How to Add an Image to a PDF with Preview on Mac

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The Preview app on the Mac doesn’t make it easy to add an image to a PDF file, but there’s a clever workaround you can use with Preview itself, and we’ll show you how to do it.

Note: You Don’t Need This to Add a Signature Image

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that if you want to add your signature to a PDF, you don’t need to use the method outlined below. Preview has a built-in option to add a signature, and you should use that to sign PDFs on your Mac.

Related: Use Your Mac’s Preview App to Merge, Split, Mark Up, and Sign PDFs

How to Add an Image to a PDF with Preview

By default, you can’t paste an image into a PDF file in Preview. But here’s an unconventional way around that limitation. Luckily, it’s quick and easy to perform.

In Finder, open the folder containing the image that you want to add to your PDF. Right-click the image and select Open With > Preview in the menu.

Context menu for an image in Finder

When Preview opens, press Command+A on your keyboard to select the entire image.

Preview showing an image

Next, press Command+C to copy the image. Now, bear with us: This may seem strange, but it works. Press Command+V to paste the image, and the new copy of your image will cover the original image.

An image in a Preview window

Although both images look the same, the one that you just pasted has now become an object that can be pasted into a PDF if we copy it again.

Copy this “object image” by pressing Command+C. The “object version” of your image is now in your Mac’s clipboard. It’s OK to close Preview showing the original image file.

Next, locate the PDF that you want to paste the image into in Finder. Right-click the PDF and select Open With > Preview in the menu.

Context menu for a PDF in Finder

In the Preview window, scroll to the PDF page that you want to add your image to. Press Command+V to paste your copied image.

Now, use the handlers around the pasted image to reposition and resize it in your PDF document.

An image on a PDF file in Preview

Since Preview automatically saves your changes, you don’t need to manually save your edited PDF. Just close the document and your changes will be saved. If you need to add more images, just open them in Preview and repeat the process listed above.

Preview can be used for many other file manipulation tasks (such as editing photos). You can use this versatile app for many more tasks than just viewing files. Have fun!

Related: Use Your Mac’s Preview App to Crop, Resize, Rotate, and Edit Images

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