How to Convert Several Images into a Single PDF Using Preview

Over the years, Adobe's PDF file type has become a universally accepted method for sharing digital documents. The format's cross-platform adoption means the documents can be viewed on almost any mobile device or computer, so it's no surprise to find that macOS includes native support for viewing and creating PDF files.

In the Preview app, for example, it's possible to create a single multi-page PDF document out of several separate image files. The feature is particularly useful if you need to share a number of scanned documents over email or digitize something for reference. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

How to Convert Several Images into a Single PDF


  1. In Finder, select all the images you want to include in the PDF. To do this, drag a box over several images files using your mouse cursor, or select them individually by holding the Command key and clicking them one by one.

  2. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) one of the highlighted files and select Open With -> Preview in the contextual dropdown menu.

  3. In Preview's sidebar, drag the thumbnail images into the order that you want them to appear in the PDF document. Use the Rotate button in Preview's toolbar to change the orientation of individual pages (drag a selection over multiple pages to rotate several at once).

  4. In the Preview menu bar, select File -> Print..., or use the Command+P keyboard shortcut to bring up the Print dialog.
  5. Click Show Details to expand the Print dialog and browse the full set of options. Make sure the All button is selected in the Pages options. Note that you can double-check the orientation of each image by clicking the arrows below the print preview, and use the Orientation buttons to correct any if required.

  6. Select Save as PDF from the PDF dropdown menu in the lower left of the Print dialog.

  7. The Save dialog will appear. Give your new PDF a name and choose a save location. Fill in the Title, Author, Subject, and Keywords fields if desired (these details are searchable in Spotlight). The Security Options... button also lets you optionally set a password to open the document, copy from it, and/or print it.

  8. Click Save when you're done.
Note that the Save as PDF option can be accessed from the Print dialog window within a number of macOS apps, not just Preview. You can use it to create PDFs of web pages viewed in Safari, or Word documents opened in Pages, for example.

Tag: Preview


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3 days ago at 04:28 am

you guys ever get 2 preview windows when opening a bunch of .jpgs for example? i dont get why that happens to me sometimes. All images could be taken from same camera in same session too

Preferences > Images > Open all files in one window.
Rating: 6 Votes
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3 days ago at 04:35 am
Preview is one of the most powerful apps that comes with MacOS. So many people who started on Windows think they need adobe PDF reader. Preview will do it all without opening your Mac to adobes insecure reader.
Rating: 6 Votes
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3 days ago at 05:10 am

That sounds handy, mind sharing how you did it?


Sure. And you can change the values to what you'd like.

Rating: 4 Votes
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3 days ago at 01:58 am
Neat tip! Reorganising and merging pages in Preview needs to be advertised more. So many people think you need Adobe Acrobat.
Rating: 3 Votes
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3 days ago at 07:36 am

Preview is one of the most powerful apps that comes with MacOS. So many people who started on Windows think they need adobe PDF reader. Preview will do it all without opening your Mac to adobes insecure reader.


I agreed with that statement until High Sierra. Several features are broken and PDF scaling is a blurry mess. There have been countless bug reports but no fixes. The majority of Apple's development resources have been reassigned to iOS and it is starting to show.
Rating: 2 Votes
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3 days ago at 02:18 am
It's much easier to set up an Automator process to do this.
Rating: 1 Votes
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3 days ago at 05:04 am

This is indeed useful, but I also have an automated shortcut where i just drag files and then converted ones show up in their own folder on the desktop.


That sounds handy, mind sharing how you did it?
Rating: 1 Votes
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3 days ago at 08:09 am

Very nice tip. Not around my Mac so can't test. Does it tip only work for images? I would like to combine some pdf files. And can it delete pdf pages? That's the only feature I miss when I stop using adobe acrobat.


Yes to both.
Rating: 1 Votes
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3 days ago at 10:59 am
You can also freely drag pages between PDFs in Preview using the sidebar thumbnails or the contact sheet view.

Acrobat does have a few tricks up its sleeve, like some (hacky) editing the text of a PDF -- and also I've occasionally come across PDF forms that do not play very well with Preview. For 99% of what you need to do with PDFs, though, Preview is brilliant.
Rating: 1 Votes
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