I not too familiar with Automator for Mac. I am trying to create a quick action to combine several images in a single PDF file and reduce its size with a quartz filter. The actions does indeed create the pdf but it does not reduce its file size. This is what I did:

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If I create two separate quick actions (one to create the pdf from images and another one to reduce the size of a pdf file) and apply them sequentially they work correctly. But not combined into a single action. What am I doing wrong?

2 Answers 2


I think the problem is that Automator passes the incoming files to each action in turn. It doesn't pass the created PDF file in the first action to the 2nd action.

So you need to add a "Get Specified Finder Items" action to 'get' the PDF that you've just created, and pass it through the workflow.

Of course, none of this addresses the problem of the fixed name and location of the finished PDF.

I have written python scripts to be used in Automator workflows, which individually convert images to PDF and apply Quartz Filters (saving the file in the same folder with a unique name); it wouldn't be too difficult to modify them to do both.


  • Thanks. I just tried the "Get Specified Finder Items" solution but it did not work (does not reduce size). Not sure what the problem of the fixed name is. The pdf file I create always has the same name on the desktop... Anyway it did not work
    – kalka
    Feb 12, 2021 at 16:00
  • The Actions are very limited in their scope. This is why scripting methods provide greater flexibility and certainty.
    – benwiggy
    Feb 12, 2021 at 16:48

Actually I do not think the problem is that Automator passes the incoming files to each action in turn. If I try to change the names of the off file after creating it, or move file, Automator does that. There must be another reason why it does not resize the pdf file immediately after creating it

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