Preview won't delete pages from a PDF (OS X Mojave 10.14.6)
November 11, 2019 6:20 PM   Subscribe

I've opened up a PDF of a practice ACT test I got from Prep Scholar here. I want to split it up into the separate test categories, rather than having one single document for the whole test. I opened it in Preview, clicked on a thumbnail of a page I wanted to remove, clicked the delete key -- nothing happened. The "delete" feature from the Edit menu is grayed out. Is the PDF saved in such a way that the user can't edit it? If so, does anyone know a workaround?
posted by tzikeh to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
The PDF is probably password protected to prevent editing, etc. Have you tried copying the page and pasting in a new PDF? I doubt that will work, if it’s a protected PDF, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:26 PM on November 11, 2019

Yes, the files are protected. I opened the first pdf on the page in Adobe Acrobat, and it's a SECURED file. When I tried to delete a page, it prompts me for the password.
posted by hydra77 at 6:30 PM on November 11, 2019

Yes, the PDF is saved so you can't edit it. Yes, there are workarounds but they aren't free. Adobe doesn't make it easy, sorry.
posted by cooker girl at 6:31 PM on November 11, 2019

Oh, I should add: you generally cannot edit a password-protected PDF unless you actually have the password, PLUS the software needed to edit.
posted by cooker girl at 6:31 PM on November 11, 2019

I opened one of the PDFs in Chrome, opened it in Preview via the print menu (File > Print > "Open PDF in Preview") and was able to delete pages and re-save the file as a copy. I'm on a very old version of OS (10.9.5) with an old version of Acrobat Pro installed, so it's possible I'm benefitting from some loophole that has since been closed.
posted by wreckingball at 6:42 PM on November 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Try printing, and as in the printer options, hit the PDF button at the bottom left and saving that way. I had no problem doing what you're trying to do.
posted by General Malaise at 6:43 PM on November 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

You can just print the document from preview to a new PDF with just the pages you want to keep - as General malaise is writing as I type this...
posted by Brockles at 6:44 PM on November 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I’ve used preview to extract select pages from a single pdf or to combine multiple PDFs by printing but selecting save to pdf Instead of a printer.
posted by aubilenon at 9:13 PM on November 11, 2019

posted by Kiwi at 10:03 AM on November 12, 2019

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