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Help: Navigation

Files views

Navigate to documents just as you would in Apple's Files app.

Page view

Once you open a document by tapping on it, you'll enter Page view. This is the ideal mode for reading and editing.


Fullscreen mode
Single tap the document anywhere to enter fullscreen mode and make the toolbar disappear. Tap again to exit fullscreen mode, and the toolbar will reappear.

Horizontal scrolling
Page horizontally through your document using a one fingered swipe, left or right. Use gestures to zoom in and out by pinching two fingers open and closed. When zoomed in, drag the page around with a finger to pan.

Context menu options
To select a word tap and hold. A context menu appears in a bubble hovering above your word. Use this menu to look up its definition in the Dictionary, access Copy, the Highlight markup tool, and the Correct Text editing feature.

See Using the Context Menu for more details.

The Sidebar

The sidebar gives you access to quick navigation via page thumbnails, search field, table of contents, and annotations. Drag your finger from the left edge of the screen toward the center to reveal the navigation sidebar, or tap “Sidebar” on the iPad. Drag the sidebar to the left to close it, or tap “Sidebar” on the iPad.

Thumbnails: Scroll up and down through a document’s pages with a swipe. Tap on a page thumbnail to navigate to a page. Note the page numbers in the corner of each thumbnail.

Search: Search the entire document for a word or phrase. View all the results by page. Tap on a result to navigate to that page with the result word or phrase selected.
Search for a specific document in PDFpen by using the search found in Files view.

Table of Contents: View the table of contents if a document has one. Navigate to a page by tapping on it.

Annotations: View a list of your annotations (scribbles and text boxes) by page. Navigate to one by tapping on it.

The Toolbar

Open a PDF document and look along the top of the screen to see the toolbar. Tap in your document to make the toolbar disappear for more streamlined viewing. Tap again to make it reappear.

Back: Return to the Files view and navigate to another document. Perform any of the activities you're already familiar with in Apple's Files app, including managing your folders, moving document locations, deleting, and sharing documents.

Undo: Reverse recent changes made to a document. Supports multiple undos.

Show Sidebar: Open the navigation sidebar in Page view. Quickly navigate to another page of your document.
Note: this button does not appear on the iPhone. Drag from just off the left side of the screen to the right to show the sidebar.

Thumbnail: Enter into Thumbnail view and navigate through pages of a document. Add, delete, rotate and re-order pages.

Highlight: Apply highlights, underlines, strikethroughs and wavy underlines. Tap on one of these markup tools to enter into markup mode. The selected tool will function continuously until you switch to another markup tool or tap “Done.” This tool support palm/wrist protection. Switch between these tools in the editing bar. See Markup / Writing for more details.

Scribble: Write with your finger or stylus using the scribble tool. Add shapes, lines, arrows, and polygons to make charts and diagrams. The selected tool will function continuously until you switch to another markup tool or tap “Done.” This tool supports palm/wrist protection. Switch between these tools in the editing bar. See Markup / Writing for more details, or see Pressure-Sensitive Styluses for more on setting up a stylus.

Text: Add a text box, comment box, or note. Switch between these tools in the editing bar. See Text for more details.

Library: Add objects to your document, such as images, stamps and proofreading marks. Save commonly use objects to the Library for quick access later, like formatted text boxes, comment boxes, scribbles, and signatures. See Editing with the Library for more details.

Tools: From Page view, tap to find export, email, print options, and Settings, as well as insert page numbers, add a password, or view document info. From Files view tap to find Settings and Help.

Editing bar

Tap one of the markup tools in the toolbar, and the editing bar will drop down with other markup tools in the same category. Selections are described above.

Tap an object in the document and the editing bar will appear with settings specific to the selected object.

Tap the up-arrow on the right-hand side to close the editing bar and complete the edit. Some editing bar preferences include:

  • Font
    Select from the many system provided fonts.
  • Font size
    Scroll to your preferred font size.
  • Color picker
    Select the color of text and text background, an object's stroke and fill, and opacity.
  • Line weight
    Set the thickness and pattern of a line or stroke.
  • Arrangement
    Move layered objects in front or behind other objects.
  • Info
    Select line spacing and justification in text boxes.
  • Palm/wrist Protection
    Turn on/off palm/wrist protection. See Palm/wrist Protection for more details.

Thumbnail View

Tap the thumbnail button in the toolbar to enter Thumbnail view. See all the document's pages laid out. Navigate to a page by tapping on it. Tap "Edit" to open the editing options. Tap ‘+’ to create a new page, or tap on a page for more edit options.

  • Rotate page(s)
    Rotate the selected page(s) either 180° or 90° left or right.
  • Plus +
    Add a new page, either blank, lined, graph paper, or from a photo. Duplicate the selected page(s). Or create a new document from the selected page(s).
  • Reorder pages
    Tap on the pages you want to reorder, than drag and drop them into a new position.
  • Delete
    Delete the selected page(s).
  • Undo
    Undo the previous edit.
  • Done
    Complete edits and return to Thumbnail view to navigate to a document page.


Access “Settings” from the “Tools” menu to find and adjust the following options.

  • PDFpen Version: Find the app version number, useful if communicating with Smile support.
  • Annotation Author: Defaults to “Not Set”. Select your own Author name to appear in Notes and certain Stamps.
  • TextExpander: Create and use a library of custom typing shortcuts with TextExpander touch, another app by Smile. Switch on TextExpander, then tap “Update Snippets” periodically to keep the snippet set in PDFpen up-to-date.
  • Stylus: Setup one of the supported pressures-sensitive or bluetooth styluses. See Pressure-Sensitive Styluses for more details.
  • Sign up for PDFpen Tips: Send in your email address and receive a series of email tips for getting the most out of PDFpen, and occasional discounts and offers.



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