Say I have two photos (or any images), for example with the following dimensions:

+----------+       +----------+
|          |       |          |
|          |       |          |
|320 x 428 |  and  |320 x 428 | 
|          |       |          |
|          |       |          |
+----------+       +----------+

I want to combine them into a single image, side by side. So the result should be

|                      |
|                      |
|      640 x 428       |
|                      |
|                      |

What's the simplest way to do this on a Mac? Is it possible with some default app like Preview, or would you recommend some 3rd party tool for the job?

Solution ✅

If I could, I'd accept these two answers:

  • This might help. I use Magnet.app (window manager) to do a collage of multiple Preview windows with the images opened. Then screenshot.
    – f01
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 14:22
  • 1
    It's ridiculous that Mac doesn't have a built-in simple tool to copy-paste one image into another one.
    – Raining
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 14:20
  • 5
    7 years later: apps.apple.com/de/app/union/id1455272754?l=en&mt=12 (I can't post as an answer due to my low reputation :)) Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 7:22
  • @backslash-f I added your suggestion as a separate answer. Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 9:40

17 Answers 17


I often have to do this with images of plots of data. I use the command line tools that come in the Imagemagick package; I think I installed it on my system with MacPorts. You could also choose to install with brew (brew install imagemagick).

The actual tool you want to use from Imagemagick is the convert tool. If you have your two 320x428 images, say a.png and b.png, you can do

convert +append a.png b.png c.png

to create a new file, c.png, that has the a.png on the left and b.png on the right. Alternatively, you append them vertically with -append (instead of +) and a.png will be on top of b.png. With convert, you can do a ton of other things. For example, you can switch to a different image format for the output

convert +append a.png b.jpg c.tif

This isn't a GUI application, but maybe some others might have a better solution. Alternatively, you could put this in some sort of automator script.

2020-12-10: I used it on 2020-12-10 and now the correct code is

convert +append a.png b.jpg +append c.tif
  • 1
    Right now on my macOS Mojave, +append actually works vertically, contrary to what the man page (and this answer) says. I'm confused.
    – Jonik
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 14:58
  • 1
    This method degrades the image quality. Any way to preserve the image quality when using the convert command?
    – darKnight
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 17:40
  • 1
    This is dope. This still works in 2019! Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 4:38
  • 8
    As of 10-17-2020 and using version 7 of imagemagick, the syntax for the imagemagick command is magick a.png b.png +append c.png. See here: superuser.com/questions/316132/… Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 2:10
  • 2
    In MacOS Monterey +append merges horizontally, -append merges vertically.
    – Soumendra
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 13:46

This solution uses only Preview and may be handy if you can't install software on a machine. It is, however, not elegant.

Say your images are called A and B. Then:

  1. Open A in Preview.
  2. Select All, Copy.
  3. In the Tools menu, select Size and adjust the width to the sum of the width of the two images (in your example, 640 px). Keep the height. This will result in a stretched version of A.
  4. Paste the copy of the original A and move it manually to the left.
  5. In another window, open B.
  6. Select All, Copy.
  7. Paste into A, moving it to the right.
  8. Save as a new image.

Since, of course, Preview does not offer any proper image editing tools and no way to exactly position the two images, the ImageMagick solutions posted here are preferable.

  • 6
    we should uncheck the Scale proportionally option when adjusting the size. Tip:- if anyone wants to have the remaining part of the image in plain white color then copy the textedit empty document screen to clipboard and paste it in preview Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 8:53
  • 4
    in step 2 instead of copy you can cut (cmd+x). If you then change the size of a picture in step 3 you do not have the stretched version in the "background". This can be handy if you want to add i.e. a border line
    – Emanuel
    Commented Apr 21, 2022 at 8:28
  • Preview HAS editing tools and CAN position images accurately.
    – PeterBreis
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 10:30
  • @PeterBreis Check the timestamp of my answer :-) Perhaps this changed in the past 10 years. Feel free to elaborate and edit my reply or write your own.
    – jstarek
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 10:35
  • I have full explanation of how to use Preview from 8 years ago, below. I just thought outside the box how to do a simple task, simply.It was just as true 10 years ago. Possibly 22 years ago, the time OSX has been around. The principles have been much the same.
    – PeterBreis
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 13:43

How to do this with the tools to hand: Preview .app and Screen Capture.

  1. Open up any Application that lets you have a clean neat white background. Not strictly necessary but makes life easier.
  2. Make a screensnap: command shift 4 > drag out an area 640 x428 pixel (the cursor shows the dimensions).

    enter image description here

  3. This will be saved as a .png to your Desktop *. Double click on this along with your two existing images to open them in Preview .app

  4. Select each of your two images in turn and go command a (Select All) and command c (Copy)

    enter image description here

  5. Switch to your blank background image, command v (Paste) each in turn dragging them into position next to each other.

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

    You can scale them by dragging their handles, and nudge them a pixel at a time with your cursor keys.

    They will stay mobile until you Save.

  6. When you are happy with the arrangement:

    Menu > File > Save As… > New name > Whatever file format you want

/* Keep this as a Template size, with any others, clearly labelled with their dimensions for future use.

  • 1
    Actually the simplest one.
    – Raining
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 14:43
  • Saved my day. One of the easiest solution to merge images. Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 8:14

Here's one way I just managed to solve this with.

Disclaimer: If you are not familiar with the Unix command line, you may want to pick one of the GUI-oriented solutions that others have posted.

Install the ImageMagick graphics suite, e.g. with Homebrew:

brew install ImageMagick

Alternatively, use MacPorts ( sudo port install ImageMagick) or the Mac OS X binary release provided by ImageMagick. In my experience, Homebrew is the quickest, most hassle-free option.

Once you have ImageMagick installed, it's simple. Using Terminal, navigate to the directory containing the images, and create a combined version with a command such as:

montage -geometry 100% left.jpg right.jpg merged.jpg

There's multitude of options available; to learn about them, see: http://www.imagemagick.org/script/montage.php


Using TextEdit, you can copy paste (or drag) the 2 images in to TextEdit window side by Side.

Save as PDF then Open- Save as JPEG after witch you can modify the image size in Preview.

How to Combine Images on Mac OS X


Speaking of free GUI tools, Seashore app is an open source project much better at working with images than Preview.app.

It has better tools much on the lines of popular editors (including shortcuts) and I guess if you try you should be doing just fine without much help from us.

It supports layers, filters, channels and supports almost all image formats, plus it has better image / layer selection and resizing tools that may be better suited for your image editing needs.

  1. Open both the images with Seashore.
  2. Copy over the second one into the first one. Seashore will ask you if you want to create a New Layer or Anchor it with the one already there. (see screenshot).
  3. Click on New Layer.
  4. Use the Move tool (right most selected button in toolbar in the screenshot) to align your layer to the right of the previous one.
  5. Choose Image boundaries option from Image menu (Third item from top Cmd + Opt + C) increase the image boundary to the Right in your case by the current width of the image (assuming both images are of same size).
  6. Save as png or jpg according to your needs.



I was looking at this old post to do the same and I came with a simple method.

  1. Get Inkscape - cross-platform, freeware, open-source.
  2. Open it, push File, modify document properties to the desired finished resolution.
  3. Import desired pictures into the document and move around, stretch, bend, etc.
  4. Export to chosen file type.
  5. Use all your free time to something else!
  • 2
    Very nice and powerful Open Source software, but with xquartz X11 very very slow startup. Not native Mac app.
    – Sybil
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 15:50

The simplest way I know uses Preview. Open both photos with Preview, position their windows side-by-side (flush) in front of your desktop and then use Preview's "Take a screen shot" command with the "from Selection" option. Select around the perimeter of both photos together and it will create a montage for you.


Do it online for free...


Beats messing around or installing other programs.

  • 1
    2019 recommendation: filesmerge.com/merge-images
    – Mark
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 20:10
  • However, I don't want to upload my files which might don't belong to me legally.
    – DawnSong
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 14:54

Open both images side by side in Preview, take a screenshot with command-shift-4.

  • 1
    If they are scaled you will lose a lot of DPI. You better use photoshop
    – Rob
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 14:13

Pixelmator is only around $30 from the app store and its a full photoshop replacement for 99% of users. It will merge your images and do a thousand other things besides. Highly recommended.

  • While there are a few free alternatives in this thread, +1 for Pixelmator which can do this and much more for a good price.
    – Gerry
    Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 6:41

The easiest way is to use Graphic Converter. Open the Convert and Modify window, select all the images you want to stitch together on the left hand selection pane, and select a folder for the output in the right hand selection pane (otherwise you might overwrite your originals).

On the left hand side of the main window select Function -> Concat....

Click GO (LHS at bottom), this will open a dialogue box that asks if you want them arranged in a row only, column only or a matrix of N x M images.

  • At least my Macs (running OS X 10.6.8 and 10.8.4) don't seem to have Graphic Converter pre-installed, so this is not necessarily the easiest way.
    – Jonik
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 18:10
  • Graphic Converter is the "swiss army knife" for image manipulations - but it is a commercial tool, not a free tool. It is great, but at a cost. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 6:20
  • A very small cost compared to Photoshop. I often do this, but my way is to add the right size blank space to the side of one image, then paste the other into the space.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 7:22

I'm a know-nothing when it comes to computers, but this question is all over the internet.

I make all kinds of pictures in Pages, then save the page as a pdf. I open the pdf in Preview and resave it as a jpg. Then I import the jpg in iphoto and do whatever I want to it there - crop it or play with the colors etc. Then I mail it to myself in whatever size I want. This is serious silliness by most people's standards.

Well it works - and you don't have to be a geek to do it :)

  • I'll agree that this is serious silliness.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 12:14

There is a free application available named Union in App Store that can do the job.

Description of Union from the above link:

  • After installing and launching the app, activate it by clicking on its icon at top right, next to the clock;
  • Drag and drop images into it and press the "preview button" at the top left;
  • The native "Preview" app will display the final result -- which is now available for editing / saving / sharing.

There is Graphic Converter (free to try). So you could: open new picture 640 x 480; then in turn open each of the components, copy all, and paste into the new picture. Drag them into place where you want them. Then Save As... the format you want.

  • I haven't specifically tested this, but GraphicConverter has a very powerful batch-processing feature for sequences of image-processing routines, including some Automator and AppleScript support. I'll bet you can find a way to create a batch process that will do what you need in GraphicConverter.
    – user9290
    Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 0:36
  • It would by my first recommendation for the job, weren't it a commercial tool. It may have free trial, but as far as I know the free trial is quite limited, and usually stamps the resulting images with some watermark that renders them unusable, and it is not cheap to buy. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 6:24
  • GraphicConverter is also clumsy and a pain to find out how to do anything. Don't bother pointing that out to the developer.
    – PeterBreis
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 9:52

Actually, there is a much simpler way to combine two photos into one page (one pdf) on a Mac. Open a new powerpoint file, open the photos you want to join or save into one PDF, use the Crop command (Shift+Control+Command+4) to crop the images one by one and paste them in the powerpoint file. Adjust the size of photos and placement on the slide. Save the slide or file as a PDF. Simple.

However if you want to merge two photos into one (with one merging into the other) there are other apps out there which can do it for you.

  • 3
    Requires you first have Office, making it the most expensive solution so far.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 14:19
  • It's expensive. However, it works, so I don't think it's a good idea to downvote it until minus.
    – DawnSong
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 14:51
  • 1
    Powerpoint is a common install on work computers, and tremendously versatile. So, yes, for many people it isn't an option, but for many people it is actually a very good choice. I've used it myself for this exact purpose. Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 13:52
  • 1
    Powerpoint is not that common. But why use Powerpoint when ALL Macs come with Pages, Keynote and Numbers all of which would be easier. You can then Print > Open in Preview > Export to whatever format you want.
    – PeterBreis
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 9:35

This is probably quite old, but for people who still encounter this stuff (I just had to merge 2 sides of my card which is the new "car papers".

I tend to use pixlr.com, which does NOT require signup, it's simular to photoshop you can just upload your two images, crop, transform w/e move them on different layers etc. Then you can save it as a pixlr file or PNG / JPG

  • 6
    Web based Image editing has one flaw - the moment you upload the images, they are not yours anymore. The server can give them to anyone without your permission. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 7:25

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