How to Convert Several Images into a Single PDF Using Preview

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Over the years, Adobe's PDF file type has become a universally accepted method for sharing digital documents. The format's cross-platform adoption means the documents can be viewed on almost any mobile device or computer, so it's no surprise to find that macOS includes native support for viewing and creating PDF files.

In the Preview app, for example, it's possible to create a single multi-page PDF document out of several separate image files. The feature is particularly useful if you need to share a number of scanned documents over email or digitize something for reference. Keep reading to learn how it's done.


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Article Link: How to Convert Several Images into a Single PDF Using Preview
 

elhungarian

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2009
288
42
you guys ever get 2 preview windows when opening a bunch of .jpgs for example? i dont get why that happens to me sometimes. All images could be taken from same camera in same session too
 

Xavier

macrumors 68030
Mar 23, 2006
2,585
1,157
Columbus
This is indeed useful, but I also have an automated shortcut where i just drag files and then converted ones show up in their own folder on the desktop.

EDIT: Just realized that this is the other way around then what i was stating. Whoops!
 
Last edited:

Kobayagi

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2012
800
1,678
This is indeed useful, but I also have an automated shortcut where i just drag files and then converted ones show up in their own folder on the desktop.
That sounds handy, mind sharing how you did it?
 
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boyfarrell

macrumors newbie
Jan 5, 2006
2
0
I wrote a native MacOS app in Swift that does the same! Was a fun project. Workflow is much simpler if all you want to do it convert images to a PDF.

Search Concat in Mac App Store (sorry on phone and cannot provide link)






Over the years, Adobe's PDF file type has become a universally accepted method for sharing digital documents. The format's cross-platform adoption means the documents can be viewed on almost any mobile device or computer, so it's no surprise to find that macOS includes native support for viewing and creating PDF files.

In the Preview app, for example, it's possible to create a single multi-page PDF document out of several separate image files. The feature is particularly useful if you need to share a number of scanned documents over email or digitize something for reference. Keep reading to learn how it's done.


Click here to read more...

Article Link: How to Convert Several Images into a Single PDF Using Preview
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,455
2,258
Preferences > Images > Open all files in one window.
Thanks for that Marty...I wouldn't have thought of a preferences setting doing that and just figured it was a really annoying bug (I started seeing the behavior change many OS versions ago).
 

mserrano303

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2007
7
2
Preview is one of the most powerful apps that comes with MacOS. So many people who started on Windows think they need adobe PDF reader. Preview will do it all without opening your Mac to adobes insecure reader.
I agreed with that statement until High Sierra. Several features are broken and PDF scaling is a blurry mess. There have been countless bug reports but no fixes. The majority of Apple's development resources have been reassigned to iOS and it is starting to show.
 

JaxGator3

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2015
15
5
Very timely for me. I have been trying to do this from my Win machine, but the resulting PDF is too large for email. Does anyone know if Preview will compress the images or resulting PDF to a manageable size?

Also, is there an equivalent workflow in iOS? My source images are all pictures taken from my iPhone. Would be a huge timesaver to dump them into a single PDF for sharing by email on my iPhone.
 

python0704

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2015
156
45
Very nice tip. Not around my Mac so can't test. Does it tip only work for images? I would like to combine some pdf files. And can it delete pdf pages? That's the only feature I miss when I stop using adobe acrobat.
 

Xavier

macrumors 68030
Mar 23, 2006
2,585
1,157
Columbus
Good work, but your workflow doesn't combine images to a single pdf, it exports pdf pages to images.

Would need to use the 'New PDF from Images' function to combine images to a pdf.
Good catch. I actually read the post the wrong way, and thought it was talking about what I posted! :eek:
 

0110

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2018
2
1
Kansas City
Good work, but your workflow doesn't combine images to a single pdf, it exports pdf pages to images.

Would need to use the 'New PDF from Images' function to combine images to a pdf.
I just used this feature recently, which was the first time I’ve used Automator. I hope it continues to be supported.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,751
3,702
You can also freely drag pages between PDFs in Preview using the sidebar thumbnails or the contact sheet view.

Acrobat does have a few tricks up its sleeve, like some (hacky) editing the text of a PDF -- and also I've occasionally come across PDF forms that do not play very well with Preview. For 99% of what you need to do with PDFs, though, Preview is brilliant.
 
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dfs

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2008
330
153
California
For many years I've relied on a handy shareware gadget called PDF_Merge to to this job for me. It's a trifle expensive as shareware goes, but it has done a lot of good service for me. Problem is, it's a 32-bit app., which means that if its developer doesn't put out a new version, it is doomed to obsolence and I've been worrying about what will happen once I can't use it.. So thanks for this, I'll bookmark this present article and fall back on this method when the need arises. The only thing I need to convince myself is that, since I work with PDF's of old books and manuscripts, sometimes I have to convert a LOT of individual files into a single big one, I hope your method can handle that.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
Anyone know of a way to create the PDF in B&W so the size isn't gargantuan?
Color isn't the issue, it's the resolution of the original images and their compression level. Quartz filters can be created to control both factors, though probably a better bet when dealing with large images is to resize them in Preview first. The easy resizing of images (dimensions, resolution, and compression) is another great and under-appreciated feature of Preview.

Incidentally, one step can be skipped in the process described here for opening multiple files in Preview. Simply select them in the Finder and double-click and they will open in Preview. No need to select the app, they will open that way by default.
 

jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,516
752
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
What's the cost of the latest version of Acrobat Pro (one off or subscription)?

Last time I checked a few years ago it was something ridiculous like £500. (No wonder it got pirated by people who needed it, lol.)
 
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