How To Do Everything With PDF Files On Your Mac.
If there is one file format that I like, it is PDF. Don’t ask me why, I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s because of the reliability of the file, its various functions, that you never have problems with it. It is a solid file standard that you know you can always rely on.
For really advanced features like editing, signing, certain encryption features, and more, you need to spend money on Adobe professional software. But for most other features, you can do it for free if you know how. Here’s a guide for Mac users.
Mac User Guide for PDFs
Today we will look at various actions you can do with a PDF file, such as creating one, merging two or more together, splitting pages into separate files, etc.
Create PDF File
Let’s start with the simplest thing – creating a PDF file.
Creating PDFs on Mac does not require any third-party software. The functionality is already built into the operating system. And you can find it in the print function.
- Open the file you want to convert to PDF. It could be another document, image, or whatever. Then go to Fileâ€“ Print to open Print Options (or CMD + P if you want to use keyboard shortcuts).
You can also select the Export to PDF option, but I found that you get more control over the finished PDF file if you use the print option (such as aligning images).
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- When the print preview window appears, check the alignment. As you can see, the image that I want to turn into a PDF is flipped on its side. Therefore, click the Orientation option to rotate it to the right side.
- Then, when the alignment is correct, click the small PDF menu in the lower left corner and select Save as PDF.
You will now be asked to give your file a name and save it.
Combine two or more PDFs together (or add more pages)
What if you have a PDF file and want to add more pages to it? Or combine two PDF files into one? It’s easy on a Mac.
- Open the PDF in Finder and open Thumbnail View from View Thumbnails.
- Now use your mouse or trackpad to drag and drop the file, page or image you want to add to the PDF. Drag it to the thumbnail area in the section where you want to place the page. Note that you cannot do this if the file is locked.
- Remember to save your changes to the file before closing.
Split PDF into separate PDFs
What if you have a PDF with multiple pages and you want to turn each page into a separate PDF? Again, very simple.
- As in the previous example, open the PDF in Finder and make sure the pages are visible in the thumbnails section.
- Using your mouse or trackpad, click the thumbnail of the page you want to check out as a separate file and drag it out of the Finder window.
- If you now look in the Finder window where you dragged the page, you will see the page saved as a PDF file. It will be attached (dragged) to the end of the file name.
Extract images from PDF file
Let’s say you have a PDF file with an image inside that you want to save as JPG or PNG. How would you do it? Right clicking on the image does not work.
- Instead, right-click on the thumbnail page containing the image and select Export As.
- Select JPG or PNG at the bottom and click Save.
The page will now be saved as an image file. Now you can crop the page to keep only the image and nothing else.
Extract text from PDF file
In almost all cases, you can simply copy and paste text by selecting it with the trackpad and then pressing CTRL + C then CTRL + V. The formatting will even be preserved for you (like links).
The only minor drawback is that the lines may need to be adjusted as not all of them will be straight.
Sign the PDF
There are many online services where you can â€œsignâ€ a PDF file, such as DocuSign. You can also sign using the Finder on Mac, but this is probably the worst way to sign a file since you need to use a trackpad.
Instead, if you have a tablet like an iPad, I’ve found that the best way is to sign your name with an art app (or notes).
Then take a screenshot of the caption, crop it and save it as an image file.
If you need a signature in a PDF, copy and paste the signature image file in the PDF.