I have a document given as a PDF and would like to copy parts from it into Powerpoint. For example, an equation.

I use Preview's "Take a screenshot" function but this always generates a new Preview file with the selection. On this new file, I do a Command + A, Command + C then Command + V, and I have the image on my slide. I then have to delete the screenshot file.

What is an efficient way to select a certain portion of my PDF and copy it without generating a new file?

  • Can't you just select part of the PDF using the cursor and copy the selection and then just paste it into Powerpoint or Keynote. Works for me.
    – Natsfan
    May 28, 2020 at 0:45
  • @jmh when I do that, it doesn't copy it correctly. Latex equations get converted into text whereas I want the original latex equation in my slide May 28, 2020 at 2:04
  • What is the version of macOS that you are running?
    – Nimesh Neema
    May 28, 2020 at 4:58
  • I'm running 10.15.4. May 28, 2020 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


If you’re happy with a screenshot, there’s a screenshot-to-clipboard function built into macOS.

Use the keyboard shortcut Control + Shift + Command 4. (Try doing that with one hand! :-) )

  • It's a good suggestion and will work for many but it unfortunately loses vector graphics properties of the PDF. When I zoom in and out of the selected content, I'd like it to stay sharp. May 28, 2020 at 13:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .