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Help: View Options and Getting Around a PDF

PDFpenPro lets you control how you view your documents.

Page View Types

The default view in PDFpenPro is Page View, where a single page is visible at a time. The other option is Facing Pages view where two pages are visible at once, like a book. Change between these views by clicking on the Sidebar item in the toolbar sidebar button. Choose which view your documents automatically open with by choosing Preferences > General > Default view. With Facing Pages view your document can open with the first two pages visible together, or with the first page alone on the right hand side.

Split View

Split the screen into two panes to compare different pages of a document side by side.

  1. In the Sidebar, select a page you want to see in the split view.
  2. Choose Window > Split and select Vertically or Horizontally, or Go > Go to Page in Split View. Go to Page in Split View typically defaults to your last selected view (vertically or horizontally).

Edits are made in the main view. Split view is in view-only mode. Click a pane to make it active. Pages selected in the active pane will have a blue border against a light grey background. In the split view, scroll, select a different page or change the zoom level of the active pane without affecting the other pane. To select a different page in the split view, type in a number.

To adjust the size of the pane, hover over the dividing line between the views until you see the two-sided arrow, then click and drag the divider to the left or right.

To return to single-page view, choose Window > Split > Remove Split.

Continuous Scrolling

Scroll continuously through the pages of your document instead of paging through one or two at a time. This is also a default mode. Turn this off or on by choosing View > Continuous, or by clicking on the Sidebar menu item. This setting persists across newly opened documents.

Rotate Pages

Go to the View menu for the rotate page options: Rotate Right (clockwise)(Command+R) or Rotate Left (counter-clockwise)(Command+Shift+R). You can rotate the current page, or rotate multiple pages by selecting their thumbnails in the Sidebar.

View Page Numbers

View > Page Numbers is turned on by default. Notice a small gray box with a page number in the bottom right corner of each page and thumbnail. Also, view the current page, and total pages, next to the document title at the top of the window.

Zoom In and Zoom Out

In Page View, you can zoom in and out of your page or document with the Zoom In and Zoom Out controls zoom buttons zoom buttons in the toolbar.

You can also zoom in or out using the Scale item in the toolbar. Click into the Scale field to change the percent manually. If the Scale item is not in your toolbar, add it by Customizing your Toolbar.

In the Sidebar, you can increase or decrease the size of the thumbnails with the slider zoom slider found at the bottom of the Sidebar.

From the View menu there are also options for:

  • Full screen mode (Command+Control+F).
  • Zoom to Fit (Command+Option+0) which fits your entire page in your current window size
  • Zoom to Width (Command+Option+9) which zooms the width of the page to fit your current window width.
  • Actual Size (Command+0) which displays your document at 72 pixels per inch. On a retina display this means the visible size is about the same as on a regular screen, but with a clearer image.

Magnifier Window

In Page View, use a Magnifier window to zoom into a specific area of a document and view it in greater detail.

  1. From the menu, choose Window > Magnifier to launch the Magnifier window.
  2. Direct your cursor to an area on the page you want to view in closer detail within the window.
  3. To adjust the magnification:
    • Use the zoom buttons zoom buttons controls to zoom in or out.
    • Drag the slider to a specific percentage.
  4. To view another section of a page, move your cursor to the desired area. The section will reflect and magnify in the Magnifier window.


The actual size for a PDF is usually 100%.

PDFpenPro remembers window settings. The Magnifier window will automatically open on launch if it was open in a previous session.

Page Up and Page Down

To move to the next page of the document, use the Up / Down buttons up button  down button in the menu bar. Use the keyboard to shift up and down through the pages of your document.

  • Move up
    Function-Up arrow or Shift+Space
  • Move down
    Function-Down arrow or Space

Go to A Specific Page

  1. From the menu, choose Go > Go To Page... (Command+Option+G)
  2. Type a page number in the small drop down window which appears and click Go To or press Return. You will navigate to that page.

Manually input a destination page number using the Page item to the toolbar. Navigate to a page by typing in a page number. If this item is not in your toolbar, add it by Customizing your Toolbar.


Scrollbars appear when the document view cannot fit the contents of the page in the current window. You can click and drag the scrollbars to go to the part of the document that is hidden, or use gestures on your track pad.

Hand Tool hand

While zoomed in, use the Hand Tool to pan around your document. Zoom in by pressing the Option key, zoom out with Command+Option.


Switch between Sidebar views using the Sidebar button sidebar button in the tool bar. For more on the Sidebar see Sidebar.

Thumbnail View

PDFpenPro displays thumbnails of all the pages in your PDF in the Sidebar.

Click on a thumbnail to navigate to a page.

The thumbnail size can be enlarged or reduced using the slider control at the bottom of the Sidebar.

The Sidebar width can be increased by dragging the border between the Sidebar and the Page View.

Annotations View

View a list of all the annotations you've made to the document, including objects such as highlights, notes, and comments. Adjust which annotations you see using the Show menu at the bottom of the Sidebar.

Click on one of the listed annotations to navigate to its location. Double-click on it to both navigate to it and select the annotation.

Shift-click to select multiple annotations in the Sidebar and delete them.

Copy the text of annotations such as highlighted text, comments, and notes. To do so:

  1. Click on an annotation entry in the Sidebar.
  2. In the Edit menu choose Copy As Text. You can now paste the content where you choose.

If you want a list of all annotations, print out the list via File > Print > Append Annotations Summary.

Table of Contents View

Use the Sidebar button sidebar button to switch to Table of Contents View.

Bookmarks are listed at the top with Table of Contents below. Click on one of the Table of Contents entries to navigate to it, a blue indicator helps you determine where you are in the Table of Contents.

Copy the text of an entry:

  1. Click on an entry in the Sidebar. Shift-click to select all the entries.
  2. In the Edit menu choose Copy As Text. You can now paste the content where you choose.

Right-click, or Control-click, to access the context menu and navigate the Table of Contents more quickly.


Click on Find sidebar_search in the menu bar to open the search window. Enter a search term or keyword, and you will see a list of results. Click on any of the results to navigate to it.

Pages Right-to-Left

View > Pages Right-to-Left is turned off by default. It is only active in the Facing Pages view, and allows facing page ordering to be re-arranged for reverse-viewing such as needed in Japanese language.


To help you align objects on a page go to Arrange > Show Grid or Arrange > Snap to Grid. Set the spacing of the grid in General Preferences.


For a measurement guide show a ruler along the top of the Page view area by choosing Format > Text > Show Ruler (Command+Control+R). With a specific text box selected for editing, the ruler also provides controls for Formatting Text such as options to adjust style, alignment, spacing, and create numbered or bulleted lists.


To measure the distance between two objects on the page, click the Measurements tool ruler in the toolbar. Click and drag between objects to see the distance. Set the units in General Preferences.

If your drawing already has units built in, such as a drawing generated from an architectural program, then those units will be shown using the measurements tool.

Tab Bar

View multiple documents in the same application window through tabs.

  1. Choose View > Show Tab Bar.
  2. Click on the + button at the far right corner of the tab bar to open a new tab.
  3. Choose File > Insert to insert a new file into the open tab view.

To disable tab view, choose View > Hide Tab Bar.

To make tab view your default, adjust your settings in Apple’s System Preferences > Dock and change the value next to “Prefer tabs when opening documents” to “Always.” Close PDFpenPro and relaunch. New documents should open in a new tab in PDFpenPro rather than in a new window.

Gather Documents in a Single Tabbed Window

PDFpenPro supports viewing multiple documents in a single tabbed window as introduced in macOS Sierra.

Combine several open windows using Window > Merge All Windows.

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