The Smile Blog, With News, Tips, Photos and Other Stuff That Makes Us Smile

PDFpen 7.1 Adds Advanced Page Numbering, Stamps and More

Posted 03/24/2015 by Greg

PDFpen and PDFpenPro 7.1 are now available.

This update includes new options for page numbering, including control over font, color, formatting, and page range.

Create custom stamps, including dynamic stamps with the user’s name and the date the document is stamped. There are also a series of new additional stamps to choose from, such as Paid, Faxed, Copied, and more.

To upgrade, choose "Check for Upgrade…" from the PDFpen or PDFpenPro menu. If you're not an existing user, download here.

What's new in PDFpen 7.1?

  • Adds formatting options for page numbering:
    • Font Family
    • Font Size
    • Color
    • Format
    • Page Range
  • Create custom stamps
  • Adds additional stamps: Copied, Faxed, Paid, Scanned
  • Auto-deskew when performing OCR
  • Improves German localization
  • Improves VoiceOver support in PDF forms
  • Other fixes and improvements

We also publish detailed release notes, if you're interested.

PDFpen Scan+ 2.0 With Touch-Free Scanning

Posted 03/19/2015 by Maia

Today we are happy to announce PDFpen Scan+ 2.0 with touch-free scanning!

This major update to our scanning and OCR app for iPad and iPhone has an all new camera screen which takes the scan for you, crops it, applies a color and paper size, all without a tap.

This is a free update for current PDFpen Scan+ users. For new users, PDFpen Scan+ 2.0 is $6.99 on the App Store.

Here's a preview of the new camera screen in action!



What's new in v.2?

- Touch-free scanning on your iPhone or iPad camera
- Detects page edges automatically when camera is focused and steady
- Camera automatically crops scan
- In-camera setting for color / grayscale / black and white
- In-camera setting for page size, including legal, business card, receipt sizes, and more

What's PDFpen Scan+ all about?

With PDFpen Scan+ you can scan and OCR on your iPhone or iPad with the power you'd expect from a desktop computer. Scan documents, articles, receipts, business cards, recipes, and more. Use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to make your scans into searchable, highlightable, editable PDFs in your preferred PDF editor. (We like PDFpen for iPad & iPhone for that). Share PDFs of scans with full OCR text via email and popular cloud services, including Dropbox, iCloud Drive and Evernote.

TextExpander touch Week—20-80% off

Posted 03/17/2015 by Maia

Touch 3TextExpander 3 + custom keyboard is discounted this week.

$0.99 on Tuesday, March 17th

$1.99 on Wednesday, March 18th

$2.99 on Thursday, March 19th

$3.99 on Friday, March 20th

Hurry and Buy it Today for the best price.

To get all you productivity fiends (and others who wanna save a little time) typing faster we are discounting our typing shortcut tool for iPad and iPhone.

With TextExpander you can create a library of text "snippets" so that instead of typing out "Talk to you later!" or "" you can save your keystrokes and type a short abbreviation and have the same result. Type "ttyl" and what appears on screen is "Talk to you later!" Easy.

Check out our videos for how to get started.

Import OS X Shortcuts into TextExpander

Posted 03/10/2015 by Greg

If you're new to TextExpander, you may already have text shortcuts set up on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac.

On the Mac, these shortcuts are found in the Keyboard system preferences pane under the Text tab (System Preferences > Keyboard > Text).

Here's how you can import your OS X shortcuts into TextExpander as a snippet group:

  1. Be sure you're using OS X 10.9 (Maverics) or OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), as this script doesn't work on earlier versions of OS X
  2. Download Import OS X
  3. If you don't have Safari set to automatically open "safe" files, please double-click the Import OS X file to decompress it. You will then see the script named "Import OS X Shortcuts"
  4. Double-click the "Import OS X Shortcuts" script and it will open in Script Editor, an app that comes with your Mac
  5. Click the Run button in the toolbar, or choose Script -> Run from the menu

After you've run the script, you should find that TextExpander has a new group at the end of your snippet list named "OS X Shortcuts" with the contents of your OS X shortcuts.

Please note that we consider this script experimental and unsupported, but if you encounter an error, please send us the exact text of the error message and/or a screen shot, and we'll see what we can do.

(To take a screen shot, hold down the Command + Shift + 4 keys, and drag the resulting cross-hair cursor over the intended picture area. To take a full screen shot, hold down the Command + Shift + 3 keys. You will find a "Screen Shot…date…" file on your Desktop.)

For those who are interested in scripting, this script uses an AppleScript Library, which was introduced in OS X 10.9 (Mavericks). These turn out to be very handy for creating a script such as this.

Smileworthy: Default Folder X

Posted 02/27/2015 by Maia

app icon


Default Folder X, developed by St. Clair Software, is a great way to maneuver through your files and folders. Here is what our QA guy has to say about it. (Hint: He uses lots of documents.) 


I was introduced to Default Folder X in 2006. Since then it's been an integral piece of my day. Each time I open or save a file, Default Folder X is there to greet me, letting me choose an application and set the location of my preferred 'default' folder for it. 


For example, when I choose File > Open or File > Save from the PDFpen menu, the file dialog is relative to my "PDFDOCS" folder. A few of my most used features are a list of 'Favorites' which can quickly be added to the Default Folder X sidebar, in case the default folder isn't the one I need, and 'Folder Sets' which I create for tasks like making how-to tutorials and testing PDFs in PDFpen.


After 8 years I'm still not using all of the available features, but Default Folder X makes me more productive each time I open or save a file - and that is priceless, and absolutely Smileworthy.


- Jonathan, Smile Support / Quality Assurance



How much time does TextExpander save me?

Posted 02/12/2015 by Greg

TextExpander helps you save time while typing and tracks how much of that precious time you save. Click on the Statistics button in the TextExpander toolbar to see how much time you're saving:

TextExpander Statistics

You can set your typing speed to make the hours saved more accurate. If you're a slow typist, like me, you'll definitely want to do that, as it increases your time saved.

Be a bit competitive. Click the Tweet My Stats button, and compare how you're doing with your followers on Twitter.

If you're curious which snippets you use most often, choose View -> Sort by Most Used, and that will sort your groups so that the most recently used snippets are at the top. If the order seems backward, choose that menu item again, and it will reverse the sort order. Try Sort by Most Recently Used to see which snippets you've used lately.

The sort orders work within groups, but maybe you'd like to know your most used snippet from all of your snippet groups. For that, we'll turn to AppleScript. Copy and paste this into Script Editor (an app found in Applications > Utilities), and click Run:

tell application "TextExpander"

set topSnippet to null

set topSnippetCount to 0

repeat with aGroup in groups

tell aGroup

repeat with aSnippet in snippets

if (use count of aSnippet) > topSnippetCount then

set topSnippetCount to (use count of aSnippet)

set topSnippet to aSnippet

end if

end repeat

end tell

end repeat

display dialog "Your top abbreviation is: " & (abbreviation of topSnippet) & ", which you've expanded " & (use count of topSnippet) & " times to: " & (plain text expansion of topSnippet) buttons {"OK"} default button "OK"

end tell



I hope you're amused with my result:

Your top abbreviation is Tx, which you've expanded 15218 times to: TextExpander

Show us your top snippet on Twitter by ending your tweet with: @TextExpander #SnippetStats

Smileworthy: Tower 2

Posted 01/29/2015 by Maia

Tower, developed by German team fournova, is a favorite of the Smile team engineers. Many of them have been using Tower for years, and love the version 2 update.

If you work on code and need Git version control, check out Tower. Here’s what our engineers have to say.

I appreciate Tower 2 for its clean appearance. I particularly like the way its commit, conflict, and stash workflows speed me along without getting in my way. – Greg, Founder

Tower’s interface is intuitive and easy to use. It makes navigating source control easy so that I can focus on what I enjoy doing, writing apps. – Natalie, iOS Developer

Tower is the most comprehensive Mac app I’ve found for working with Git. It focuses on how to perform tasks in Git, instead of just mapping buttons to particular Git commands. – Colin, iOS Developer

As many developers know, Git is not always straightforward, Tower dispels the mystery. – Philip, Founder

Sync PDF Documents with PDFpen 7 and iCloud Drive

Posted 01/15/2015 by Greg

Thanks to iCloud Drive, one of the few differences between PDFpen from the Mac App Store v.s. direct from the Smile store has been removed, that of document sync.

Specifically, version 7 of PDFpen and PDFpenPro, purchased directly from Smile, can sync documents with PDFpen for iPad & iPhone version 2 and with PDFpen Scan+ via iCloud Drive. Here's how.


  • You must be running iOS 8 (or later) and have iCloud Drive enabled on your iPad and/or iPhone
  • In the PDFpen for iPad & iPhone and/or PDFpen Scan+ settings, you must have iCloud turned on
  • You must be running OS X Yosemite (or later) and have iCloud Drive enabled on your Mac

On the iPad and iPhone, once you've turned iCloud on in the app settings, all of your documents are stored on iCloud and synced automatically.

On the Mac, only the special “PDFpen container” folder is synced with the iPad and iPhone. That folder is found at the top level of iCloud Drive and is named “PDFpen”, “PDFpenPro”, or “Scan+”. When you modify documents in the PDFpen container folder, they are synced with your iPad and iPhone. Documents stored elsewhere in your iCloud drive on your Mac can be imported on the iPad and iPhone, but they will not sync.

For example, here is what that iCloud folder looks like in the open dialog (File > Open) of PDFpen or PDFpenPro 7.

Open Dialog - Cmd+O

Note: The PDFpen container folder may have any of the three visible names noted above, and its visible name may change over time. Under the hood, both the actual name of the folder and its contents are consistent. The visible name is just a cosmetic issue which appears to stem from an Apple bug with how the names of shared iCloud Drive folders are shown in the Finder and file dialogs. Hopefully, this will be fixed in a future update to Yosemite.

If you have questions about syncing your documents, please contact us.

(Aside from the standard differences in all apps purchased directly from the developer v.s. the Mac App Store, the only other difference specific to PDFpen is Library sync, which does require the iCloud available in the Mac App Store version.)

More Elaborate Date Formatting with TextExpander

Posted 01/08/2015 by Greg

One of the most basic yet handy snippets in TextExpander is the current date. When it comes to customizing the date's layout, many users don't realize that TextExpander has supported Unicode Date Format Patterns since version 3.1. In addition to what you can do with TextExpander's built-in date formatting, this adds support for:

- week of year, month
- calendar quarter
- day of year
- time zone
- more elaborate options for hour, minute, seconds, month, day, and year
- era (AD/BC)
- cyclic years (Chinese, Hindu calendars)

Here are a few examples:

Week of year with leading zero for single-digit weeks (e.g. 02):

Current calendar quarter and year (e.g. Q12015)

Time with long time zone (e.g. 8:11:49 AM America/Los_Angeles)
%date:h:mm:ss a' 'VV%

Please see the Unicode Date Format Patterns documentation for complete details.

If you have a favorite elaborate date format, let us know: we're @TextExpander on Twitter, and we look forward to your tweet.

Number Pages using PDFpen 2 on iPad & iPhone

Posted 12/18/2014 by Greg

One great new feature in PDFpen 2 is the ability to number pages in a PDF document. PDFpen 2 brings complete, desktop-class PDF page numbering to your iPad and iPhone and includes all of the options from PDFpen for OS X:

  • Vertical Position: top or bottom of the page
  • Alignment: left, center, right, or inner / outer corners book style
  • Format: numbers, Roman numerals, letters, or Bates numbering
  • Prefix, Digits: Options for Bates numbering
  • Starting Page
  • Include number on first page

To access page numbering:

  1. Open a PDF
  2. Tap "Tools" Tools icon
  3. Tap Insert Page Numbers
  4. Select your options
  5. Tap Done

Here's what the page numbering options look like in action:

Page Numbering Options

If you want to change the page numbering after you've added it, just repeat the steps above. Your new numbering will take the place of the old numbering. Details on page numbering are included in the PDFpen 2 online help.

What is Bates numbering?

Bates numbering (or Bates stamping) is a system for uniquely and consecutively numbering the pages of a document to make it easy to identify a specific page. Originally, this was done with a mechanical stamper from the Bates Manufacturing Company. Now, it is a common feature in word processors and PDF editors, and it is required in legal discovery and other fields. To learn more about Bates numbering, see this Wikipedia article.