10 Super Useful Apps For Working with PDFs

PDF has become a worldwide document type standard and you no doubt deal with these documents fairly regularly. Because the file tpye is so common there is a plethora of applications available to work with them.

It can be a bit tricky to wade through the large number of choices though, so I’ve attempted to pull out ten of the most useful apps for performing various functions. Everything from simply managing your PDF files to editing, extracting and more.

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PDF-Suite

PDF-Suite is capable of handling several basic things that often come up when dealing with PDF documents. Its functions include separating, connecting, extracting, inserting, rotating and sorting PDF files.

The application doesn’t claim to do everything, but what it is designed to do it does very well. If you’re looking to do some basic things with your PDF documents then the $1.99 price of this app is a steal.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: AndreasPrang

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PDF Professional

PDF documents often come to us with a need to read and review or read and study. PDF Professional enables you to annotate any PDF file. It’s like you’ve got a printed copy of it on your desk. You’re free to mark it all up however you please.

You can add text notes, circles, boxes, highlights, underlines and strikethroughs. There’s also a freehand tool so you can add whatever notes you’d like. Though annotation is the core feature there are a few others that will make the reading expriences a bit easier as well. This is a wonderfully useful application.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5.0 or later
Developer: Alterme Inc

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PDF Toolkit

PDF Toolkit is a simple, yet quite powerful PDF utility. It removes some of the most useful and common features from an application like Adobe Acrobat. You’re able to merge files, split files, extract pages, extract images and compress entire files.

For many people a basic PDF utility like this is sufficient for working with their PDF documents. If you’re looking for a nuts and bolts type application at a really solid price then PDF Tookit just may be your answer.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Mobile Science Apps

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PDF Magic

As with many of the PDF utility applications in this list, PDF Magic has a basic set of features for working with your PDF files. This application provides functionality to batch merge, split, reorder, insert and rotate your PDF files.

PDF Magic, however, uses a drag and drop style interface to allow you to work with your documents. The functionality is basic, the way you interact with the document is a little more visual and hands on and this may be a more comfortable method for some people. It’s inexpensive so if you’re stuggling with more minimal PDF utilities this may be worth a try.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Enolsoft Co., Ltd.

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PDF Squeezer

The name of this application pretty much gives away its function. You guessed it, this one’s sole purpose is to compress those gigantic PDF files.

PDF Squeezer specifically targets the images of a PDF and gives you all sorts of available compression presets. You can take the images all the way down to a low quality 50 dpi if you’d like. It should be noted that this application will not compress an imageless PDF as that is the specific target of the compression.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Daniel Diener

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PDF Signer

PDF Signer is built to help you to sign documents digitally. The practice of getting a signed copy of a document back to someone halfway across the country isn’t the most direct process. You print, sign, scan, email back; it’s a pain.

This application enables you to apply your signature to an application, save the PDF and send it right back. It won’t bloat the size of the document so emailing back shouldn’t be an issue. This scenario will only become more prevelent in the future and an easy way to digitally sign a document will save you loads of time and trouble.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Pragmatico ltd.

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Cycle PDF Converter

This is by far the most expensive application in this roundup, but it’s functionality has the potential to save you a ton of time. This application aims to convert PDF files into common file types so that you can more easily edit or reuse the content of those documents.

Cycle PDF Converter enables converstion to Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx), images (.jpg) or text (.txt) file types. Having content you want to use locked in a PDF can be an extremely frustrating thing and this application allows you to free that content for reuse. In the right situation this application can prove indespensible.

Price: $49.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Cycle Document

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PDFScanner

Scanning and storing your important documents digitally is a great practice. Basic scanning and storing works fine if you’re only dealing with a handful of documents, but as soon as your stockpile grows, trying to find what you’re looking for becomes next to impossible.

PDFScanner uses OCR (optical character recognition) to make your documents searchable. The application works with any scanner and aims to be a quick and way to scan documents intelligently into your Mac.

Price: $14.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Felix Rotthowe

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Clerk

Clerk finds all the PDF files on your Mac and organizes them for you. You’ll see a thumbnailed view of the files in an image grid layout. Options to share and print directly from the application add to its functionality.

Clerk will not only find the PDF files on your machine, it will also keep up to date with those files. You can move, delete, edit, etc. the documents and Clerk will live-update as you do so. It’s really like a smart folder with some additional helpful features. If you manage a pile of PDF files this could be a real time-saver.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Hubapps.com LLC

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PDF Extract Image

Again, it’s pretty simple to figure out what this application is capable of just from the name, but what it does is extract images from your PDF files.

While that’s pretty much all it does, it performs its task in a pretty cool way. You drag and drop the PDF files you are looking to extract images from onto the application. PDF Extract Images will then batch process the files and pull the images in whatever file type you choose. As I’ve mentioned a lot in this roundup, a simple funtion, but potentially incredibly useful given the right situation.

Price: $5.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Enolsoft Co., Ltd.

Conclusion

These are just ten of the many applications available to work with PDF files. There are some more expensive, “do it all” type of applications (i.e. Adobe Acrobat) available, but I think by and large most of us end up having specific needs at specific times. What a lot of these applications do is separate out some functionality and make that available at a really affordable price. As I mentioned a few times, the function may be specific with many of these, but it could also be really useful for the right person in the right situation.

I covered a broad range of functionality and I know there are some other good ones out there. I tried to grab some of the best from many different areas. Do you have any favorites that I missed? Leave a comment below.


  • Chris

    My app of choice for dealing with PDFs is definitely Preview :D

  • Peter

    Any application that doesn’t offer any other functionality than splitting, merging, reordering, rotating and those sorts of things are just ripping you off (apps like e.g. PDF Magic). Preview does all this perfectly along with annotation and signing – you can even compress .pdfs only using Preview or Color Sync.

    There are in my view only a few apps of the vast ocean of redundant PDF apps that are worth it, for instance does PDFpen offer excellent OCR.

    • Rick

      I’m with Peter on this one. Ever since the App Store opened, there are so many redundant and useless apps being released. Even the $0.99-2.99 price tags are asking too much.

  • Maarten

    What about Preview included on every new Mac? It also has some annotation tools which can come in very handy… Isn’t it enough for those basic tasks?

  • http://nataliav.me Natalia Ventre

    I love Preview, but I have also Adobe Reader installed to deal with pdf files that contains forms.

  • Vishal Pai

    What about Skim?

  • Hamish

    These apps are to edit PDFs. What about creating PDFs?

    Anything apart from Print to PDF (built into the Mac) or Acrobat for OS X?

  • User

    I don’t know if any of these other apps can unlock PDFs but I would mention PDF Unlock and PDFKey Pro. Often you download some kind of form in PDF format, and want to fill it out digitally before printing it, but can’t because it is locked. Those two apps unlock it for you very easily.

  • Pingback: Extract images from pdf with Some PDF Image Extractr | technoobie.com

  • Flybear

    As far as I know, to deal with one single PDF document, Preview is the best choice.

    But if we want to process with multiple PDF documents and need to extract pages from different PDF files into one PDF document, and wouldn’t like to spend too much on buying an Adobe Acrobat, we may split PDF documents in batches with the PDF Magic App.

  • http://smallpdf.com SwissMatt

    Why is smallpdf not listed? – http://smallpdf.com – I use it all the time to compress my files. Very useful and beautiful little tool!

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