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Apple Preview vs PDF Expert 5: Comparison and Review – Guide
Every Mac user should be familiar with Preview. It is the application that Apple launches on OS X to view almost any file that cannot be viewed in any other application by default. Most people use Preview to open PDF files because it is a free and very light solution compared to Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. However, over the years, you have probably realized that Preview is not ideal if you really want to deal with PDF files. Still, it does provide some prominent tools here and there, but PDF files have the natural ability to be very interactive. They are suitable for business users and personal use.
PDF asset specialist with organization and personalization
With PDF Expert, you get significantly more customization around the application, and with that, a much better organization comes. For example, you can drag the toolbars to different sides or increase / decrease the width of the sidebars. In addition, different tools have their own sets of options. For shapes, you can adjust the stroke width, opacity, border color, fill color, and more.
In the left sidebar, you can switch between four different views for bookmarks, document outline, annotations and thumbnails. Annotations are especially useful for viewing all your edits collectively in a list.back to menu ↑
PDF specialist has better signatures
If you have to fill out and sign many forms, PDF Expert does a much better job of handling signatures. Just like in preview, you can draw signatures with your Mac’s trackpad and edit the thickness. In addition, you can also simply type it in (and use different colors) or even import an image with your signature or perhaps a logo to place on the document.
Tip: The only advantage that Preview has over PDF Expert for signatures is that it allows you to write your signature on a piece of paper and then scan it with your camera. Still, if you are using a webcam, it is very difficult to try to hold and align the piece of paper.back to menu ↑
PDF Expert has a better interface
In general, PDF Expert has a much better user interface than Preview. Preview hides all PDF editing features in a separate toolbar and what you can get from that toolbar generally doesn’t work very well. Highlighting works only a few times, annotations don’t appear intelligently where you want them, and typing text can cause errors.
PDF Expert has all your tools up and running at your fingertips in a single toolbar, plus convenient sidebars for things like bookmarks and saved signatures. Once you start the app, you’ll also be able to see thumbnails of recently opened files and common tasks, such as merging files to get started. The application also supports tabs so that you can open up multiple files at once and switch between them without looking for different windows.back to menu ↑
While PDF Expert is clearly the best option for people who frequently work with PDFs, it may not be the best for your portfolio. Preview is free as it comes with your Mac, but PDF Expert 5 sells for $ 19.99 on the Mac App Store. If you can afford it, definitely make the purchase, but if you don’t think $ 20 is worth it for the frequency with which you work with PDFs, it might be better to stick with Preview.
The preview is good for light PDF use, but professionals should seriously consider upgrading to PDF Expert 5 or exploring other options for the Mac.back to menu ↑
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