Manipulate and Manage PDF files using Preview – Mac

preview-logoThe PDF file format has always been an integral part of the Mac OS X user interface because of the fact that the underlying technology behind the graphical interface, Quartz, is based on PDF.

That is why, while other operating systems needed third party tools to enable things like printing a file to a PDF printer, OS X has this feature built-in.

OS X also ships with a lightweight PDF viewer application called Preview that also doubles up as an image viewer. If your PDF editing requirements are as simple as mine, show some love to Preview and make use of some of it’s cool features that we’re going to walk you through today .

Combine Two PDF Files

Combining two PDF files in Preview is a simple matter of opening both the file side by side and dragging pages from one document’s sidebar to the other’s. You can even change the order of the pages by dragging them around in the sidebar.

Preview - Combine PDF files

The horizontal bar shows the position at which the new PDF will be inserted.

The cool thing about PDF is that you can use it to combine different types of files too. So, for example, you can open a number of image files using Preview and then combine them all into one single PDF which is much easier to distribute than a hundred images.

Copy Individual Pages from a multi page PDF file

Suppose you have a 100 page PDF document and you want to send pages 48-56 to a friend over email. With Preview you can just select the pages that you want and drag them out of the Preview window to a folder in the Finder or the Desktop and Preview will create a seperate PDF file with just those selected pages.

Preview - Drag Pages

Delete pages from a PDF file

PDF also lets you delete pages from a PDF file. I often use this feature to trip long ebooks down to just the pages that I’m inserted in. To delete a page, just open the PDF and highlight the page that you want to delete, press the delete button and save the file.

Preview - Delete a Page

Encrypt a PDF

If you have a PDF document that you’d like to password protect, you can do that too using Preview. Just open the document and Select the Save As option from the File menu. Give a new name to the document and tick the checkbox that says Encrypt. Enter a password in the text-box and click Save.

Preview - Encrypt a PDF file

Those were some of my favorite Preview tricks. Do you know of any other ? Let me know in the comments.