I'm faced with a 600 pages long PDF document. There's some vital information on it but at least half of those pages are not necessary so I would like to exclude them from the PDF prior to printing to save papers and time.

I'm on Mac OS X, one before the latest (I am not sure of naming conventions but I think it's 10.7.5)

How can I do this? Possibly with free software or even what's on the mac?

Thank you!

4 Answers 4

  1. Copy your document.
  2. Open it with Preview.
  3. Open the Draw with (command+Shift+D) OR (command+Alt+2).
  4. Select the pages you don't want.
  5. Delete it with (command+backspace).

You can see more about Preview at this page.

From @Nicholas J. Matiasz: In Preview 8.0 (OS X Yosemite 10.10.1), open the Thumbnails view with (alt+command+2). To delete specific pages, select the appropriate thumbnails and press (delete).


With homebrew you may install poppler:

brew install poppler

You could then use pdfseparate to extract single pages from a pdf document. For instance, the command:

pdfseparate sample.pdf sample-%d.pdf

would create files: sample-1.pdf, sample-2.pdf, sample-3.pdf. Using switches -f and -l you could specify start and end page to extract.

Similar solutions can be build with use of imagemagic and pdftk.


Alternatiev approach: Just print the pages you want.

  • Open up the printing dialog in your favorite PDF-Reader and open up the print dialog.
  • set the pages to print by givong the page numbers you need (ie. 1-3,5,7-12,15 for printing only pages 1 through 3, 5, 7 through 12 and 15).
  • hit the print button and be happy.
  • With the Preview application installed on 10.6, this doesn't seem possible because there ain't an input field for such stuff (do you know a way to get one?). With Adobe Reader 9.2.5 it may be possible to do this, at least there are a fitting text box and a radio button in its printing dialog. Oct 9, 2012 at 11:34
  • In preview you have the ability to select the required pages in the sidebar and then start the print dialog. Then you have an additional radiobutton saying "Selected pages from the sidebar" (Or something along that line, I'm currently not on an english system) Oct 9, 2012 at 12:09
  • You're a genius my friend. I felt a little stupid when I read this answer for not figuring it out myself! Sep 23, 2017 at 19:14

If you're willing to go the paid app route, you can use PDF Page Clipper from the app store ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-page-clipper/id695090660?ls=1&mt=12 ) .

It allows you to create a new pdf document from selected pages of an existing document.

PS: Full disclosure - The app is developed by me.

  • Hi Abdulqadir, welcome to Super User. Although you (correctly) disclose your affiliation, and your product may well solve the problem; it may well be flagged as spam due to self-promotion. See the relevant help page as you may be able to edit your answer to avoid this.
    – bertieb
    Jul 8, 2015 at 9:50
  • I'll add a couple of things to keep you out of trouble as a new user. Regard self-promotion: people who contribute broadly are allowed some leeway to occasionally self-promote if it is a solution to the question. You run into a problem is your only posts are to promote your own stuff. Regarding software recs: read meta.superuser.com/questions/5329/… for guidance. Key point: explain how to solve the problem, don't just mention a tool.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 8, 2015 at 19:18
  • Thanks, I will definitely keep this in mind when answering future questions.
    – Abdulqadir
    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:56

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