A woman measures.

Adjust PDF views and Align Objects in PDFpen

What are the ways to view a PDF? How do you make sure objects are aligned? In this post, we’ll show you PDFpen features that help, including the Magnifier tool.

PDF page view options

A PDF is made up of pages you can arrange and view in different ways. 

In PDFpen, you can have the option of viewing a PDF document one page at a time or in two-page spreads. 

To set a view option, choose View > Single Page or Facing Pages.

Single page view of a PDF.
Single view
Facing pages view of PDF.
Facing pages

If you’re on PDFpen 11 or later, you can also use Split view to see two parts of a document at the same time:

Split view of PDF.
Split view

PDF zoom options

You can choose to display your PDF document at its actual size or zoom in, zoom out, zoom to fit, or zoom to width.

Go to View and select an option from the dropdown menu or use one of the following keyboard shortcuts:

PDFpen zoom options menu.

You can also adjust the zoom using the – and + signs in the toolbar. When you do, the percentage under Scale reflects your changes. Or enter a number in the Scale box: PDFpen will instantly display your PDF at that scale.

Scale and zoom in PDFpen toolbar.

PDF magnification (PDFpen 12 and later)

When adjusting the zoom isn’t enough, you can use the Magnifier tool. 

Similar to Adobe Acrobat’s Loupe tool, the Magnifier displays a magnified section of the PDF on a separate window on the document pane.

To use the Magnifier tool, choose Window > Magnifier. Position your cursor to the area you want to see magnified. 

As you move your cursor around, the Magnifier will follow. PDFpen supports up to 2000% magnification!

PDFpen 12 magnifier tool.
Magnifier window

Object alignment

To line up objects in your PDF document, you can use the grid display, guides, and the Inspector.

Aligning with grid display

To turn on the grid and have new items snap to it, follow these steps:    

1.     Choose Arrange > Show Grid.     

2.     Choose Arrange > Snap to Grid.   

Grid display in PDFpen.
Grid display

Set the spacing of the grid and select measurement units in Preferences > Editing.

Aligning with guides

Use alignment and spacing guides to help you place objects precisely. When guides are turned on, they appear as you drag an object on a slide in alignment with, or equidistant to, another object. You can turn the guides off and on as needed.

To have a dragged object snap to a guideline as it appears, choose Arrange > Snap to Guides. 

Guide line in PDFpen.
Guide line

To turn off guides, choose Preferences > Editing and uncheck “Show Guides”.

Aligning with the Inspector

  1. To display the Inspector, choose Window > Inspector (⌘-Option-I). 
  2. Choose the Alignment tab.
  3. Use it to align two or more objects horizontally or vertically, by their edges or by their centers. When three or more objects are selected, you can also distribute the distance between them evenly, both horizontally and vertically.

Object measurement

Using the Measurement tool – the ruler in the Editing bar – you can point to a section of your document and measure it by clicking and dragging between objects to see the distance between them. 

The ruler is temporary and disappears as soon as you move on to the next task. 

Measurement tool.
Measurement tool

By default, the ruler uses the measurement units set in PDF > Preferences > Editing. If you’re viewing a document that contains scale information, such as a drawing created in architecture software, the ruler will show the units specified by that scale.     

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