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How can I convert about 100 PNGs to one PDF on a Mac? I'm open to using the command line if it helps.

I have tried using iPhoto, but it quits, not sure why. Saving from Preview doesn't quite do what I want. Thoughts?

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7 Answers 7

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If you have Leopard (10.5 or later) or Lion the easiest way is to use Preview. Just do the following:

  1. Open the first image in Preview
  2. Show the the sidebar (Shift-Command-D)
  3. Drag any additional images to the sidebar
  4. Go to File > Print (Command P)
  5. In the PDF dropdown list select Save as PDF

That's it! You should now have a PDF containing all your images.

If that doesn't work for you, you should look at any third-party solutions such as Adobe Acrobat Pro which has a combine feature or PDFLab.

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    +1 - My suggested solution as well. I've used this method to combine several PDFs by printing, then choosing "Save as PDF" from the print panel. Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 7:59
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    For me in Snow Leopard, File > Print only printed the first image. I had to select File > Print Selected Images in order to print all of them.
    – kldavis4
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 21:09
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    Shift-Cmd-D didn't open sidebar for me, I had to explicitly use View -> Thumbnails (option - Cmd - 2) - on mac os x el capitan v10.11.3 - otherwise the instructions worked a charm.
    – arcseldon
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 3:58
  • It's 2018 and this method still works like charm. Thanks for this answer. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 16:27
  • unfortunatelly this method will not save rotation if it different across images
    – CAMOBAP
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 7:42
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I prefer using command line tools such as ImageMagick for this type of work. You can install IM with Homebrew:

brew install imagemagick

Afterwards you can do

convert *.jpg output.pdf

and if the resulting PDF is a bit too big you can try:

convert -quality 60 *.jpg output.pdf

Of course ImageMagick also works on other Unix systems, and even on cygwin.

(If you want a specific order you can also write out the .jpg filenames one by one. Or use * and rename the .jpgs in alphabetical order.)

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  • after running this command, every image that *.jpg expanded to was overwritten with the first image, and only the final one was saved to PDF Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 18:25
  • @user5359531 Strange. For me this has worked perfectly many times before and to double check I just tried it again. No problem. What was the exact command you ran? And which version? convert --version|head -1 gives me Version: ImageMagick 6.9.5-2 Q16 x86_64 2016-07-13 http://www.imagemagick.org
    – the
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 22:48
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    @JohnnyQ Name the image files in the order that you want the pages to appear in the PDF. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 20:25
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    This. It works beautifully, for any aspect ratio - the Print answer above is more of a hack than anything else.
    – Vlad
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 14:28
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    this is the best answer for me
    – papashou
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 9:08
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My method is similar to Marcus's, but works a little better for me when the images are all different sizes and you don't want the PDF to just be all 8.5x11 but to keep each page the size of the original image.

  1. Open the first image in Preview
  2. Show thumbnails (Command-option-2)
  3. Drag any additional images to the sidebar

After this we diverge:

  1. Select all image thumbnails in the sidebar (select one by clicking, then Command-A)
  2. File > Export Selected Images...
  3. Select or create a folder to hold your temporary images, set Format to PDF, and click Choose
  4. Close all original images
  5. Open the LAST exported PDF in Preview (this will become the last page)
  6. Drag all the other exported PDFs to the sidebar and drop ON TOP of the thumbnail for the exported PDF you just opened
  7. This should create a multipage PDF with the images in the same order they were in the Finder. Rename it so you can find it easily, save and you're done.
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  • This method worked very well for me. The Accepted Answer is very convenient, but as @Dave mentioned, doesn't work so well if your images are different sizes. The Accepted Answer's method also results in a margin around the edge of the PDF, presumably because the print dialog automatically adds a bleed edge. Also, Preview allows you to drag and drop all the other PDFs and add them to the first (or last) PDF in one fell swoop. You can also reorder the pages in the resulting PDF by dragging and dropping.
    – Zkoh
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 3:33
  • Doesn't work on Yosemite. Step 2 shows a warning alert and exits the process.
    – a20
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 13:40
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I highly recommend the Python CLI program img2pdf for lossless conversion:

https://gitlab.mister-muffin.de/josch/img2pdf

Example usage:

img2pdf img1.png img2.jpg -o out.pdf
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    to install on macos use: pip3 install img2pdf
    – gekh
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 13:45
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    I use it like this: img2pdf * -o out.pdf
    – gekh
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 14:17
  • It is 2023, and this tool has worked perfectly for me on macOS 12.6, and it is exceptionally fast (120 iPhone photos in less than a second). Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 20:03
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On more current versions of OSX, you may be better off using the native command line tool sips - see the answered Stack Overflow question 6349984, which converts from pdf to png. It should be far easier to script sips (which has been available since ~2009) than click multiple times within Preview.

Essentially,

sips -s format pdf input-png-file-path --out output-pdf-file-path
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MacOS 12.6

Allows you to do this in 3 seconds:

  1. In Finder Mark all PNGs you want to convert
  2. Right click
  3. Select Quick Actions
  4. Select Create PDF

Bonus this also works with if you have mixed file types: E.g. If you want to convert JPEGs and PNGs and PDFs into one single PDF!

enter image description here

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  • It works. However you should check for resulting image quality because this operation does image compression silently. The drop in quality could be pretty obvious.
    – leo
    Commented Jan 16 at 4:45
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A much simpler way is to use the rather overlooked app Automator, that you find in the Applications folder.

This link shows exactly how: Use Automator to combine your research photos into one PDF

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    Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 10:40

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