In Pursuit of the Complete Paperless Office with PDFpen

Almost everyday there are documents (in paper and digital form) that cross your “desktop” at home or at work that require you to fill them out with requested information, including a signature and date. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to edit, fill out and even sign your documents right on your Mac to truly achieve the complete paperless office?

We don’t even think about alternative methods of performing this task, the document is printed if not already in that form, you grab a pen and away you go writing down all the details hoping the recipient can discern your writing or, in some cases, hoping they can’t.

It is a common ritual that is performed routinely and repetitively.

However, if documents must be resubmitted periodically such as hospital and insurance credentialing, paperwork relating to licensing, professional organization and credit reference, this program can help you immensely.

It also lends itself nicely to electronic filing to free up your storage spaces from paper and provides for an effortless retrieval when needed in the future.

PDFpen and PDFpenPro from Smile on my Mac are terrific applications to edit and manipulate PDF documents.

Here are some features:

PDFpen ($49.95)

  • Add text, images and signatures to PDF
  • Correct original PDF text
  • Move, resize, copy and delete images in original PDF
  • Perform basic Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on scanned documents
  • Insert, remove and reorder pages as well as combine PDFs by drag and drop method
  • Fill out and save PDF forms
  • Add notes and comments
  • Markup with highlighting, underscoring and strikethrough
  • Save frequently used images, signatures, objects and text for handy, quick use when needed
  • Automate PDF manipulations with AppleScript

PDFpenPro ($99.95), incorporates the above features and also includes the following:

  • Create and edit cross-platform fillable PDF forms where you can add text fields, checkboxes and radio buttons.
    A scanned document can become an interactive PDF form.
  • Create and edit document Table of Contents to easily navigate through the document

The program has worked very well for me and I use it extensively for personal and professional use. Its user interface is designed well and it is relatively easy to use with a short learning curve. In fact, they provide a few stellar video tutorials to get you up to speed quickly!

For a true paperless solution, either of these programs becomes invaluable. Your signature can be digitally signed onto the PDF form with ease and it generates an exceptionally professional appearance that is required when filling out professional documents.

You can then email or even fax the completed and signed document electronically. PageSender, reviewed here on AppleHits, completes the digital and paperless fax solution.

There are other applications such as Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 ($449), that have similar features but, for a fraction of the cost, PDFpen is very capable.

A nice comparison between similar programs can be found here.

With the multitude of documents in our lives, this program makes it simple to complete, store and deliver forms to whomever or wherever necessary and makes your home and business responsibilities that much more manageable.

What applications do you use for your paperless document management solution?

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