OS X Preview – add an image to a PDF file

EDIT 18. 12. 2010: I posted a better solution with FormulatePro

EDIT 17. 12. 2010: Before commenting – As said at the end, this procedure is quick and dirty adding an image to an existing PDF AND the end result is an image converted to PDF which has lost all PDF advantages and benefits! Such documents are fine for e.g. quick printing. For better results try the command line tool pdftk (options stamp or multistamp), Formulate Pro,  or Acrobat Pro.

I wanted to add a logo of a university (a PNG image) on a document I had in PDF. It is fairly simple to do this in Preview:


1. Convert the PDF to an image with File -> Save As -> … Choose PNG as a Format and change Resolution as desired


2. Switch to the logo image and select the whole image with Edit -> Select All (Command+A) (or select just a part of it with a mouse if you wish)

3. Copy the selection Edit -> Copy (Command+C)


4. Back on the document (which is now the PNG image!) paste the selection with Edit -> Paste (Command+V) and resize it as you wish

5. Save it as PDF with File -> Save As -> … Choose PDF as Format (rename it if the original PDF needs to be preserved!!!!).

There are some drawbacks in this procedure (a PDF made from an image is not searchable), but that’s another story :).


Authors gravatar


PDFpen does all this and lots more without changing formats back & forth.

You can remove, resize and generally fiddle with images already in the original pdf document plus add as many other images as you wish dragging them to your desired location within the document.

Takes seconds. Yes, yes, I know PDFpen costs but the charge is very reasonable given the enormous range of options included..

NB I have no connection with any manufacturer, past or present; nor do I review Apps professionally. I’m just an ordinary user.


Authors gravatar

Matjaž Kljun

I know there are several other applications that do the same. I even posted another solution with a (free) FormulatePro (look at the link at the beginning of the post).

This was just a quick and dirty solution – or a proof of concept if you wish. It is not the best way to do this kind of things, but it works if you don’t have any other applications, no access to the internet, etc.

Leave a Reply