Mac, iPad, and iPhone PDF editing app PDFpen has been sold to Nitro, a company that offers Windows and browser-based PDF editors. PDFpen developer Smile is retaining ownership of popular Mac macro app TextExpander

Smile doesn’t offer any explanation for the sale of the app in its three-sentence announcement.

We are excited to announce the acquisition of PDFpen by Nitro. We at Smile believe Nitro is well placed to take the PDFpen product to the next level. Here is a link to Nitro’s blog announcement.

The linked announcement does suggest 6 million possible reasons, however.

Nitro Software Limited (ASX: NTO) (‘Nitro’ or the ‘Company’), a global document productivity software company driving digital transformation in organisations around the world, is pleased to announce the acquisition of PDFpen, a market-leading suite of PDF productivity applications for Mac, iPhone® and iPad® […]

Nitro’s Productivity Platform already supports certain key mobile and tablet use cases, with eSigning available on any device with a web browser and Nitro Pro compatible with Microsoft Surface devices. The addition of PDFpen extends native PDF productivity to Mac, iPhone and iPad users everywhere.

The expansion of Nitro’s Productivity Platform comes at a critical time for customers, with the work-from-anywhere tailwinds driven by the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating digital transformation, including the use of Mac and mobile devices.

Nitro customers now have productivity solutions for virtually every device and operating system — at home, in the office, in the field and on the move.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Nitro will acquire the PDFpen technology from US-based Smile, Inc. for $6 million in cash. The acquisition will be funded from the Company’s existing cash reserves.

Smile will continue offering TextExpander, a utility that I described as “autocorrect on steroids.” Not being a massive fan of subscription software, however, I’ve since switched to using PhraseExpress, which has a one-off fee that sees you break even in 15 months, at the cost of a rather Windows-like UI.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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