9 Replies Latest reply: May 9, 2012 9:11 AM by TimH2
chaparra Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I recently updated to the OSX v10.7 Lion operating system.  In the previous version I had, I was able to merge two or more PDF files in Preview just by dragging the thumbnail.  However, in the Lion version, it is not allowing to drag one PDF file into another.  It just opens them as different files in the same preview window.  I need to know if someone can help me figure out how to merge these files 'cause I can't send ten different PDF files to my client.  Thank you so much for any help you can provide.

Preview 5.5, Mac OS X (10.7.2), OS X v10.7 Lion
  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Use 'Automator (applications > automator.app).


    Choose 'Workflow'.


    Type 'get specified finder' in the little search box.


    From the list drag 'get specified finder files' into the the panel on the right. Click 'options' and check 'Show this action when the workflow runs'.


    Next type 'combine pdf' in the search box, and drag 'Combine pdf pages' into the panel on the right underneath the previous one.


    Save the workflow to your apps folder.


    Whenever you want to merge any pdfs, click on the workflow. Add the pdfs to the dialogue box, click 'Run' in the top left of Automator. To find the resulting merged pdf, click 'Results'.


    This is no doubt a clumsy way of doing it, but it works.



  • chaparra Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you.  I was trying that but it says that "No Results Produced"  It gives one warning:  "Combine PDF Files was not supplied with the required data"  I am doing exactly as you said, and I can see the PDF files in the "Get Specified Finder Items" window.  I see that you have Snow Leopard; could it be that it doesn't work in the Lion OS?  I have wasted so much time with this; I need this urgently.  Thank you again.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    That error message means that something's not set up correctly in the first action (the 'get specified files' action) which is what supplies the data for the combine pdf action. You will get that message if you haven't specified any files in the first action or if you specified files that weren't pdfs.


    Are you sure you added pdfs in the first action?


    Also, make sure you have 'appending pages' and not 'shuffling pages' selected in the 'combine documents by' option in the second action.




  • chaparra Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much!!!!  I greatly appreciate it.

  • Jeffrey Jones2 Level 6 Level 6 (8,615 points)

    What previous version? Merging PDFs is pretty much the same as it was in Snow Leopard (which is slightly different than it was in Leopard). Automator is not needed. If the target PDF has more than one page, the side bar has a line at the end denoting the end of the document. Be sure to drag the new pages somewhere above that line to merge the documents. If there is only one page, the line doesn't appear. So point the dragged pages onto its icon so that it highlights.

  • hanguolaohu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm on Lion v10.7.3 and Preview v5.5.1 and I no longer see the + symbol when trying to merge PDF's.  Also the line keeps shifting which just shifts the order of the PDF's, but not merging them.  It seems like Apple is going backwards on this functionality.  Merging PDF's were so much easier in Leopard and Snow Leopard.

  • jedfarlow Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Jeffrey Jones2 has the key here: you can combine pdf files by dragging into the preview window, but if you're combining one or more pages into a file with only one page, you have to drag the new file onto the icon in the sidebar.


    If your existing PDF already has multiple pages the interface makes a little more sense; there's a line underneath the last page in the sidebar and as long as you drag the new file above that line, it will add to that PDF.  Then you can just hit CMD-S.

  • TimH2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I'm attempting to merge two one-page pdf documents.  Unfortunately, dragging the new file "onto the icon in the sidebar" did not work.  The slipperly little icon keeps moving up and down, not allowing another single-page document to be layed on top of it.   

  • TimH2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Ah, my problem is fixed.  The docs were NOT pdfs, but jpegs.  Oops.  For those with a similar problem, you'll need to convert to PDF first, then combine.  To convert from jpeg to pdf, select the document in preview, select export, and select pdf.