14 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2010 9:58 AM by Leslie Mac25
David L Gerber Level 1 (75 points)
Is there a simple way to combine two separate PDF files into one file in Preview?

iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Király Level 6 (9,635 points)
    Yes. Open one of the PDFs. Make sure the Preview sidebar (right hand side that shows all the pages) is visible. Drag the second PDF file into the sidebar. File -> Save As... .
  • David L Gerber Level 1 (75 points)
    Thanks Király. That was easy!
  • iRob 2.0 Level 1 (20 points)
    That actually did not work for me. I brought up all of the pdfs I wanted to merge, did a save as, and only the first pdf saved itself.

    I then selected all of the PDFs in the Preview Pane and hit "save as" again and still nothing.

    Am I missing something?
  • b99 Level 2 (290 points)

    In trying it just now I found that Preview will join two pdfs if you drag one pdf in the sidebar on top of another. When they are all joined this way, close all but the joined one and then "Save all" from the file menu.
  • Mareydenis Level 1 (5 points)
    I'm having the same problem and have, ever since I upgraded to SnowLeopard. (Preview version 5.0.2 and Mac OSX 10.6.3)

    When I drag the files together via the side bar, it says at the top stuff like 1 page (2 documents, 2 total pages) Huh?

    I just found out the trick, completely by accident!

    If you drag the 2nd document to the sidebar of the first and you see a blue line--it won't save it as a single document. It does the 2 documents, 2 pages useless thing.

    If you drag the 2nd document *into the image of the first document +in the side bar+* (you will see the page in the sidebar have a gray box around it with a white border) you end up with merged documents.

    Then just save it and you're good.

    Not sure why they changed it, as I have no idea what use the first option provides. And not sure why they didn't document this was how it works now. But I'm glad to have the problem solved because my iMac will not open Acrobat Pro (Acrobat crashes every time).

  • Arthur Levy Level 1 (5 points)
    I am surprised that Apple did not document that the method of combining PDFs in Preview has changed. The methods of dragging INTO the previous thumbnail does in fact work, while the old method of inserting at the boundary does not. Shame on you Apple for wasting so much of my time while I "upgrade" to improve productivity.
  • pachyx Level 1 (30 points)
    When I try to drag the sidebar icon of the source to the destination, I can not drop it on top. I either get a blue line on the top or a blue line on the bottom.

    Are both document sidebar icons collapsed?

    Thank you.
  • cookingchemist Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the trick. Could not figure out how to combine pdf's, but dropping the added page onto the page in the sidebar worked perfectly.

  • DeaconMac Level 1 (5 points)
    None of the solutions offered in this thread work for me. I have followed each of them carefully, trying to combine 2 Preview docs into one. Opened both docs and opened the sidebars on each. Dragged the image of the 2nd page from its sidebar to the sidebar of the 1st document and Saved As. It only saved the 2nd page. Dragged the image of the 2nd document from its sidebar and dropped it on top of the image of the 1st page (which greyed and had a rectangle around it). Saved As. It LOOKS right, but when saved as, only the 2nd page is saved.

    Using X 10.6.4. What should I try next? (And why is this so difficult??? It seems like it ought to be both simple and intuitive.)
  • radio50 Level 1 (70 points)
    Here's what works for me in Snow Leopard: Have both PDFs on my desktop. Double-click one to open in Preview. Select View - Sidebar - ShowSidebar. Drag the other PDF from the desktop onto the little image in the sidebar of the first one. File-SaveAs . . .
  • DeaconMac Level 1 (5 points)
    I think I figured out the problem. The Preview files I was trying to combine were JPEGs. I finally saved them as pdf files and then they combined without difficulty.
  • donshort Level 1 (0 points)
    Is there a third party software for this that anyone can recommend. Honestly, during a working day, who has time to wank around with this? As a long time Mac user, I am increasingly disappointed with this attitude Apple seems to have which is focus on new gadgets at the expense of what made it great in the first place. Simple to use, effective intuitive products. Preview gets an F.
  • donshort Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, nevermind about the third party software. If you are frustrated with combining PDF's in Preview here is a quick and dirty way to combine files. Open a blank Pages doc and under view set up show layout. Drag your file into pages and size it up so it fits in the layout. One doc per page. To get a 2nd blank page go to Insert>sections>blank. Repeat the steps above with your next doc to be combined. When you are done, go to File>Export>Hilite PDF>next>Name it and put it somewhere you can find it. Done. Not perfect, but it's going to work everytime.
  • Leslie Mac25 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had 2 2-page PDFs that I wanted to combine. I found that the "lay on top of" technique worked if the one I was carrying was "collapsed" (only 1 page showing) and the one I was laying it on top of was "uncollapsed" (both pages showing).

    Yo, Apple, some documentation would be very very good here!! This is not particularly intuitive!