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microbe Level 1 Level 1

I need to reverse page order of a PDF file. I tried Preview and Automator but couldn't find right option.
Printer driver has a reverse order option but when I did Save As PDF, it doesn't seem to work.
I tried a utility called Moonwalk but it does not run on my system with no reason.

Any solution? I prefer Automator action but any idea will be welcome.

What I'm doing is scanning documents. My scanner has ADF but does not duplex scanning. Thankfully, Automator make it possible to combine odd and even pages but the even pages should be reversed before scanning. If there is an Automator action for it, it will be great.

iMac G4, Mac OS X (10.4.1)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9
    The only way I know of in Preview would be to be sure from your View you have the Sidebar. Then drag and drop pages in the order you want. You could probably set an Automator action through "Watch me do" but I don't do Automator.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9
    You could print a subset (e.g., the odd pages) in reverse order, but to a .pdf file.
  • LionSucks Level 1 Level 1

    Someone please answer this friggin' question.


    200 + apps in Lion, and not one can reverse the pages of a PDF.


    It's 2011 and Preview can't even reverse the order of a pdf. Pathetic. Good job, Apple.

  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8

    Download PDFLab  @


    You can add PDF pages, delete PDF pages & reverse the order by dragging the last page to the top & continue until all pages have been reverse ordered.


     Cheers, Tom

  • mns579 Level 4 Level 4

    Combine PDFs (shareware) also easily reverses PDF page order and performs many other useful tricks as well:


  • xanda-escuyer Level 1 Level 1

    Hear hear...


    Furthermore, why is it that so many on this forum enjoy reading only half the problem before suggesting only half a solution, that leads right back to where we started?


    Is it so hard to imagine that dragging individual pages in a 40+ page doc is just plain tedious or perhaps the complete opposite of what a £1500GBP+licenses computer is meant to do i.e. save time & effort?


    I know there are some Apple worshippers out there that have lots of time on their hands, perhaps feeling the need to shuffle their wrist constantly in a meaningless activity, but really, let's think big before posting here - otherwise what's the point?


    And frankly Apple - if you're reading this - you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.


    Best regards,


    Mr Ubuntu

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    Seems a bit harsh on people just here trying to help overcome OSX's problems in any known way!


    I don't see anybody sticking up for the way it is with Apple's Apps or practises, just people trying to help accomplish the ting asked for.


    PDF is ubiquitous, but other than that the only worse doc Format is Word® in my opinion.

  • xanda-escuyer Level 1 Level 1

    I agree the tone was too sarcastic and perhaps below the belt - so my apologies.


    It is so very frustrating to have to wade through pages of superfluous, and in many cases inane, chatter that getting to the heart of the matter is impossible.

    As a case in point, we can't even PM each other which is why I have to add this post to a public thread - making the problem worse.


    And really, the problem isn't people here, or even in OS X. The problem is Apple.


    Apple have for some time become so cavalier and imperious to a such a degree that it grates when we are left to fend for ourselves in this manner. Of course they have always had a touch of the blue-stocking but it beggars belief that they are set to go the way of IBM, Microsoft and Nokia - these org's that have forgotten to treat the hand that feeds it with the respect it deserves. It may be that nobody is sticking up for Apple but adding red-herrings here is only making matters harder.


    Let's face it, it's just so self-defeating that anything supposedly this good, ought take this level of involvement, just to do the blindly obvious. You'd expect this from things like Linux, Openoffice etc. where the effort relies mainly on volunteers (in their spare time to a large degree). But with the amount of dosh Apple sit on - and continue to take - it seems only too clear where this is going to end and no amount of the 'cool factor' is going to change that.


    Something's gotta give - wish this stuff would work - just so fed up! :-(


    P.S. Hate to say this but I fixed this problem for myself using Win Vista & pdfforge (see

  • linda166 Level 1 Level 1

    I agree with everything stated and I cannot add to it.  You said it succinctly and correctly.  I have been looking for solutions to my MAC OS X 5.8 for some time and with absolutely no help or assistance from "Holy Apple"!  I find them unbelievably irritating.  However, after having said all of the above I did fine one Apple tech who had the patience to listen and volunteer help?  Wow, what a change.  BUT when he led me over to another tech support section to deal with another issue they contradicted the first.  I stuck to my guns and requested to speak to the supervisor.  When I did this, attitude changed.  It took a long time out of my busy days, weeks and months to resolve this and it was mostly my doing! (I am not technically inclined but I am persistent and at 75 I have learned alot about human nature!).    But I did lose alot of info. from my machine which has been unretrievable.  Have resigned myself to this and am carrying on with my life with "Holy Apple".


    About IBM, Microsoft and Nokia, well I think they have a little more heart than Apple!  Sad isn't it?  I am seriously thinking about changing over to HP and their new dream machine!  Apparently it is 1/3 of price - and so if it lasts 5 yrs. great. I have had experience with HP products and their support has far exceeded my expectations.


    Cudos to you for speaking your mind and understandably so.  I am also fed!

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9

    Actually, you can do that by printing the .pdf as a .pdf and choosing "reverse order" in "paper handling"


    by default 2012-03-05 at 9.45.21 AM.jpg

  • xanda-escuyer Level 1 Level 1

    Have you actually tried this? I am not sure that you have.


    If you have and it worked, then that's great (for you). But, it only makes matters worse: because it doesn't on mine (and others too) which implies Apple have made a consistency error - and a right clanger at that too.


    If it didn't actually work (and I am fairly sure it doesn't) then that only proves my point on two scores:


    First, this function will only reverse print direct to paper - NOT to PDF. When invoking this parameter with 'Save to PDF, OS X completely 'forgets' & does it  regular order anyway.


    Second - and arguably most important - to do it this way is intrinsically self-defeating because of it's arcaneness. Even if it is designed/expected behaviour, the Apple platform prides itself on being straightforward, for use by everyone regardless of technical ability which makes this notion daft. To put another way, I am engineer of c.20 years experience - 12 in UNIX software development, and it took me a number of attempts before I found this option (hence my post here).


    Given the enormity of this function, it's also worthy to note that the built-in Apple help doesn't say much about it either.

    So sadly it's still 'nil-póint' (as the French would say) to Apple.


    And in case you think I sound ungrateful for continuing to burn the wick, let me assure you that I aint. Ta lots for this - it's definitely the most worthy post here and exactly what we come here for.


    Now where's my bucket of water...

  • xanda-escuyer Level 1 Level 1

    Good for you - glad to hear I'm not the only one who wants to up the ante!


    I still adore my Apple Mac Mini in many many ways since moving over to it back in '05. It was my first experience in a phase of trying new things. It still runs very well in the main and for the first 3-4 years I just couldn't fault it.


    But Apple, like the wicked old witch in Hansel & Gretel seems to have been fattening us all up for the kill and I for one am not jumping into the oven!


    As for HP - their kit has been doing me justice (and lots of my friends too) for the last few years and they're self help support is second to none IMO.


    Hope you get what you're looking for - all the very best.



  • macjack Level 9 Level 9

    Kellys Hero wrote:


    But Apple, like the wicked old witch in Hansel & Gretel seems to have been fattening us all up for the kill and I for one am not jumping into the oven!

    Yes, that is precisely their strategy. Then they will eat only your fat, juicy parts and feed the rest to the dogs.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9

    It is indeed unfortunate that reversing page order seems to be a paper-handling feature, and that if you do not print to paper, the reversing of pages does not seem to work.


    You seem to be missing an important detail in this process.


    The Original Poster was trying to solve a problem with their scanner. It did not do duplexing when scanning. They admitted that the fronts and backs could be merged with the tools at hand, but were looking to reverse the page order for the backs.


    The fundamental problem is caused by the operator, not the software. To reverse the order, when you have a stack of papers, is a well understood process, or can be re-derived with some very simple experiments: Take the top sheet from the source stack and place it as the bottom sheet of the destination stack. Repeat until the source stack is exhausted. Now scan the re-ordered stack.


    Please do not bash Apple over this, it is not Apple's fault that the user's scanner does not duplex. When printing or scanning two-sided material on a device that does not duplex, it is common to have to reorder the pages during the process.

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