I want to create a new PDF file from a rectangular region of an existing PDF file, old_file.pdf. Currently, I use the following rather laborious process:

  1. Open the old_file.pdf in Preview.
  2. Chose the rectangular regions using rectangular selection.
  3. Copy the region using cmd c.
  4. Paste the region into an empty slide in a Keynote file, using cmd v.
  5. Export that single slide (by hiding all others) into a new_file.pdf.
  6. Open new_file.pdf in Preview, chose and crop the rectangular region, then save the file and exit Preview.

Surely, there must be a better way. What is it?


1 Answer 1


You can select the region of interest and hit copy. Then go to the file menu and select 'New from Clipboard'. A new PDF file is displayed with only your selection.

Quick workflow example...

Enter image description here

  • which file menu?
    – Walter
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 9:08
  • Preview's file menu, or Cmd/N [which only works when there's something relevant in the clipboard]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 9:10

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