OSX Quick Tip: Create Multipage PDFs in a Snap with Preview

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quicktip.jpgUPDATE: This is a Leopard Only Tip. Sorry about that.

Creating a multipage PDF document can be a pain in a program like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or Lineform. It almost always requires some kind of work around, but there is a much simpler way to create multipage PDF documents on your Mac.

Simply open Preview, starting with the first page that you’d like in your document, then drag the other pages you have created into your Preview sidebar in the order you would like them to appear.

Make sure all of the pages are highlighted, then go to File>Save As> and name your document, then select PDF from the drop down menu.

BOOM. Done.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

15 thoughts on “OSX Quick Tip: Create Multipage PDFs in a Snap with Preview

  1. “BOOM. Done.”

    too much iPhone, too much Steve Jobs for you Michael.
    🙂 Not only you start living in the reality distortion field but you became a relay for it! 🙂 Congratulations!!!

    For fun, here’s a funny compilation of Steve’s favorite/usual phrases:

    And also, regarding the reality distortion field:
    Hope you enjoy those videos,
    Pierre. 🙂

  2. Oh my god. That is ridiculously easy. I can’t believe that. You know how many times I’ve saved “MyDocument, p1.pdf”, “MyDocument, p2.pdf”, etc. because I didn’t realize you could do this?????

    Jeez. Thanks for the best tip of the year.

  3. Great tip, but I’ve never been able to get this to work when dragging multiple jpgs onto preview, rearranging, and then trying to export to pdf. I can only seem to save one page at a time, with no apparent way to highlight multiple items in Preview’s Drawer.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I finally figured out what my problem was and it’s pretty simple.
      I’m on OSX 10.6.8 and Preview 5.0.3

      I converted all of my scanned tif files to pdf but I’m not sure if the images files would behave the same way.

      You have to drag the new pages ON to the first page in the document. Dragging them underneath will not work. Once the file in the sidebar contains more than one page, a binder graphic will appear on the icon and you get an arrow image as well. It makes the original icon appear to be a shortcut. Click that arrow and the subsequent (child) pages will appear below the parent image. Hope this helps somebody…

    2. Thank you ryan I have been hours putting the files either under or over – didn’t think to put ON… cheers

  4. @Jeremy

    I just tried that, and I don’t have a fix for it that I can find.

    If it helps…I know for sure that you’ll be able to do it in Leopard.

  5. So, is this a quick tip for Leopard? Because I don’t seem to be able to make it work on Tiger.

  6. I can’t make it happen with Preview on Tiger, but it works on TextEdit, you drag your PDFs, or what ever, and then print->save as PDF and new PDF done.

  7. I can’t make it work… even with textEdit.
    When I drag a .pdf to TextEdit, all I get is garbage…

    What Am I doing wrong?

    OSX 10.4.9

  8. re not working in Tiger: It’s not free, but PdfPen at https://www.smileonmymac.com/ alows you to easily create multi–page PDFs, and more. I also find it very useful for filling out PDF forms (iirc, the pro version makes it easy to create fillable PDF).


  9. It works he just failed to mention that all the files that are being added to preview have to be .pdf(s) first so you will have to open all of your files individually if they are .jpegs (for example) save each one as a .pdf then drag them all into one preview sidebar, highlight them all, and save as .pdf to get your multipage .pdf. Not that much quicker when you consider that acrobat pro will convert the jpegs (for example) and assemble the .pdf in one simple drag and drop step.

  10. This didn’t work for me either, it just kept renaming one of the documents. What you CAN do is get all of the documents you want in your new .pdf into the sidebar. Then, click in the sidebar and hit command+a to select all, then command+p to print. Click on the PDF dropdown, and select “Save as PDF”. BOOOOOOOOOOOM!

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