Using Hookmark with PDFPenPro

Hookmark enables you to link PDF files to and from anything that is also linkable. Hookmark supports many PDF readers including PDFpenPro. PDFpenPro is an All-Purpose PDF Editing Tool developed by Smile.

Hookmark treats PDFs similarly to other files, except that you can create “deep links” that point to specific locations in a document.

Click on the link and Hookmark will open the PDF and scroll to the specific page and location to which it points!

Copy Link, Copy Markdown Link and Hook to Copied Link

If no text is selected in a PDF, then Copy Link and Copy Markdown Link have the same effect as most files: they return a link to the entire file (using the hook://file/ scheme), not a deep link.

Creating Deep Links (to specific locations in a PDF file)

If you have selected something in the PDF when you invoke Copy Link or Copy Markdown Link, then Hookmark will return a “deep link” to the specific location of the selection! This is super handy for anyone who is working intensely with PDFs.

  1. In PDFPenPro (or Skim), select the text or image to which you want to create a link.
  2. Bring up Hookmark using a keyboard shortcut (⇧⌘SPACE by default) or the Hookmark menu bar icon.
  3. Click Hookmark’s Copy Link button (or use ⌘C, or use Copy Markdown Link).
  4. Paste the link wherever you want to directly link to the selection.

When you click the link, Hookmark opens the file and jumps to the specific section of the PDF, provided your default PDF reader supports PDF deep linking. (As of 2021-01-07 this includes PDFpenPro and Skim. Additional apps may be added).

You can paste the link in:

  • Any document (for instance in Pages, Nisus Writer, or Microsoft Word), even in another PDF!
  • A “to-do” app (such as OmniFocus, Things or TaskPaper).
  • An email.
  • Any editable field (even Items in DEVONthink).
  • Just about anywhere else

Share deep links to PDFs with others!

Before Hookmark, there was no easy way to refer to shared PDFs in Dropbox or iCloud. Hookmark solves this problem. Use the Copy Link (or Copy Markdown Link) command on a PDF or a selection of a PDF, then paste the link into a document or email. Send it to anyone with access to the PDF: if they have Hookmark (even if they use its free Basic mode), the deep links will open at the exact location in the PDF.

That way, instead of manually scrolling to the location in a (potentially very long) PDF, all they need to do is click on the link.

Hookmark links to specific locations in PDF files that are shared with others will normally work as long as the recipient has Hookmark and PDFpenPro or the free Skim app installed, and a copy of the file that has the same unique name on the recipient’s Mac (if two files have the same name, Hookmark will try to disambiguate them based on their meta-information [not their content]).

Try it; you and your recipients will be amazed at the time (and communication) savings!

Default app for opening PDFs

In order to use Hookmark’s deep links to PDFs, you currently need to ensure that the default app you have configured in macOS Finder to open “.pdf” files supports deep PDF links. (As of 2021-01-07 this includes PDFpenPro and Skim. Additional apps may be added). See Choose an app to open a file on Mac.

Hookmark also supports deep PDF links with Curio using an alternative integration. In Curio, PDFs are not stand-alone files that you directly access with Finder. They are embedded in Curio documents.

No “Hook to New > PDFpenPro” option

Hookmark does not currently support the creation of new PDFs. So there’s no “PDFpenPro” in the Hook to New menu.

Adding a “Hook” tag to PDFs

Using Gear menu > Preferences > General tab, you can configure Hookmark to apply a Finder tag to any PDF file you hook. Later you can search for it with Finder. But keep in mind that Hookmark has a great search engine of its own!

Searching for PDFs that you’ve bookmarked with Hookmark

To find PDF files you’ve linked with Hookmark, simply:

  1. Invoke Hookmark.
  2. Enter search mode (with ⌘F or a click of Hookmark’s search toolbar-button).
  3. Type ".pdf" and hit the Return key.

Your PDF bookmarks will show up in the search results. This is a very handy trick, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of using Hookmark’s search feature.

Think of it this way: if something is important, you’ve likely bookmarked it with Hookmark (e.g., by copying a link to it). So use Hookmark to search for relevant information.

See also…

PDFpenPro is discussed and illustrated elsewhere on this website. To find out more:

Hookmark is AppleInsider's Favorite Mac app of 2022!!