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Combine PDFs using Preview Apps
I stumbled upon this accidentally - if you select more than one single-page PDF in the Finder and open them in Preview, they become a single multi-page document which can then be saved. Cool!

[robg adds: I thought we'd completely covered the subject of combining PDFs, but I guess here's yet one more method!]
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Combine PDFs using Preview | 15 comments | Create New Account
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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: fletcherpenney on Dec 16, '03 11:38:45AM

Perhaps I am missing a step, but when I try this I get a single "pseudo-document" with multiple images. But the images are still treated individually for saving and printing purposes. Therefore, it is useless for joining single page pdfs...

This is consistent with what I remembered the final verdict being regarding Preview from previous posts on this site when this technique was suggested before. As I recall ( and I am too lazy to search through the comments on the previous pdf posts), Mail and TextEdit can be used for combining pdf's, but not Preview.

I am I missing something?

(In case it makes a difference, I am running 10.3.1)

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: bfr00 on Dec 16, '03 12:27:31PM

Doesn't work for me either. Not with save or save as or export.

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: seanskye on Dec 16, '03 04:33:54PM

Another doesn't work for me either!

I checked prefs to make certain that there was no "super save as single pdf" option.

Opened directly in and tried to save, export, save as, even checked the print preview. You also can not select all the individual files in the drawer to tell it to work as one doc. I must be missing the obvious here, but I can't replicate the behaviour....

10.3.1 and Preview 2.1.0 (v210).


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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: sjk on Dec 16, '03 10:51:52PM

Yep, I've already been up and down Preview trying to find a way to save/print multiple files as a one. I've wanted to do that for conveniently printing a batch of screen captures.

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: ankank on Jan 31, '11 03:00:15AM

Works fine for me as long as thumbnail view is set. Combine two PDFs. Open each file in preview. Arrange the panes so that you can select all the thumbnails of the pages you want to combine of one file and drag and drop them into the thumbnail pane of the other file (at the end of the thumbnails of you want to combine them serially). Then save file and voilá. Two PDFs combined.

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: wgscott on Dec 16, '03 01:17:08PM

This works if you need it:

gs -q -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=merged.pdf file1.pdf file2.pdf ....

in zsh etc you can define a function

joinpdf () {
gs -q -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=merged.pdf "$@"

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: Tom Robinson on Dec 16, '03 01:48:17PM

It would work if you had Ghostscript (gs) installed, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't come standard with OS X--I've installed my copy via Fink.

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: osxpounder on Dec 16, '03 04:05:43PM

Perhaps it works for you if you have some 3rd party apps installed, but on my stock g5, just cracked out of the box 3 days ago and sporting Panther, nothing of the sort occurs.

I select a number of PDFs, type CMD-O, and all open in Preview:

1. Multi-page PDFs open separately, distinct from each other, in their own windows;

2. Single-page PDFs appear in one Preview window, with thumbnails for each available in Preview's pathetic little thumbnail browser pane.

3. Attempting to save a document in that single Preview window which contains all the collected single-page PDFs together ... results in a single-page PDF of the document currently showing in the Preview window.

Tested in Panther 10.3 and Preview 2.1.0 today.


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Is there a 3rd party util that needs to be installed?
Authored by: allanBook on Dec 16, '03 06:27:29PM

Under 10.3.1, I still can't get a combined document by selecting more than one PDF and hitting cmd+O or going into preview and selecting more than one via File Open.

What is the secret for making this happen?

"Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film The NeverEnding Story." -Lionel Hutz (of Simpsons fame)

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: jedik on Dec 16, '03 09:39:41PM

It doesn't work. Previe open multiple files in the same window, displaying the thumbnails in the side panel only if they are the same size. But you CANNOT save them together as only one PDF document containing multiple pages.

BTW, one can use two freeware utilities to do this: Combine PDFs and PDFJoiner.

:: Jedi Knight ::
-- Mac Rules! --

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: sugodicozze on Dec 17, '03 02:43:36PM

It works also with images (tested on 10.3)...
If you drag a multiple selection of images, Preview lets you browse them and present them using arrows key

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: apple-geeky on Dec 17, '03 04:06:05PM

It does work, people, but only in 10.2.X. I selected two PDFs and then right clicked while they were highlighted I then selected and opened preview. Both PDFs could be see. However, following the same instructions will not work in Panther. I tried several ways in Panther and every time it opened both PDFs, but in two different Preview windows. It did not combine them. I think the tip is broken in Panther.

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: pw on Jan 18, '04 05:28:09PM

i'm quite a newbie in this forum but i have just downloaded Combine PDF ( a nice freeware tool. It's really easy to handle so maybe you should check it out yourself.

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Combine PDFs using Preview
Authored by: on May 04, '04 10:22:44AM

I have tried Combine PDFs several times, and I am impressed with the easy way it works. However, I just discovered a bug, perhaps related to Panther.

A Hebrew font which showed well in the original PDF was replaced by blanks, with only a few letters remaining, when combined and opened in Acrobat Reader 6.0 (on MacOS X 10.3.3). Oddly enough, in Preview the combined PDF still showed the font.

I have just installed Panther yesterday evening; it seems than an earlier combination of two files (under Jaguar) was not affected by this problem: this file shows up well in Preview AND Acrobat Reader.

For compatibility issues, it is essential that it works in the Reader!

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Please delete hint
Authored by: SeanAhern on Dec 13, '09 02:46:24PM

Please delete this hint. It is not correct. The submitter misunderstood what he was seeing.

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