PDFpen for iOS Tutorial Videos

I recently did a series of seven tutorial videos on how to use PDFpen for iPad and iPhone. They’re now available to watch at the PDFpen website and I think they’re pretty good. Looking back, it’s remarkable just how much my document review workflows have changed with the arrival of the iPad Pro. The combination of that big piece of glass with the Apple Pencil make it easy for me to review and annotate documents digitally. This is superior to my old method of printing it out and using a red pen and highlighter. Now I have way more annotation tools available and because the product is digital, it is easy to save, copy, and share. Another benefit I’ve noticed over time is how much easier it is to hold on to these digital annotations. I recently represented a client on a contract dispute and being able to look at my original annotations when the contract was signed last year was helpful.

Anyway, if you haven’t looked into digital document annotation lately, watch these PDFpen videos. I’ve embedded one of them below.

Sponsor: OmniFocus 2.6 and Video

I’d like to thank the OmniGroup for sponsoring MacSparky this week. The OmniFocus team has been hard at work, releasing version 2.6 this week. The new version includes some nice new features, including dark mode, swipe to flag, and push syncing. The new version is great. Don’t believe me? Take a minute and a half to watch the below video and you will. Learn more at the Omni Group.

Automating Subject Line and Message Body with TextExpander

The below screencast is one of nine that I did for the new version of TextExpander for the Mac. At the end, I added a bit about automating email subject lines and message bodies with one snippet and I seem to have touched a nerve. I’ve received a ton of email about this. A lot of people didn’t realize this is possible. 

The trick is the Tab key. In most mail applications, the tab key moves you from the subject line to the message body. Setting the curser in the subject line, you can have a TextExpander snippet type the subject line, the tab key, then the message body. For instance:

Subject: How about some waffles?
Dear Jason,
I’m really hungry for some waffles. How about you?

Your pal,

If you are automating email that includes a standard subject line this can be a huge time saver. Don’t forget you can also include variables and fill-in snippets in the subject line as well. For instance, if you are standardizing the email for your monthly invoice, the subject line snippet could be:

ACME %b Invoice

which would render as:

ACME June Invoice

Anyway, if this stuff interests you, it wouldn’t hurt to watch the below screencast. If you’d like to see more in this screencast series, click on the “Playlist” button. I’m proud of all of them.

New PDFpen Scan+ Screencast

Here is my latest screencast demonstrating PDFpen Scan+ 1.3. This new version has a lot of improvements on both the front end (with a new iOS 7 friendly UI) and the back end (wait until you see how good it is at edge detection). This is my favorite app for turning bits of paper into digital PDF files full of OCR’d bits of awesomeness.

TextExpander touch 2.5 screencast

I had the pleasure of producing a video for Smile Software about the new features in TextExpander touch version 2.5. I’d like the think the video does a good job of getting you up to speed with TextExpander touch regardless of your experience with the app and demonstrates some of the new 2.5 features. The snippet group management is much improved. You can now watch, download, and otherwise consume it at Vimeo.

Screencast: Auto-Sending Bits of Text as Email

I do a lot of writing in text editors and dictation. As a result, I often have little bits of text that I want to send as an email. One day I got tired of the process of blocking, copying, opening Mail, creating a message, pasting text, adding a subject line, and sending. This was especially the case with the people that I found myself doing this for all the time. So I made some services to solve the problem for me. With this service I simply need to highlight the text and select the service. Automator does the rest in the background. Here is a short video showing how.