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How to Insert Image into PDF with Preview on Mac (Updated 2023)

When it comes to viewing PDF documents on Mac, the Preview app on Mac will come up 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 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.

How to Insert Picture into PDF on Mac with UPDF?

If you want to insert pictures into a PDF, UPDF is the best choice. We've decided to write this section to show you how easy it is to use.

Step 1: Open a File on Mac

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

mac preview add image to pdf

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.

insert picture into pdf mac preview

Step 3: Insert Image into PDF on Mac

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 image into pdf mac preview

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.

mac preview insert image into pdf

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.

Another Way to Insert the Image to PDF on Mac (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 your time a lot.

mac preview insert image into pdf

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. Since there isn't any option available in the Preview app that lets you add images directly, you've to be cleverer than the Preview app on Mac. Remember, there's always a way around getting things done. We'll show you how to insert images into PDF Preview on Mac.

Remember that this method only works for inserting images on your PDFs. Don't try this method to add a signature image.

So, follow our step-by-step guide to inserting pictures into PDF Mac Preview:

Step 1: Go to Finder. Now, look for the folder that contains the image you want to add to your document file. Right-click on the image file and select "Open With" > "Preview".

Step 2: After opening the image, the next step is to press "Command + A" on your keyboard and select the area that you want to add to your PDF.

Step 3: After selecting the image, press "Command + C" from your keyboard and copy the desired area of the picture. Now here's the tricky part; press "Command + V" and paste the copied picture; the new copy will take over the original copy of the image.

We know this seems disturbed, but that's how you can add images to your PDF with the Preview app. Even though both images look the same, the other picture you've pasted has become an object that can be transferred to a PDF file.

Step 4: Now, copy the object image by pressing "Command + C" and closing the Preview window.

Step 5: Your object file is now available on the Mac clipboard; open your PDF file the same way you open the image in Preview (default).

Step 6: Locate the space in your PDF file where you want to insert an image. Past the image and use handlers to resize the image. That's it; the Preview app will automatically save files; you don't have to keep them manually.

Important note: as you can see that using Preview to insert an image into a PDF is very complicated. Why not use a much more straightforward option to help you? UPDF is always here for you.

Limitations of the Using Preview to Insert Images into PDF

Somehow, we've managed to insert images into PDF with Preview, but that doesn't mean the Preview app is the best option to do it. There are other best alternatives available which we'll discuss above in the article. The preview app on Mac has many limitations that need to be addressed.

Add Text to PDFYesYes
Add Image to PDFYesNo
Add Link to PDFYesNo
Annotate PDFHighlight
Text Callout
Convert PDFTo 14 FormatsOnly to images
Advanced Features: OCRYesNo

The following limitations are only applicable to inserting images on PDFs:

  • You can't add images to the existing PDF documents. This method of inserting images works only on new PDF pages.
  • 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.
  • If you follow the above steps to insert an image into a PDF, 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. 

What is the Best Alternative to Preview?

Preview app on Mac is never an option when it comes to advanced features and time optimization. It only suits the smaller tasks. Moreover, another PDF editor may fulfill all requirements regarding the insertion of images or objects. It is very easy to use. 

UPDF is a unique and delightful PDF editor that has the functionality of editing, viewing, converting and OCR PDF documents. The list of features is not stopping here. There are many other advanced features that UPDF offers to its users.

insert image into pdf preview

Here are some advanced 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, shapes, etc. 
  3. Page Management: You can also Insert images 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. Multiple Platforms: The fantastic thing about UPDF is that it's available on macOS, iOS, and Windows.
  5. Intuitive Design: The design of the UPDF is a top-notch and high-quality interface.

Finally saying, the Preview app on Mac is never an option for you to use for advance purposes. Yes, you can insert images into PDF Preview with many struggles to face. Moreover, this trick only applies to new pages, so you can't just add an image to an existing PDF page. That's why our recommendation is behind UPDF. It's a free tool and has all the professional capabilities an editor requires.