Things You Can Do With PDF Selections in Preview

In Preview you can select just a portion of a PDF document. Then you can paste that into a new PDF document, another type of document, email message and more. This can be used in a variety of useful ways.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Things You Can Do With PDF Selections in Preview”

    Razvan Mihai
    9 months ago

    Gary: Thanks for the tutorial. The "New from Clipboard" functionality is quite handy in making a new pdf doc, but adding a new selection into, say, a new page of this doc seems overcomplicated. Is there an easy way to do that?

    9 months ago

    Razvan: I can't think of a way to create a new page of a PDF. Sounds like you are looking for more of a PDF creation and editing tool than a viewer with some selection features. But you could always select something, create a new document from it, then copy that page from the new document and paste it into the old one to add a new page with it.

    Razvan Mihai
    9 months ago

    Thank you, Gary. It would have been nice to have a feature like Create New Page from Clipboard when pressing the Option key. I will raise this with the Preview team.

    Sharon Pollard
    9 months ago

    I was excited to see this hint because what I am doing now is screen capturing sections (of like bank statements) so I can eliminate the ads and condense them down. I can't figure out how to open a pdf in "Preview." If it's something in Adobe and you don't have their program, you can't use their toolbar. Other ways I've tried, the "rectangular section" is grayed out. Seems to me when I had windows years ago I used a feature like this (instead of screen capture) ...

    Sharon Pollard
    9 months ago

    Oops - forgive me! I didn't follow through your instructions - now I see that I can get to Preview by doing the Control Print and thereby selecting Preview ... (I'm 76 if that explains anything :o) Thanks for all your great tips!

    Martha
    9 months ago

    I selected a section of pdf with Rectangular Selection but the "New from clipboard" function is greyed out. How do I save it to clipboard? Using Mac 10.14.6.

    9 months ago

    Martha: You need to Copy first to put the selection in the clipboard.

    Sharon Pollard
    9 months ago

    I'm getting along fine w/the rectangular selection - excepting that if I'm pasting two "selections" into one document, they want to "stick together" (w/the blue box around each) and it takes some time to separately reposition them. In that regard, screen capturing is easier (no "blue boxes" and the "sticking together") ...

    9 months ago

    Sharon: Which app are you pasting into?

    Sharon Pollard
    9 months ago

    Pages.

    9 months ago

    Sharon: Make sure you aren't pasting in to the body text, but outside of it. These paste in as normal elements, not linked together in any way.

    Sharon Pollard
    9 months ago

    Okay - I just played w/it a bit. I am opening a blank document to paste into. I see if I click within the material I've copied, it will move on it's own, but if I click outside the moved material the blue box appears. Thank you so much, I think I'm good!

    David Girling
    9 months ago

    Am using a scanner on lots of documents which creates pdfs for each with a file name consisting of a date and title, presumably extracted by OCR from the document, usually only approximate or just gibberish. Tried using Preview, as you describe in your video, to copy accurate date and originator of document and paste into the file name of the scanned document to save typing this information for each pdf. Of course it doesn’t work. Can you suggest another way of doing this?

    9 months ago

    David: I use Image Capture (not Preview) as I show here: https://macmost.com/using-image-capture-to-scan-documents.html
    I title the document myself each time.

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