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How to Add Image to PDF using Preview

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2024-05-22 10:38:25 • Filed to: Edit PDFs on Mac • Proven solutions

Adding images into PDF may sound like an elementary task, but doing it can prove daunting. If you are a Mac user and tried to add image to PDF with Preview app, then you understand how complicated it can be if you don't have the know-how. Luckily this article has prepared you with a thorough guide on how to insert image into PDF using Preview with ease and speed on Mac including macOS 13.

If you need a more powerful way to add image to PDF on Mac, you should use PDFelement for Mac, which allows you to rotate, flip, crop and adjust the images added in PDF. The PDF editor can also add text, signature, watermark and more to PDF. 

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How to Add Image to PDF in Preview Alternative on Mac

PDFelement for Mac solves all your problems and provides you with an incredible PDF editing platform. The program is enriched with a variety of editing features that allows you to flawlessly and seamlessly add images of your choice to the desired PDF file. You can also delete, copy or paste, rotate, replace, extract, and crop images with ease.

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Step 1. Open a PDF

After installing PDFelement, tap its icon to open the main interface. In its primary interface, click the "Open" button. You will be directed to the file directory window. Navigate the folder where the PDF of interest is located. Choose the PDF file and click "Open" to open it.

mac preview insert image to pdf

Step 2. Insert Image to PDF with Preview Alternative

When the PDF file is successfully uploaded to the program's interface, hit the "Edit" > "Image" icon on the top toolbar to add an image to the PDF from the Mac computer.

macOS preview insert image to pdf

Step 3. Select Image to Add to PDF on Mac

Now the program will automatically direct you to the file directory window. Choose the respective source folder and select the target image. Click "Open" at the bottom right to add the image to the PDF file.

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add image to pdf preview mac

More features of Preview Alternative for Mac

Free of bias, PDFelement is the ultimate PDF editor tool for you if you are looking to add images to create stunning PDFs. Other features include:

  • Add text, links to PDF.
  • Create fillable forms and use them to import or export data.
  • Perform PDF OCR to unlock texts on scanned PDFs.
  • Protect your edited PDF file with combinations of passwords and permissions.
  • Approve PDF documents digitally using digital signatures.
  • Shrink the size of your PDF file without lowering its quality.
  • Share the edited PDF files via Add People, Email attachments, Notes, AirDrop, and Messages.
  • Print PDFs with ease using various print options and properties.
  • Convert PDFs to and from a wide range of file formats.
  • Annotate PDFs with comments, drawings, text markups, and stamps.
  • Organize PDF pages and change page order as per your need.

How to Add Image to PDF with Preview on Mac

If you are a Mac user, then you know what Mac Preview App is. Being the default app for viewing documents and images, there is a high chance that you have used it before. This app offers several basic editing features for PDF, including crop, fit, re-size, and encrypt PDF, and add text, among others. However, you cannot add image to PDF with Preview directly. You can only copy and paste your image to PDF with Preview. To add images to PDF using Mac Preview App, follow the following steps.

Open PDF with Preview on Mac

Step 1. Launch the Preview app and go to the "File" menu. Select "Open" and upload the PDF file.

add image to pdf preview

Copy Image with Preview on Mac

Step 2. After opening the PDF file, open the image you want to add in Preview. Press Command+A to select the entire image and then click Copy button to copy the image.

mac preview add image to pdf

Add Image to PDF with Preview on Mac

Now, here is the trick - paste the image to cover the original image and then copy the pasted image again. Now you can go to the PDF file and paste the image into the PDF.

how to add an image to a pdf in preview

Note: You can't add the image to PDF via Preview if you just copy the image once. You have to copy the image twice in Preview.

Limitations of Adding Image to PDF with Preview on Mac?

The Mac Preview app is no doubt useful and has plenty of advantages. However, it is plagued by several flaws as well. Let's see some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Mac Preview app.


  • It is free, and therefore you don't need to chuck out any cash to purchase.
  • It is an inbuilt Mac app, and you don't have to go through any installation process.
  • It is easy to use.


  • You can only add the entire image to PDF, which will be inconvenient if you want to add just part of the image to the PDF.
  • It is a little complicated as you have to copy the images twice to make the trick work.
  • It doesn't work well if you need to add a signature image to PDF.

It is crystal clear that the Mac Preview App is a basic application and is not suitable for professional or important PDF editing. The assortment of drawbacks would make you look elsewhere if this Preview App was your favorite tool.

FAQs about Using Preview to Add Image to PDF?

1. How to add image to PDF to Mac online free?

One of the easiest ways to add an image into PDF on Mac is by using online PDF editors. There are many free online PDF editors that offer various helpful features that can make this process easier. For example, you can add image to PDF on Mac using Wondershare HiPDF, an all-in-one PDF solution to edit, convert and compress PDF online. To add an image to PDF for free, upload the PDF file to the HiPDF online PDF editor tool and click on the ‘Add Image’ option provided in the toolbar. Once you select the image from your Mac, you can place it anywhere within the PDF document. Finally, save your edited PDF to your Mac.

2. How to use Mac Preview to insert image as signature in PDF?

Here's a quick tip on how to add your signature to a PDF using Preview on Mac. Simply open the PDF with Preview and click the signature icon. If you've already created your signature, insert it into the PDF. If not, no worries, select "Create Signature". Then you can create a signature for PDF by using trackpad, the built-in camera of your Mac or your iPhone/iPad. Once you've created your signature, you can insert the signature and move or resize it to fit the document perfectly.

3. How do I paste an image into a PDF on Mac?

To paste an image into a PDF file on Mac, you can use Preview or a PDF editor software that allows you to add images. Open the PDF file with Preview or an PDF editor, select the location where you want to insert the image, press Ctrl+V to paste the image into the PDF document.

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