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I was wondering to myself, there has to be an easy way to do this on a Mac. I knew that by owning a Mac, I didn’t have to resort to additional applications Easily Split And Merge PDF Files With This Easy Tool Easily Split And Merge PDF Files With This Easy Tool Read More to help me get this menial task done. And I was right!

Merging and splitting PDF documents on a Mac is just as easy as creating them in the first place. If you own a Mac and don’t yet know how to create a PDF document How To Easily Create & Annotate PDF Documents [Mac] How To Easily Create & Annotate PDF Documents [Mac] Read More , well you’ve come to right place. I’ll start you off from scratch.

The only application you need to deal with PDFs on a Mac is already installed by default. It’s called Preview. It also lets you view images (although I personally prefer using Quick Look Become A Multitasking Master With These 6 Exposé Tips [Mac] Become A Multitasking Master With These 6 Exposé Tips [Mac] Read More for that). But Preview only comes in handy if you already have a PDF document. What if you don’t and want to create some?

Creating a PDF

Did you know that you can create a PDF version of any document you have — Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Pages, even images and webpages? All you have to do is open up the file with the appropriate application. For this example, I’ll be using Pages. So, I’d like to make a PDF version of this document (which you can download, by the way).

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Click on File, then Print.

On the subsequent pop-up, click on the PDF button on the bottom left.

Then select ‘Save as PDF’.

In the next window that appears, enter a descriptive title for the PDF and select the destination folder. That’s it! That’s how you create a PDF in Mac OS X. Simple, eh?

Alternatively, you can also use the Export feature if the application supports exporting to PDF.

Merging 2 PDF documents

Alright, this is where Preview comes in handy. Let’s say I have 2 one-page PDF files which I’d like to merge. Double-click on one of the PDFs and it will open with Preview. Then click on the Sidebar button to bring it up.

Now click and drag the second PDF document and drop in in the sidebar.

Repeat the process for all the PDF documents you want to merge. Re-order them and then select all of the pages by pressing Command+A.

With all of the PDFs selected, follow the instructions from the section above to “print” (choose ‘Print Selected Page‘) the document and save as a PDF. The result is a single PDF file with both of the initial PDF documents. You’ve just merged 2 PDFs together.

Splitting PDF documents

Splitting a PDF file into separate, individual pages follows a similar concept. Open the PDF file in Preview, select the pages you want, “print” those pages and save them as a PDF file. Then simply delete those pages from the original PDF file and “print” the remaining pages.

Did you know these tips? Any more PDF tips you’d like to share with us? Feel free to leave a note in the comments.

  1. Janet Staackmann
    June 19, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Hi, could you give specific steps to splitting and SAVING a document. I have 32 pages in original and only want to save 27 in a new file. I am having one heck of a time. I would love it if you could provide step by step instructions.

    I had saved each page to the desktop, then dragged each of the ones I wanted to save back in the side where the thumbnails are. The pages got jumbled up. They were not in the order in which I dragged them. Very frustrating. Would love your help! Thank you, Janet

    • Rick Martin
      January 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      if you go to http://www.smallpdf.com , they have easy options of doing different things to PDFs (split pdf, merge pdf, reduce size pdf, etc...).

  2. Kim
    March 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Great explanation on how to save from Pages to PDF. Thank you. How do I save a PAGES document as a WORD document?---Kim

  3. kim
    September 17, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Nice. Thanks, Jackson.

  4. Margi Smith
    August 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

    PDF Splitter (http://pdf-to-epub.xstudio.biz... - can split large PDF into small PDF files
    PDF Merger (http://pdf-to-epub.xstudio.biz... - can merge PDF files.

  5. Margi Smith
    August 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

    PDF Splitter (http://pdf-to-epub.xstudio.biz/pdf-splitter.html) - can split large PDF into small PDF files
    PDF Merger (http://pdf-to-epub.xstudio.biz/pdf-merger.html) - can merge PDF files.

  6. Vk2003
    August 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Actually a very useful post. Just helped me out greatly. Many thanks

  7. Bjørn
    July 6, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Wow, you doing it much more complicated than needed.

    Firstly, you can save as PDF in most applications, you don't have to print it. (I suspect that there is a bit difference in compression of images in the pdf between saving as pdf and printing as pdf)

    Next you can merge and split pdf document very easy without printing (if you have leopard or snow leopard).

    How to merge: In leopard you just open one pdf, draw the other pdf on to the sidebar, now save (cmd+s). If you have snow leopard, you have to draw the other pdf on top of the page thumbnail in the sidebar. (Or else it will just be to separated documents open at the same time).

    How to split: highlight the pages you want, draw them to a finder window. end...

    • Ayych
      January 13, 2015 at 5:28 am

      Awesome! Thanks for your post, much faster way.

  8. Bjørn
    July 6, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Wow, you doing it much more complicated than needed.

    Firstly, you can save as PDF in most applications, you don't have to print it. (I suspect that there is a bit difference in compression of images in the pdf between saving as pdf and printing as pdf)

    Next you can merge and split pdf document very easy without printing (if you have leopard or snow leopard).

    How to merge: In leopard you just open one pdf, draw the other pdf on to the sidebar, now save (cmd+s). If you have snow leopard, you have to draw the other pdf on top of the page thumbnail in the sidebar. (Or else it will just be to separated documents open at the same time).

    How to split: highlight the pages you want, draw them to a finder window. end...

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