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Insert Image Into PDF Preview: Usage Guide For Preview & Its Alternates

When it comes to viewing PDF documents on Mac, the Preview app on Mac will come to your mind. But when we talk about editing PDFs, the Preview app falls on the lower side of the competition. Though you can add text to PDFs using the Preview app, inserting images into PDFs on Mac with Preview isn't easy at all.

In this article, we'll look forward to how to add images into PDF with the Preview app. We'll also discuss the limitations of using the Preview app. However, there is no direct image inserting option in Preview. That's why we'll introduce the best alternative to the Preview app - UPDF - in the first part. Read on to find more.

A Better Alternative Method to Insert Image to PDF without Preview

The Preview app on Mac is not the ideal choice for effortlessly inserting images into PDFs; it's more suitable for smaller tasks. Alternatively, another PDF editor might better meet your needs for inserting images or objects, providing a user-friendly experience. However, if you prefer sticking with the Preview app, you can directly follow the method introduced in Part 2.

UPDF for Mac is a unique and delightful PDF editor that allows you to easily add images to PDF without Preview. With UPDF, you can insert, edit, crop, rotate, and delete images in PDF.

What's more, UPDF is more than a tool for inserting images into PDF. There are many other advanced features in it. You can also choose to insert an image as a single page to a PDF with UPDF's PDF creation feature. You can download it to try out other powerful features of it.

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Here are some other features of UPDF:

  1. Edit PDFs: Edit your existing PDFs like a pro. It gives you the environment like you are using MS Word.
  2. Annotate PDFs: You can add text boxes, sticky notes, highlights, stickers, stamps, shapes, etc. 
  3. Page Management: You can also insert pages to PDF in a few clicks with the help of a page management tool. You can also do other things like scaling, annotating, adding, deleting, etc.
  4. OCR PDFs: The OCR feature can help you to scan the PDF easily to the editable PDF.
  5. Convert PDFs: UPDF can convert PDF to Word, Excel, PPT, CSV, HTML, image, RTF, Text, XML, and PDF/A format fast and accurately.
  6. UPDF AI: UPDF offers summarize, translate, and explain AI assistance to help you analyze PDFs more efficiently.


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Method 1. Insert Picture into PDF on Mac with Preview Alternative

Following are the detailed steps to add the image to a PDF with UPDF.

Step 1: Open a File with UPDF for Mac

Download UPDF on your Mac computer.

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Open UPDF and click on the "Open File" button. After clicking the button, you'll be asked to choose and open the PDF file from your device.

Step 2: Enter the Editing Mode

Now click on the "Edit PDF" button at the left side of the main menu. By clicking this button, you will enter editing mode, which allows you to add and edit the text, images, and links.

mac preview add image to pdf and enter edit mode

Step 3: Insert Image into PDF on Mac with Preview Alternative

Now it's time to add an image by clicking on the "Image" icon as shown in the image. 

After clicking the "Image" icon, you need to click your mouse anywhere you want to place the image.

insert picture into pdf mac preview alternative

After choosing the position, a pop-up will ask you to choose an image from your device. Select the image that you want to insert into your PDF and click "Open". The image will be added to your PDF document immediately.

insert image into pdf mac preview alternative

Then you can adjust the image easily. This tool allows you to resize, reposition, crop, rotate, extract, or replace the image as per your requirement.

Method 2. Another Way to Insert the Image to PDF on Mac with Preview Alternative(Dragging and Dropping)

This best Preview alternative also allows you to add an image by simply dragging the image to the PDF document directly. This is way better and easier than Preview or any other program on Mac. It saves you time a lot.

mac preview insert image into pdf by drag and drop

Download UPDF first and follow the steps introduced in the video below.

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Below is the video tutorial on adding images to PDF on Mac, and you can watch it if you are interested.

How to Insert Image into PDF with Preview Mac?

Can I Insert an Image into a PDF with Preview?

First of all, there is no option in Preview to let you insert an image into a PDF. Preview is just a simple PDF reader on Mac, it only allows you to perform some simple annotation functions like highlighting, underlining, etc. You can add images as PDF pages to PDF. Below are the steps to do this:

  • Step 1: Open the PDF file in Preview.
  • Step 2: Click the "Edit" icon in the upper left corner. Select "Insert" and then tap "Page from File..." to insert the image as a PDF page.

Limitations of Using Preview to Insert Images into PDF

Somehow, we can't insert images into PDF with Preview, but we can insert images as PDF pages with the Preview app. There is another best alternative available which we discuss above in the article. The Preview app on Mac has many limitations that need to be addressed.

The following limitations are using Preview on Mac:

  • The Preview app on Mac has no advanced features at all, even though it doesn't have any editing option for inserting any objects. 
  • The Preview app can be complicated for those unfamiliar with the Mac keyboard shortcut keys.
  • It'll take centuries for you to complete your task.
  • The worst part of the Preview app is that it automatically saves your files without you knowing. 
Add Text to PDF
Add Image to PDF
Add Link to PDF
Annotate PDFHighlight
Sticky Note
Text Comment
Text Box
Text Callout
Convert PDFTo 14 FormatsOnly to images
Advanced Features: OCR
Ease of UseEasyComplex


The Preview app on Mac is never the best option for you to insert images on Mac. If you want to insert the picture into the PDF with Preview, you can only insert the image as a PDF page. This is actually quite inconvenient and does not allow editing of images. That's why our recommendation is UPDF. It's a great tool and has all the professional capabilities an editor requires. You can not only add images to your PDF documents, but you can also resize, crop, replace, extract, or remove the images easily as per your requirements. Try it out now by downloading it.

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