PDFpenPro review

An all-purpose PDF editing tool for Mac

PDFpenPro Review Hero
(Image: © Nitro)

TechRadar Verdict

PDFpenPro is a handy tool for editing or creating PDF files. With it, you can easily rework PDF files without converting them to the .doc or .docx format and converting them back after you’ve finished editing. PDFpenPro’s advantages include that it’s easy to use, takes up little computing resources when running, and offers customer support when you need it. On the other hand, its disadvantages include frequent crashes, being a bit expensive to buy, and only working on Mac operating systems.


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    Easy to use

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    Takes up little computational space

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    Customer support


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    The text doesn’t always come out with the correct font.

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    Frequent crashing

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    A bit expensive

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    Only available on Mac operating systems

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We classify PDFpenPro under word processing software as opposed to just being a PDF editor. The original company behind the PDF editing software is Smile Software. However, Smile Software sold the PDFpenPro tool to Nitro Software Limited last year. Nitro is a software company specializing in PDF editing tools and it is also publicly traded on the Australian Stock Exchange. 

PDFpenPro is an upgraded version of the PDFpen software sold by Nitro. What sets it apart from many other PDF editing tools is its specialty for the Mac operating system. For example, you can save your PDF files directly on Apple’s iCloud with PDFpenPro. 

We’ll be reviewing PDFpenPro based on specific criteria, including features, pricing, customer support, compatibility, user interface, and so on.


Unlike other software, PDFpenPro is available for a one-off fee (Image credit: Nitro)

Plans and pricing

PDFpenPro’s pricing structure is very straightforward. It costs $129.95 to buy a lifetime license, without any additional fees. This price is a bit expensive compared to other PDF editing software on the market. It's worth noting though that Nitro also offers PDFpen for Mac for $79.95 and well as PDFpen for iPad and iPhone for $6.99 at the time of writing.

A free trial is available for PDFpenPro if you want to use it for some time before making a final purchase decision. 


 PDFpenPro is a feature-packed suite that can handle all of your PDF needs on Mac (Image credit: Nitro)


PDFpenPro’s many features include;

PDFpenPro lets you add new text, images, and signatures to existing PDF documents. This feature is helpful for people who need to edit PDF documents to a significant extent. We commonly think of PDF as a read-only format, but with PDFpenPro’s editing power, you’ll seem like a wizard to the untrained eye.

You often get a PDF file from someone and spot errors that need to be corrected. This situation majorly affects people who work in professional settings. With PDFpenPro, you can quickly change and correct text as you’ll do in Microsoft Word and other word processing software.

Also, you may need images to highlight certain information in a PDF presentation. PDFpenPro lets you effortlessly add images from your image library or the internet to your PDF files.

Lastly, many documents in PDF format are legal documents for which the appropriate persons need to append signatures. PDFpenPro lets you add signatures to a PDF document conveniently.

Redact Documents

Being able to redact information from PDFs is a very useful feature for businesses and law firms (Image credit: Nitro)

Redact personal information from PDF documents

PDFpenPro lets you conveniently redact specific text in a PDF document that you don’t want to share with others. Such text is usually personal information such as phone numbers, home addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, etc. PDFpenPro lets you redact text either with a block or erase it from the document entirely. 

This redaction feature is essential for legal firms that often work with sensitive information.

Annotate documents

PDFpenPro lets you annotate PDF documents. Annotation means adding extra information associated with a particular point in a document. This additional information is usually not present in the main text but as comments linked to specific highlighted text. Annotations let you explain information that may not be clear in a document.

You can annotate with text or audio on PDFpenPro. 

Scan and OCR paper documents

You can use PDFpenPro to scan paper documents and convert them into text via Optical Character Recognition (OCR). After converting, you can then edit the text right in PDFpenPro. 

Imagine your colleague has handed you a long paper document that you need to edit on your computer. You don’t want to go through the stress of typing it again to make corrections. PDFpenPro lets you conveniently scan the paper documents and convert them into text that you can start editing right away.

The OCR feature on PDFpenPro does an outstanding job converting written text into editable, soft-copy formats.

Sign and fill in forms

In a professional setting, you’ll need to fill in certain forms that come in a soft-copy format. PDFpenPro lets you quickly do this. All you have to do is upload the PDF form into PDFpenPro and add text as you’ll do with any other PDF document. Boom, your form is filled and ready for submission.

Merge/Append PDF Files

PDFpenPro allows you to merge and append two or more PDF files into one document. 


 PDFpenPro has a clean interface that is easy to navigate and use (Image credit: Nitro)

Interface and in use

PDFpenPro’s user interface is convenient for any Mac user. You download it as an app that runs right on your computer. It’s compulsory to download, and you can not access it through a web browser, which is a slight disadvantage. 

You can install PDFpenPro on any computer running macOS and you can download the application file via the PDFpen website or the Mac App Store. 


Nitro provides video tutorials, a user guide and a knowledge base with FAQs for those who prefer self-help options (Image credit: Nitro)


Nitro, the Australian company that owns PDFpenPro, handles customer support. Customer support is available through e-mail or telephone. Additionally, there’s an official user guide, video tutorials, and a Frequently Answered Questions page published on PDFpenPro’s website. 

The competition

PDFpenPro has numerous competitors. Some include Smaply, LibreOffice, Windward Core, PDFelement, and PDF Expert. PDFpenPro is more expensive than many of its competitors. However, its pricing advantage is a one-time purchase, unlike many competitors requiring a recurring subscription.

PDFpenPro also specializes in the Mac operating system and builds its features around it. Unfortunately, this is a limitation because Windows users, a large segment of the working population, can’t install it.

Final verdict

PDFpenPro delivers well on its promise of being a powerful PDF editing software tool. However, we’d like to see one improvement: PDFpenPro should be available on a web interface and not compulsorily require you to install it on your computer before use. 

Also, PDFpenPro isn’t available for people that use Windows operating systems. We’d love to see that happen. 

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Stefan Ionescu

Stefan has always been a lover of tech. He graduated with an MSc in geological engineering but soon discovered he had a knack for writing instead. So he decided to combine his newfound and life-long passions to become a technology writer. As a freelance content writer, Stefan can break down complex technological topics, making them easily digestible for the lay audience.