Proview review

PDFs were never really meant for editing. They’re supposed to be the end product of a process. A wrapper for documents with complex layouts that - in theory - makes them portable between platforms. However, there are times when you may not have access to the original document, or you may wish to bundle multiple documents into one. That’s where Proview comes in.

Editing PDFs is counter-intuitive in just about any package you can think of, including Adobe’s own Acrobat X. The PDF editors we’ve tried tend to have quite specific strengths too. PDFPen, for example, has better graphic tools and form handling than many of its rivals. 

Proview’s strengths are organisational. The focus is on the whole document structure rather than the content itself. In that sense it’s more like a PDF post-processor rather than a document editor. Here’s an example of how that works. Let’s say you’ve created a PDF with several documents bundled together. Proview enables you to add sequential page numbers throughout the PDF. You may wish to crop down all the pages in a document - with Proview, you can do that too.

Critics of previous versions have suggested that Proview isn’t a very Mac-like application. If that was the case, there has been some effort to correct that oversight. The program has four clear modes, a clean, easy to navigate layout and drag and drop functionality between the document window and the Finder.

Build, reorder and process PDF files from scratch or edit existing PDFs with Proview.


Proview’s weakness is in editing text in place, which feels clunky and more than a little cumbersome. As we said though, this is mainly a tool for processing entire documents or building PDFs for other purposes. It’s an ideal tool for post-production on an iBooks Author generated PDF, for example. And the price is a fraction of what you’d pay for Acrobat X.

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