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How can I combine two PDFs in Preview?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

First, you can only merge pdf if they are not protected, if this is the okay :

  1. Open both pdf
  2. Enable the sidebar in each windows of Preview, then select "Thumbnails" view
  3. Drag & drop the cover (inside the sidebar) of one pdf into the sidebar of the other pdf.

With this method, you can completely merge two pdf or selectively drag & drop the pages you want to merge to create a completely custom new pdf.

You can also extract pages from one pdf still using the same manipulation, but drag & drop to the Desktop.

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With "Toggle the sidebar" you probably meant "Enable the sidebar" or something like that (i.e., make it visible). – Jonik Aug 29 '10 at 11:19
@Jonik : Yeas, of course. I changed it. – Studer Aug 29 '10 at 19:01
Very nice! I've always used a java-based "PDF Split & Merge" utility, but this sounds easier. – khedron Aug 30 '10 at 5:52
Wow, awesome tip. Didn't realise you could do this. Fab. – pauldunlop Aug 31 '10 at 19:42

I know you asked for 'Preview' solutions, but in case you're interested in a command-line tool:

alias pdfjoin='/System/Library/Automator/Combine\ PDF\ Pages.action/Contents/Resources/'

Then you can do things like

pdfjoin -o out.pdf file1.pdf file2.pdf ...
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Here's a detailed explanation of how to use Automator. It looks complicated but it only took me a couple of minutes to reproduce it on my computer...

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Another way is with Automator. You can combine many pages into one PDF with that. It has a "Combine PDF Pages" action.

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Pretty sure the easiest is to open all jpgs or images in Preview, then go to Print, and instead of actually printing, save as a PDF. Boom. All images in one PDF.

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I do this all the time (I print my expense report to PDF and then have to insert all the scanned receipts and other PDF receipts into that document). The easiest way I have found is to open the target PDF in "Contact Sheet" view and then from Finder you can drag and drop the files into the Preview window of the target file. This makes very quick work of assembling multiple PDFs into a single document

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This is the simplest way in my opinion.

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