Make Multi-Page PDF Files in Mac OS X.
One PDF, two PDFs, 100 PDFs – it doesn’t matter how many PDFs you have, they can all be merged into a multi-page PDF on macOS. No additional software is required to create a multi-page PDF file as you can merge these documents together using a preview application.
There are other ways to edit PDF documents, but none offer the ease of preview for creating merged PDFs. You can also use Automator, an automation app for macOS, to merge large numbers of PDF documents at once. Let’s walk you through both ways to create a multi-page PDF on macOS.
Combine PDF documents into multi-page PDF in Preview
The preview is the main app for macOS, so if you have a Mac, you don’t need to install anything to use it. You can find Preview in the Applications folder in Finder, or launch it directly from Launchpad.
- First, open your first PDF in the preview application. This is the document you want to combine other PDF documents into. Find the document in the preview window and click the Open button.
- You should be able to view thumbnails of each page in the left menu. Otherwise, click View Thumbnails.
- Using the left menu, scroll to find a place to insert another PDF document (s). Click the page thumbnail to make sure the position is selected – the inserted PDFs will appear below it. With the page you want selected, click Edit Insert Page From File.
- In the Finder window that opens, find the second document and click Open to insert it.
- After pasting, pages from the inserted PDF file will be displayed as thumbnails in the left menu. Click File Save to save the merged document.
You can repeat this method to combine more than two documents. You can delete unnecessary files manually by selecting the page thumbnail in the left menu and then pressing the delete key on your keyboard.
Combine sections from separate PDF documents
The File Insert Page From File method for creating multi-page PDF documents works fine, but merges the documents together. To combine a section from one PDF document (for example, pages 4-8 of a PDF file) with another PDF, you need to open both documents in preview mode.
- Open the preview from the launcher or Applications folder in Finder, then open your first PDF. Repeat this step for your second PDF and make sure you can view page thumbnails in both windows (View Thumbnails).
- Scroll to find the beginning of the section you want to copy in the second document. Hold down the Command key and click to select each of the pages you want to copy into your first PDF from the left menu.
- With the pages selected, switch back to the preview window containing your first document, making sure both windows are visible. In the preview window containing your first PDF document, scroll to the location where you want to insert new pages. Use your mouse to drag the new pages into the preview window containing your first PDF, then place them in place.
You can repeat these steps to create a multi-page PDF using pages from multiple documents. Click File Save to save the merged PDF when finished.
Use Automator to combine multiple PDF documents
Previewing is great for merging PDF documents, but it can be a slow process. To speed up the process, you can use the Automator app to create a multi-page PDF using several other PDF documents at the same time.
Automator is, as the name suggests, an automation application. This is another main macOS app, so it should already be available to macOS users in the Applications folder in Finder or as an app icon on Launchpad.
- When you first start Automator, you will be asked what type of document you want to create. Click Application, then click the Select button to confirm.
- In the Automator window, you can select the actions you want to automate. You need Automator to find your PDFs first. In the Library menu on the left under the Files and Folders category, double-click the Get Specified Search Items option to add it to the Automator workflow.
- In the workflow section on the right, click the Add button in the Get Specified Search Items section.
- In the Finder window that opens, find the PDFs you want to combine, then click the Add button. At this point, you can add any number of PDF documents.
- Your PDFs will appear in the Get Specified Search Items section of the Automator workflow. In the Library menu on the left under PDFs, double-click the Combine PDFs action to add it to the workflow.
- Automator can either shuffle the pages of a PDF document or add them sequentially so that they are inserted one after the other. Make sure Add Pages is selected in the Combine PDF options so that they are added sequentially.
- Next, you need to specify where Automator will save the new multipage PDF document. From the Library menu on the left under Files and Folders, double-click the Copy Finder Items option to add it to your workflow. By default, the new file will be saved to your desktop, but you can change this by clicking the drop-down menu in the Copy Finder Items workflow options.
- Give the new document a name by double-clicking Finder Rename Options in Library Files and Folders. From the Rename Finder Items workflow options drop-down menu, select Name Individual Item. Enter a suitable name for the document in the Name Parameters field.
- When you’re ready to create a multipage PDF, click the Run button in the upper right corner.
- Automator will warn you that it cannot launch your application as a drag and drop operation. Click OK to ignore this warning.
After Automator takes action in your new application, your merged PDF appears in the location you specified. Click File Save to save the Automator application for future use.
Other ways to create multi-page PDF documents
Preview and Automator offer an easy way to merge PDFs on macOS, but if you’re on Windows, you can create multi-page PDFs in Photoshop. For other operating systems like Linux, use a web service like Google Docs to merge your PDFs.
You can also use preview to edit PDFs on Mac by adding new text and images to documents.