PostView 1.2

With the new version of Adobe Reader now here (available on Macworld’s CD) and the ability of Mac OS X’s Preview to display PDFs, why should anyone want a third-party PDF viewer? Both have shortcomings. Preview is a bit like OS 9’s SimpleText: it’s OK for basic viewing but not much else – although the forthcoming Preview in OS X 10.3 Panther has been greatly enhanced. Adobe Reader appears to have a problem with its CoolType technology, an advanced form of anti-aliasing. Selecting the different settings from Adobe Reader’s preferences makes no discernible difference. So what is needed is a PDF file reader that’s easy on the eyes and has enough features to be the default reader for your system. Read right
That’s where PostView comes in. It’s a small, neat, very-Aqua application with a number of useful features. On opening a PDF file, the first impression is that the document’s easy to read. The anti-aliasing is very good – pretty much on a par with Apple’s Preview, and certainly better than Adobe Reader 6. It sports two drawers: one to the right for page navigation, and one to the left for document outline. It doesn’t have thumbnails of pages as per Preview, but this isn’t a bad thing as it displays a document that much quicker. In fact speed is one definite plus for PostView. While all facilities are available via menus, it also has a top toolbar that can be customized easily. Just select a feature and drag-&-drop it to the toolbar. Movement around a document is by the usual arrow keys or by selecting a page number. What is nice is the variety of view options including fit to height, width, both or window, zoom in and out, and rotate pages. You can also choose to view facing pages, something else you can’t do with Preview. Where PostView really scores over Preview is with its Find and Copy commands. Type a word or phrase into the Locate Word box in the toolbar and PostView shows all incidents via ticks in the page navigator, highlighting the actual sentence in yellow. Drag the cursor over a selection of text and then copy it for pasting elsewhere. While it isn’t formatted RTF (Rich Text Format), it’s useful. In its Jaguar form, Preview only copies a page as a graphic image. It has one other serious plus: an ability to read plain PostScript files and some image types, something even Adobe Reader 6 can’t do. This allows you to print such files to non-PostScript printers.


If you spend a lot of time viewing PDFs or PostScript files, PostView is worth checking out. True it costs a small fee whereas Preview and Adobe Reader 6 don’t, but its extra features and increased legibility are worth paying for. You may well end-up making it your default PDF viewer.

Find the best price