Forum Question: How Do I Merge PDF’s Using Preview In Lion?

In MacMost Now #375, you describe how to merge PDF documents using Preview in Snow Leopard. However, in Lion, this no longer works. I simply cannot get the “plus” when hovering one document over the other. Preview help indicates that you do it the same way as in Snow Leopard, then says the following, which I don’t understand:
“A rectangle encloses the other document’s thumbnails when you drag over them. If you don’t see a rectangle, the pages won’t be included in the PDF file, but they do appear in the other document’s window.”
I see others having the same problem, and are solving it with an Automator script, which sounds insane. Are we just missing something very simple?
Thanks for your help as always!
Michael Glavin

Comments: 9 Responses to “How Do I Merge PDF’s Using Preview In Lion?”

    12/15/11 @ 11:37 am

    I definitely does work in the same (or similar) way in Lion. I just confirmed it again myself.
    Make sure you are doing it with the sidebar. There are buttons in the toolbar of Preview that let you bring up the sidebar. Put it in Thumbnail view.
    You should have two Preview documents open — one in one window, and one in another which should make it easiest. Then just drag those page icons from the sidebar of one window to the sidebar of the other window.
    Keep in mind that the sidebar can contain multiple documents. You can expand each document to show all pages, or just the first one. Dragging below the documents will simply add that page as another document in the window. That’s why you need to drag INTO a document that is already there. Look closely for the lines that divide documents in the sidebar as they will help you see what you are doing.
    Play around with it. If this is something you need to do often, it would be worth it to play around with dragging pages to and from the sidebar to really get the hang of it.

      5/14/12 @ 11:20 pm

      Drag the document thumbnail to the other document but drag it ONTO THE TOP of the thumbnail you are adding to. In previous version you could drag it anywhere. In Lion you must place it on top of the other page/thumbnail.

        10/26/12 @ 11:37 am

        Thanks Wendy, but what idiot designed it to be so difficult?

    Michael Glavin
    12/15/11 @ 1:36 pm

    Thanks Gary. I realized my original documents were .jpg not .pdf. I knew it was something funky!

    Bryan Davis
    3/26/12 @ 11:28 pm

    If you find that the files are .JPG select all and select print. Click the PDF button on bottom left and save as PDF. All files will be joined as PDF.

    4/26/12 @ 8:41 am

    I would like to use the method described to join together jpg files but after I select them and I press print a box opens up saying such and jpg could not be opened for printing and repeats the message for all photos. Am I missing a step?

      4/26/12 @ 8:43 am

      Not sure how this would work at all for JPG files — they are image files and don’t have “pages” like PDFs. You could create a new PDF document and add a picture to each page of it. I would use Pages for that, not Preview. The whole concept of having a JPG image file with multiple “pages” just doesn’t make sense. What is it you are trying to accomplish?

        10/10/12 @ 10:31 am

        Just in case anyone ever checks this again for answers, I just had success with the following method (running Mountain Lion). Highlight the jpegs in question, right-click, and open with Preview. They should all show up in the same sidebar in Preview. Select them all in the sidebar, then click on Print. In the print dialog window, click on PDF, then rename the new composite file before hitting save. This creates a new pdf, with all the previous jpegs as pages of that pdf.

          10/25/12 @ 1:40 pm

          bless you. this was the solution that worked for me!

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