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  1. #1
    Preview Corrupting Files
    Hi all,

    When combining files in preview, the added files keep getting corrupted after adding pages, saving, and re-opening the file.

    It is a logo in the upper left corner that keeps getting messed up.

    I am using Catalina, and have been for about a week. This issue has never popped up before.

    Any help much appreciated.

    - JC

  2. #2
    Preview Corrupting Files
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    What format are the files in?
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    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    What format are the files in?
    They are in PDF.

    The current workaround is to taking a screenshot of the other PDF files and then adding it to the original one I wanted to combine with.

    (i.e. leave file #1 as PDF, then take screenshot file #2, #3, etc. and then add those back into file #1.)

    Or in some cases, opening the PDF, making a duplicate, saving that duplicate as a JPEG, then adding that JPEG to the original PDF it was supposed to be combined with.

    Argh.

    I can send images of the file corruption if that helps.

  4. #4
    Preview Corrupting Files
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    I’ve tried using Preview to merge PDFs together and it just doesn’t work very well. In my case, it made documents that had text that I could select and copy into what were effectively screen caps in which I couldn't”t select the text. I think I wound up using Adobe Reader to do it properly. That or maybe it was GoodReader on my iPad.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  5. #5
    Preview Corrupting Files
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Someone posted this a few days ago, it is from BundleHut, https://bundlehunt.com/?ap_id=campai...eid=d8688ce472, there is PDF Manager Ultimate, a "Pro PDF" app in it. Right now (8 hours left) you can unlock the bundle ($1), and get the app for $3.

    [OFFICIAL] Cisdem PDF Manager Ultimate for Mac | PDF Editor and Converter for Mac
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    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  6. #6
    Appreciate the answers guys.

    Is there any way to troubleshoot Preview instead of switching to a new program?

    I have been combining pdf's in Preview for the past 2 years with no issues... would love to stick with this program if I can fix it to combine the files without corrupting them.

  7. #7
    Preview Corrupting Files
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Have you sent feedback to Apple about this issue?

    Feedback - macOS - Apple
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  8. #8
    Preview Corrupting Files
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSCoy12 View Post
    Appreciate the answers guys.

    Is there any way to troubleshoot Preview instead of switching to a new program?

    I have been combining pdf's in Preview for the past 2 years with no issues... would love to stick with this program if I can fix it to combine the files without corrupting them.
    Try Preview again if you can on the pdfs you've used it on before. If it can still combine them without corrupting them, then the problem isn't Preview, it's the pdfs. Or perhaps Preview doesn't support the element that's getting corrupted.

    If it does fail on them also, well to be honest I don't think there is a solution anyway. Maybe there's a bug in the Catalina version that will get fixed down the road, but I don't see any way to fix it ourselves. Preview is "adequate" at best for the formats it supports, but there are better tools for everything it does handle. Like my situation, this is just one of those situations where you are better off finding something that is better suited for the job.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeisabeach View Post
    I’ve tried using Preview to merge PDFs together and it just doesn’t work very well. In my case, it made documents that had text that I could select and copy into what were effectively screen caps in which I couldn't”t select the text. I think I wound up using Adobe Reader to do it properly. That or maybe it was GoodReader on my iPad.
    Hmm, that's very strange. I combine PDFs with Preview all the time and have for years, and don't believe it's ever "rasterized" a PDF in the manner you describe. I just open both with the thumbnails on the side bar, and drag and drop the pages where I want them to go and the combined result is the of the same quality and functionality as the originals.
    -Jonathan
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  10. #10
    Preview Corrupting Files
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    Hmm, that's very strange. I combine PDFs with Preview all the time and have for years, and don't believe it's ever "rasterized" a PDF in the manner you describe. I just open both with the thumbnails on the side bar, and drag and drop the pages where I want them to go and the combined result is the of the same quality and functionality as the originals.
    Ah nuts... my bad. It was Automator's Combine PDF Pages workflow I had used. I just tried it in Preview and it worked fine. You'd think this would be more consistent with Apple's own software.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeisabeach View Post
    Ah nuts... my bad. It was Automator's Combine PDF Pages workflow I had used. I just tried it in Preview and it worked fine. You'd think this would be more consistent with Apple's own software.
    That is odd, but glad the other method works for you too!
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  12. #12
    Hey guys, thanks for the response. usagora yes I've been doing the same thing the same way for years and nothing change except for the random corruption after saving.

    But... almost glad this happened for the sick workaround that came of it!

    So turns out you can select the files, right click > Quick Actions > Create PDF.

    This spits out a new PDF file, combining the files that you selected, in the order that you selected them. No corruption in the new file!!

    Aaaaaand, even better, I used Keyboard Maestro to assign a keyboard shortcut to this action so now it's all done in a few strokes!!

  13. #13
    Preview Corrupting Files
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSCoy12 View Post
    Hey guys, thanks for the response. usagora yes I've been doing the same thing the same way for years and nothing change except for the random corruption after saving.

    But... almost glad this happened for the sick workaround that came of it!

    So turns out you can select the files, right click > Quick Actions > Create PDF.

    This spits out a new PDF file, combining the files that you selected, in the order that you selected them. No corruption in the new file!!

    Aaaaaand, even better, I used Keyboard Maestro to assign a keyboard shortcut to this action so now it's all done in a few strokes!!
    Ooooh... nice find! It works better for myself also than the Automator workflow I've used in the past. Rather than using Keyboard Maestro to assign a keyboard shortcut, you can do this natively in macOS. Open System Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts App Shortcuts. Click on the + sign, select Finder from the dropdown menu, enter Create PDF as the menu title, then add the shortcut key of your preference. Once you quit out, the shortcut will be active. This works for any menu item whether it's on the menubar or in a context menu like in this case. I've used this to change the shortcut to menu items that already had one but I didn't like. And it's always active... no need for a 3rd party utility to be running.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  14. #14
    Preview Corrupting Files
    IWT's Avatar
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    Well done you. And thanks for posting back.

    Ian
    Ian

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