On Lion (from memory, and I can't check anymore) this method:

  • open a one page PDF doc2 (with Preview),
  • open a one page PDF doc1 (with Preview),
  • drag thumbnail from doc1 onto doc2,
  • save as (S) onto doc3

was an easy way to make:

doc3 = doc1 + doc2

or in Unix talk:

cat doc1 doc2 >doc3

Apparently (fixes appreciated) since Mountain Lion this simple receipe doesn't work anymore.

What is the easy way to achieve such a basic operation for PDF files:

  • given 2 PDF documents doc1 and doc2,
  • I want to get doc3 = doc1 + doc2,
  • with as simple an application as Preview,
  • within a few seconds of click, click, click….

I need this basic function for users running Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite.

  • This still works on Yosemite... Dec 11, 2014 at 15:23
  • and in Mavericks...
    – klanomath
    Dec 11, 2014 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


Open the two PDFs with Preview

Drag the thumbnails of the second PDF to the end of the first PDF but above the grey line (marked with the red arrow):



and finally export the resulting PDF to a third PDF.

If your first PDF contains just one page this doesn't work.

Workaround 1: Open your second PDF, then open the first PDF, drag the single page to the beginning of the second PDF and export the resulting PDF to a third PDF.

Workaround 2: Insert an empty second page at the end of the first page.



and drag the second PDF to the regular end of your first PDF


delete the empty page at the end and export the remaining pages to a new third PDF.

  • I've also found that doing a Print to PDF then Save does work with single page PDF merging after you've dragged them into the new PDF
    – amergin
    Dec 11, 2014 at 23:07

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