Mac’s Preview app: Create, merge, or split PDF files

Wow, been really two weeks since I last blogged.

Been REALLY busy lately with a few new projects, so my blogging is behind. I’ve also changed how often I’ll blog my content and some of my blogging is moving in another direction. Having said that, here’s my latest post.

My wife is in real estate and her real estate office is moving toward digitizing their real estate paperwork and files. Some offices are still in the “paper world” and won’t use technology, or at least, may just have a fax as their main move toward technology. So until offices get on board with standardizing their digital processes, there’s this gap between the technology have and have nots.

Current Process

Sending a fax to my wife’s office creates a fax and sends it by email as a PDF to her email Inbox. Because her office is digitizing the files, she gets any number of faxes and PDF files that have multiple documents in each PDF file that need to be split out for her to upload to their document server, i.e. separate out each document so you know if all of the required documents are there to process. It’s hard to determine this when the PDF is one long file.

While her office fax internal processes are better than most offices, it’s still a pain for her to “manually” separate each one. Until I found a simpler process, she use to have to reprint out each PDF document, scan each document separately into their system, then send each document so that each could be uploaded into their document server.

Not any more!

Splitting a PDF into multiple PDFs.

Using the Mac’s Preview app, she can now split each PDF into multiple PDF files. It also depends on which Mac OS version of Preview you are using whether or not one or both of the methods below work.

First Method

1. Open the source PDF in Preview.

2. Print the PDF.

3. But instead of printing the whole document, print ONLY the pages you need, such as pages 4-7, or 24-27, or just page 56, as you see in the above graphic.

4. When your Mac asks you to name the file, name the title of the file as you need. For instance, my wife names the file titles as “bank addendum,” or “contract,” or even “closing instructions.”

5. Repeat as many times as necessary to finish splitting the document into multiple PDF files.

Second Method – Mac OS Snow Leopard

1. Open up the source PDF.

2. CMD + click on the pages you want to create a new PDF from, i.e. page 1, 4, 12-13, and 25. Now drag and drop the selected pages onto your desktop and you have a new PDF of the selected pages. Below pages 1 and 3 are selected to create a new PDF.

3. Do the above action for each new created PDF from your source document.

Merging multiple PDFs

1. Open up a “final” source PDF in Preview.

2. Drag one of your other PDFs into the source PDF Preview sidebar. Once inserted, you can reorder the inserted PDF pages, so you might want to plan ahead which PDFs you’re going to insert here, such as “chapter 2″ after a chapter 1 but before chapter 3, etc. If you need your inserted pages to be sequential, ensure you create sequential PDFs, like the example above, that can create your final PDF they way you want it.

3. Now save the final PDF.

There you have it. Now, depending on your Mac OS, you’ll have to find out just

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