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PDFpenPro creates PDF fill-in forms with one click. It includes multiple other capabilities like digitized signatures, OCR conversion of any PDF, and digital signatures.
Thanks. When PDFPen was new, I bought a copy, filled in multiple pages of a corporate tax return using IRS-provided fill-in Acrobat PDFs, and watched in consternation as my work literally just slid off the virtual page.

When I contacted Smile Software, I learned that PDFPen (then) used the same technology as Preview, which continues now to be incompatible with Acrobat fill-in forms, at least per Adobe's site.

Given that my experience is "stale," I'm ambivalent about bringing it forward to today when I've not used PDFPen since.

Perhaps someone who's used PDFPen recently to fill a complex fill-in document created with Adobe's Acrobat can comment?
 


Is that still traditionally licensed software? I ask because the same developer had a very highly regarded text shortcut utility (TextExpander), and they decided to go subscription-only with it from version 6 onward. In my opinion, it seems like a very greedy move. Needless to say, I am no longer interested in it. I would hate to have them pull the same switcheroo with that product as well. That has me wary and is something worth considering if, like me (and many Affinity customers), you are averse to subscription software.
I upgraded version 10 of PDFPenPro that I bought in 2016 to version 11 for $30. It's still a traditional license. I also dislike subscription software. The only subscription I have is Microsoft Office for about $10/mo. It's at least reasonable for programs I use every day.
 


I upgraded version 10 of PDFPenPro that I bought in 2016 to version 11 for $30. It's still a traditional license. I also dislike subscription software. The only subscription I have is Microsoft Office for about $10/mo. It's at least reasonable for programs I use every day.
As much as I dislike subscription software, I agree with you regarding Office, especially when compared to the cost of upgrading a traditional license, and the need for compatibility, which can be... less than perfect... in the free alternatives. I will be giving Office 365 another look when 2016 ceases to receive updates. I will say that, while Microsoft is the 800 lb. gorilla of office software, they have somehow managed to keep the pricing reasonable. If they deviate from that, I will of course re-evaluate my need for such strict compatibility.

And I'll give PDFPenPro a look.
 


Perhaps someone who's used PDFPen recently to fill a complex fill-in document created with Adobe's Acrobat can comment?
I just tested a couple of IRS forms using PDFpenPro 10.2.4. Data entry proceeded as expected tabbing field to field. Data was retained upon closing the document. Opening the saved document in Acrobat Reader DC retained all data and behaved as expected. Reopening the file in PDFpenPro and entering additional data, saving, and reopening was fine in both applications.
 



I'm mostly retired these days but have used Adobe and Quark products since their beginnings. I remember when there were lots of different software programs, and we designers would routinely switch to different programs as needs changed. So the idea that "muscle memory" is too much of a burden to overcome is foreign to me, although I understand the problem (limited time for a project). Now that I'm not earning a full-time income, I have switched to the Affinity apps for my work. Yes, there are problems with switching, but you gain a lot, too. The Affinity apps are faster than Adobe's, and you can have unlimited undos. Not every feature is there, but in the old days we found workarounds, and I have been able to do that with the Affinity apps as well.

Not only does Affinity offer a newer, tighter codebase, but they have taken a fresh look at how things should be done, and I have found that many of the changes are improvements to How Things Have Always Been Done. Lastly, there are features in the Affinity products that Adobe doesn't have and, because of their bloated codebase, never will.There is always pain with switching programs, but for most of us, it will be worthwhile in the end.
Update from an Adobe CC user here...

Yesterday, a client file required turning on Adobe Type for a font we didn't own. In the past, I used the online font long enough to get the job done and then turned Adobe Type off. That is a necessary step, as we use multiple versions of (non-Adobe) fonts for our multiple clients, and they do print differently, so we manage them per machine with FontExplorer.

This time, the locally owned correct Adobe fonts would not show as activated in the document. I went through several iterations of restarting apps, reloading fonts, etc. No joy. So, as a test, I turned off all the local fonts and loaded only Adobe online fonts. No surprise, it worked.

I could have just 'replaced' the offending document fonts with the local ones, but there is no guarantee they would be exactly the same.

There we are. Adobe will be is forcing users to their online fonts at some point in the future now.

Adding insult to injury, I noticed that after turning off all the online fonts and app, restarting InDesign, and reloading local fonts for a different file, the 'Find Font' palette showed two active online fonts with no warning or activation screen.

Sigh.

A complete computer restart fixed that. Adobe online fonts must have been continuing to phone home anyway.

And the most recent version of Acrobat reset preferences in several locations — most noticeably, in the downsampling of files where you have to explicitly re-embed fonts.

Pay attention, folks.

your milage may vary.

Thought I might keep people updated and see if there was anyone else experiencing the same or similar issues.
 


I have been using Illustrator for years, but am stuck on CS6, because I have no desire to participate in their ransomware. I got a copy of Affinity Designer and have started looking at it. I agree with everything you report and will add that it includes a history window, which operates just like the one in Photoshop, something Adobe never did, at least through CS6. It also imports very detailed Adobe Illustrator documents with lots of layers and text, retains the Adobe Illustrator layers, and everything is completely editable.
 


I have been using Illustrator for years, but am stuck on CS6, because I have no desire to participate in their ransomware. I got a copy of Affinity Designer and have started looking at it. I agree with everything you report and will add that it includes a history window, which operates just like the one in Photoshop, something Adobe never did, at least through CS6. It also imports very detailed Adobe Illustrator documents with lots of layers and text, retains the Adobe Illustrator layers, and everything is completely editable.
I'm a light-to-medium user of InDesign, stuck on CS3, which I run in a Snow Leopard VM. I switched to Affinity Publisher and am very satisfied. Publisher opens PDFs directly in editable form, and it's relatively simple to make adjustments where it guesses incorrectly about the layout of the original InDesign elements.

Editing/publishing concepts are pretty consistent between Publisher and InDesign, even if not implemented exactly the same. It has been easy to adjust to Publisher's workflow, and I've found nothing critical missing, but your milage may vary. If you're not held hostage to an Adobe CC environment (my sympathies to those who are), for the price I strongly recommend giving Affinity a shot.
 




Adobe is promoting easy object removal in the new version of its non-subscription, non-professional Photoshop Elements 2020, just released. There's a video of the "tool" at work on Adobe's site that makes it truly seem like magic.

This site has a review that includes a test, though the image selected strikes me as one that would be very difficult for even a human guru of Photoshop to edit effectively.
ExtremeTech said:
Hands On With Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 2020
A new Object Removal Guided Edit allows you to select what you want to remove using a brush, or automatically in several different ways. If the object is in front of an otherwise consistent background, Elements then uses some AI magic to paint an appropriate replacement for the deleted object. As you’d expect, this does still have limits.
I'm wondering if any other photo editing software offers an equivalent tool? Removing images from clutter, or clutter from images is tedious.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Serif has released Affinity Photo 1.7.3 and Affinity Designer 1.7.3, both "optimised for Sidecar" (part of macOS 10.15 Catalina and iOS 13), while bringing "various bug fixes and stability improvements."
 


Serif has released Affinity Photo 1.7.3 and Affinity Designer 1.7.3, both "optimised for Sidecar" (part of macOS 10.15 Catalina and iOS 13), while bringing "various bug fixes and stability improvements."
Ric, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3 is out, as well (same optimizations and improvements, of course).
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here’s an essential example of the whims and dangers of subscriptions and Internet authorization schemes...
The Verge said:
Adobe is cutting off users in Venezuela due to US sanctions
Adobe is shutting down service for users in Venezuela in order to comply with a US executive order issued in August that prohibits trade with the country. The company sent out an email to customers in Venezuela today to let them know their accounts would be deactivated, and posted a support document further explaining the decision.

... The news is not only disastrous to designers and freelancers who rely on the company’s software like Photoshop and Illustrator, but to NGOs and media outlets that will no longer be able to use software like InDesign, Acrobat, and Reader. The ban will also affect all free services like Behance, Adobe’s portfolio site, which requires a Creative Cloud account.

It’s an unfortunate situation that highlights a downside of Adobe’s subscription-based model — users lose access to the company’s products immediately as soon as the option to pay for them is removed, no matter how long they’ve been a customer.
 




A question for those who are using Affinity Photo as a replacement for Lightroom - what are you using for a DAM? I asked Affinity about this in January 2018 and they replied they were starting to look at asset management, but it was early days and they could give no time frame for when they might offer a solution that would integrate with Affinity Photo.
Many people are discovering that Capture One Pro is much more than a replacement for Lightroom. Its capabilities greatly exceed what Adobe's offering provides, and it is becoming the default package for many pros. It has a learning curve that is a bit steeper, but the results, speed of processing, flexible purchasing (subscription or permanent licenses) and support are solid. It's constantly improving, though it does have a few glitchy aspects still in its DAM and printing engine. I recommend taking the plunge and never looking back, with Affinity apps as the companion.
 


For all who subscribe to Adobe software, new developments demonstrate the peril of such relationships. Making a very broad interpretation of Trump's executive order cutting off enterprise with Venezuela, Adobe abruptly terminated all subscriptions in that country. No refunds, no recourse.

No other such company has taken that approach. Could they have followed the lead of others? Challenged the order in court? We don't know. But they are out on a limb, and only a massive customer reaction would make any difference to their policy. This is surely not the first time this issue will arise.
 


Here’s an essential example of the whims and dangers of subscriptions and Internet authorization schemes...
Next stops on this train: China. Russia. Philippines. Various countries in the Middle East. Just imagine the implications/havoc if subscription service versions of these apps were suddenly outlawed (for example) by China, retaliating against Trump's trade war? Even setting aside for-profit users with businesses in these countries... imagine the impact on humanitarian/non-profit groups which rely on these subscription services to serve their clients and their staffs working in these places.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... Just imagine the implications/havoc if subscription service versions of these apps were suddenly outlawed... imagine the impact on humanitarian/non-profit groups which rely on these subscription services to serve their clients and their staffs working in these places.
Now imagine the reality that software is morphing as we speak from monolithic apps into collections of "services" and modules and controls that come from anywhere and everywhere, such that any "app" or website is dependent on Internet services that can be cut off in an instant, as well as remote control and distribution that enables/disables software (let alone "remote wipe", which is also now built into mainstream systems, such as iOS).

Here's just one good example:
And here's a prime example of composing "apps" out of many diverse services (with AI thrown into the mix for another whole level of complexity with ultimately unfathomable consequences):
FileMaker said:
The future of the Claris Platform: from FileMaker, to Claris Connect and beyond.
... Consistent with the increasing automation of many industries, Claris Next Gen will be built to leverage the full power of modern workflow apps with built-in orchestration and automation, machine learning, and advanced user experiences powered by AI Bots and AR/VR. Just as our Connect product will significantly lower the barrier to sophisticated app development through 3rd party cloud services, our Next Gen platform will provide modern, AI-driven apps delivered as a service.
As we've discussed before, modern "apps" are filled with components from anywhere and everywhere, such that the resulting product can never be completely trusted or stable. Here's a tiny tip of an iceberg:
Cornell University said:
An Empirical Study of C++ Vulnerabilities in Crowd-Sourced Code Examples
Software developers share programming solutions in Q&A sites like Stack Overflow. The reuse of crowd-sourced code snippets can facilitate rapid prototyping. However, recent research shows that the shared code snippets may be of low quality and can even contain vulnerabilities. This paper aims to understand the nature and the prevalence of security vulnerabilities in crowd-sourced code examples. To achieve this goal, we investigate security vulnerabilities in the C++ code snippets shared on Stack Overflow over a period of 10 years. In collaborative sessions involving multiple human coders, we manually assessed each code snippet for security vulnerabilities following CWE (Common Weakness Enumeration) guidelines. From the 72,483 reviewed code snippets used in at least one project hosted on GitHub, we found a total of 69 vulnerable code snippets categorized into 29 types. Many of the investigated code snippets are still not corrected on Stack Overflow. The 69 vulnerable code snippets found in Stack Overflow were reused in a total of 2859 GitHub projects.
Professional programmers, located all over the world and distributing software globally, are using source code, libraries, tools, and services from all over the world, including China and Russia, for critical software that runs on Macs and everywhere else.
 


I'm so sick of the software design and GUI gods at Adobe. Creative Cloud just auto-updated on one of my machines. I thought I had all auto-updates disabled but apparently not. It resides in the menubar and, for years now, it drops down when I click on it, and that's how I interact. Now, the geniuses in their infinite wisdom have made it so that CC opens as a free-floating Finder window.

I have searched every preference and cannot get it back there. In the old version, there was a preference to "reattach to menubar," but that is now gone, although it persists in my other machine, which apparently has not updated yet.

I tried chat with Adobe, but, as we all know, that was a completely fruitless exercise and waste of fifteen minutes of my life. I'm sick of bad unilateral decisions by bloated software companies.
 


Next stops on this train: China. Russia. Philippines. Various countries in the Middle East. Just imagine the implications/havoc if subscription service versions of these apps were suddenly outlawed (for example) by China, retaliating against Trump's trade war? Even setting aside for-profit users with businesses in these countries... imagine the impact on humanitarian/non-profit groups which rely on these subscription services to serve their clients and their staffs working in these places.
I am imagining the impact on Adobe if it terminates all its users in countries where its presence is strong. I presume the subscription model suddenly becomes a serious danger to the bottom line.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I am imagining the impact on Adobe if it terminates all its users in countries where its presence is strong. I presume the subscription model suddenly becomes a serious danger to the bottom line.
I didn't find country-level breakdowns in a quick search, but an Adobe Investor Relations Data Sheet [PDF] shows the following revenue percentages for FY2019 year to date:

Geography% of total revenue
Americas​
58%​
EMEA​
27%​
Asia​
15%​
 




People outside the US should avoid buying services from any US company if they can. By the way, what happens with Apple and Microsoft services? Will Venezuelans also be deprived of them?
I think the point may have been missed... anyone who runs their business off of rental software puts their business future in peril. Regardless of country. Kindle was deleting legally purchased ebooks years ago.
 


I'm so sick of the software design and GUI gods at Adobe. Creative Cloud just auto-updated on one of my machines. I thought I had all auto-updates disabled but apparently not. It resides in the menubar and, for years now, it drops down when I click on it, and that's how I interact. Now, the geniuses in their infinite wisdom have made it so that CC opens as a free-floating Finder window....
Ouch. I checked after reading your message. It certainly is ugly and wasteful of my screen. At least it goes away when somewhere else is clicked. And the sidebar choice, 'Updates', is actually an improvement, if you want to see the list of updates available before approving them.
 


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