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Inserting/Attaching PDF Pages/Files in Preview 5.0.1

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
The previous version of Preview used to have the wonderfully useful feature of being able to drag/drop/move around PDF pages to attach files.

The SL version of Preview seems to have made it impossible to do this.

Any suggestions for workarounds/alternatives!?

Thanks.
post #2 of 20
It's still there, but the implementation has changed. To append one PDF to another, open the first one in Preview, then open the thumbnail drawer. Drag the one you want to append from the Finder onto the last page of the first PDF. A grey rectangle will appear around the pages of the first PDF and a blue bar below the last page. Drop it there. Now you can save the joined document. If you drop the second PDF below the grey rectangle, Preview will not allow you to join them.
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post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
You have added much value, Sir! I will try it out right now!!
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just confirming that it works brilliantly!
post #5 of 20
Just to expand on what Dr. Millmoss posted: the line that appears won't necessarily be blue, its colour depends on your OS X appearance settings.

Also, you may want to check out these posts I made in a different thread. And note that to delete pages from a pdf, you should just press the delete key (in previous versions you had to press command-delete, but in the new version that keyboard shortcut will send the open file to the trash).
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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Just to expand on what Dr. Millmoss posted: the line that appears won't necessarily be blue, its colour depends on your OS X appearance settings.

Also, you may want to check out these posts I made in a different thread. And note that to delete pages from a pdf, you should just press the delete key (in previous versions you had to press command-delete, but in the new version that keyboard shortcut will send the open file to the trash).

Again, thanks. I wonder why the 'Help' feature in Preview does not mention any of this! \
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Again, thanks. I wonder why the 'Help' feature in Preview does not mention any of this! \

Because that would be helpful.

I have no idea why Apple changed this behavior. It worked just fine before.
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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I have no idea why Apple changed this behavior. It worked just fine before.

Yes, it worked before. But I think the new behaviour is more intuitive and more consistent with how other file-types are handled in Preview's sidebar.

In previous versions of Preview, it was impossible to have separate PDF files in the sidebar - adding a PDF to the sidebar would join it to the one already open. However, for other file-types (e.g. jpegs), opening multiple files at once would open a single window with the files in the sidebar.
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Yes, it worked before. But I think the new behaviour is more intuitive and more consistent with how other file-types are handled in Preview's sidebar.

In previous versions of Preview, it was impossible to have separate PDF files in the sidebar - adding a PDF to the sidebar would join it to the one already open. However, for other file-types (e.g. jpegs), opening multiple files at once would open a single window with the files in the sidebar.

I realize, but then I still not sure why you'd want to have multiple PDF files open in a single document if your intention was not to merge them. That in itself violates another kind of logical consistency. BTW, in some cases (and I have not figured out what triggers this), Preview will warn you about a pending merger of documents with a unique and confusing dialog box. Other times, you get only the standard save as. Not completely thought through, it seems.
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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

BTW, in some cases (and I have not figured out what triggers this), Preview will warn you about a pending merger of documents with a unique and confusing dialog box. Other times, you get only the standard save as. Not completely thought through, it seems.

Interesting. If you do figure out the circumstances required to see the dialogue, please let us know.
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post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Yes, it worked before. But I think the new behaviour is more intuitive and more consistent with how other file-types are handled in Preview's sidebar.

In previous versions of Preview, it was impossible to have separate PDF files in the sidebar - adding a PDF to the sidebar would join it to the one already open. However, for other file-types (e.g. jpegs), opening multiple files at once would open a single window with the files in the sidebar.

But that still does not excuse their unhelpful Help.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Interesting. If you do figure out the circumstances required to see the dialogue, please let us know.

I think I figured out when this happens. If you drag a PDF into the thumbnail window, dropping it under the document pages (where it would normally not be appended), then drag it up into the document, and then close the document, a dialog box will ask: "You have a Preview document with unsaved changes. Do you want to review these changes before closing? Your changes will be lost if you don't save them."

Below that is a box which shows a thumbnail of the first page of the document. I've seen cases where more than one document appears in this window. Why I am not sure.

The choices are: Discard, Cancel and Save.

Kind of a mess.
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post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

But that still does not excuse their unhelpful Help.

Indeed it does not.
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post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think I figured out when this happens. If you drag a PDF into the thumbnail window, dropping it under the document pages (where it would normally not be appended), then drag it up into the document, and then close the document, a dialog box will ask: "You have a Preview document with unsaved changes. Do you want to review these changes before closing? Your changes will be lost if you don't save them."

Below that is a box which shows a thumbnail of the first page of the document. I've seen cases where more than one document appears in this window. Why I am not sure.

The choices are: Discard, Cancel and Save.

Kind of a mess.

Yeah, that doesn't sound good. It's not obvious how the buttons relate to the text of the message. Presumably discard closes the document without saving the changes, cancel puts you back where you were before you tried to close the document, and save saves the changes then quits; however, it takes a while to figure that out and I could forgive someone for not being able to do so.
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post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Yeah, that doesn't sound good. It's not obvious how the buttons relate to the text of the message. Presumably discard closes the document without saving the changes, cancel puts you back where you were before you tried to close the document, and save saves the changes then quits; however, it takes a while to figure that out and I could forgive someone for not being able to do so.

Right, there's a distinct lack of agreement between the message and the choices. It's also unclear why the difference in behavior between dragging the PDF into the thumbnail drawer and dragging it within the drawer. If this were Microsoft, we might write it off as typical clumsiness. When Apple pulls a stunt like this, you have to wonder who was minding the store. Personally, it just comes as more evidence that nobody was minding the store during the Snow Leopard redesign of Preview, since this is only one of the problems they introduced.
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post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

It's also unclear why the difference in behavior between dragging the PDF into the thumbnail drawer and dragging it within the drawer.

In terms of dragging things around in the sidebar, the UI does give plenty of visual indicators as to what is going on (i.e., the grey highlight box, the coloured insertion bars, the "binding" on multi-page pdfs etc.). I will grant you that that dialogue box and the problems you've experienced with find in PDFs are legitimate concerns, but the behaviour of the sidebar seems to me easy to learn and, as I said before, more intuitive than before.
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post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

In terms of dragging things around in the sidebar, the UI does give plenty of visual indicators as to what is going on (i.e., the grey highlight box, the coloured insertion bars, the "binding" on multi-page pdfs etc.). I will grant you that that dialogue box and the problems you've experienced with find in PDFs are legitimate concerns, but the behaviour of the sidebar seems to me easy to learn and, as I said before, more intuitive than before.

What I meant is, when you go to close the document afterwards, the save behavior is different if you've dragged the PDF into the drawer to append it vs. dragging the document within the drawer to append it. Either way you're being given the option of saving the changes or not, but in two very different ways, for no apparent reason. Try this out yourself -- you'll soon see what I mean.
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post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

What I meant is, when you go to close the document afterwards, the save behavior is different if you've dragged the PDF into the drawer to append it vs. dragging the document within the drawer to append it. Either way you're being given the option of saving the changes or not, but in two very different ways, for no apparent reason. Try this out yourself -- you'll soon see what I mean.

Ah, gotcha!

I'm not on Snow Leopard yet so only have the occasional exposure to the new Preview via my OH's Mac.

It seems Apple took one or two steps forward and several back. How have you found their "Artificial Intelligence" approach to selecting text in PDFs? Supposedly makes selecting text in e.g. multi-column PDFs, much better. Does it?
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post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Ah, gotcha!

I'm not on Snow Leopard yet so only have the occasional exposure to the new Preview via my OH's Mac.

It seems Apple took one or two steps forward and several back. How have you found their "Artificial Intelligence" approach to selecting text in PDFs? Supposedly makes selecting text in e.g. multi-column PDFs, much better. Does it?

I'm certainly not aware of any improvements to word searching, at least not to the kind of word searching that I am doing routinely. But since you mention it, I wonder if this "AI" is the cause of the lapse between Spotlight and Preview search results. I find it extremely dismaying to have Spotlight report a word's presence in a document, only to have Preview tell me it's not there once I search within the document, and that only after drumming my fingers on the desk for many minutes.

Most of my searching involves old newspaper microfilms which have been scanned and OCR'ed. The fidelity of the text columns is very poor, which makes searching a major challenge to start (but very rewarding given the massive amounts of data which can be searched at once). I've learned all sorts of tricks for finding words, involving knowing some of the common OCR errors. Early on I also found that hyphenated words which wrapped lines would be found in Spotlight but not in Preview (including the Leopard version). Guessing where the word might be hyphenated often found the word I was seeking. Now this does not seem to work. Spotlight finds the word but Preview cannot? How is this even possible?

Apparently Apple has outsmarted me. I could have done without that.
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post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I'm certainly not aware of any improvements to word searching, at least not to the kind of word searching that I am doing routinely. But since you mention it, I wonder if this "AI" is the cause of the lapse between Spotlight and Preview search results. I find it extremely dismaying to have Spotlight report a word's presence in a document, only to have Preview tell me it's not there once I search within the document, and that only after drumming my fingers on the desk for many minutes.

Most of my searching involves old newspaper microfilms which have been scanned and OCR'ed. The fidelity of the text columns is very poor, which makes searching a major challenge to start (but very rewarding given the massive amounts of data which can be searched at once). I've learned all sorts of tricks for finding words, involving knowing some of the common OCR errors. Early on I also found that hyphenated words which wrapped lines would be found in Spotlight but not in Preview (including the Leopard version). Guessing where the word might be hyphenated often found the word I was seeking. Now this does not seem to work. Spotlight finds the word but Preview cannot? How is this even possible?

Apparently Apple has outsmarted me. I could have done without that.

I think it would be worth reporting your problems as a bug to Apple, especially if you are able to provide them with an example PDF and a step-by-step process to reproduce the error (including showing the discrepancy between spotlight search and searching within Preview).

To do this, you need to sign up as a free "registered developer" here, then report the bug here.
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