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PDF Tools (Mac)

The Mac's operating system (OS X), has always been very PDF-aware. PDF documents can be opened by the built-in 'Preview' software, and you can also create PDFs very easily by 'printing' the document, then choosing 'Save to PDF' from the little menu at the bottom left of the print dialogue box. 

Merging PDFs

The most common PDF-related task, apart from those mentioned above, are to join a number of PDFs into a single one, and to split a PDF into a number of separate ones (splitting into individual pages is usually sufficient since they can then be joined again into the required parts). The two latest versions of the Mac OS X (10.5 and 10.6) have  the necessary tools and others built into the Preview utility. See How to merge pdf files with preview in Leopard to find out more. The Adobe Acrobat suite  is another well known tool for the job, but it is very expensive and overkill for most people's needs.

So, if you have a Mac with OS X 10.3 or 10.4 and want to do basic PDF editing, you will need software from a third party. Here is a list of several such packages. 

NB: I've not tested these packages myself and cannot vouch for their effectiveness, but I've tried to choose only packages which have been recommended elsewhere on the Internet.

Package        PriceDescriptionSystem Requirements
http://www.mergepdf.net/FreeOnline (i.e. via a website) PDF merger. Limited to merging 10 files of 5mb each.Requires web browser. 
PDFsamFree (GPL)Splits and merges PDFs. Java-based, so  compatible with different systems, but less user friendly than other products. Java 1.6 or later
PDF Merge$14 Merges PDFs.10.3 (Panther) or later
Join/split script FreeAutomator script. Instructions a bit techie10.4
Combine PDFs 5.2 20 € Merges PDFs, splits them, rotates pages and a whol lot more. 10.4 (Tiger) or later 
Batch PDF Merger $25does what it says on the tin!  10.4 or later - Intel or PPC systems.
PDFLab 2.0.3r2  Freesplit and join PDF documents as well as insert images and blank pages 10.5  (Leopard) or later
Combine PDFs 1.1.1 Free Automator scriptOS 10.5.7 or later  



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