so you can PDFpenPro in use before you buy or try.