Visual Tips: Cropping multiple images

I think many people in research would confess they waste an unfair deal of time on their presentation visuals or on computer tasks as making a video out of their simulation data, improving quality of images for presentations and such. And how about all those LaTeX fine tricks one needs from time to time and keep forgetting in between? The amount of time I waste on Google searchers, reading tips on forums and doing the actual thing drives me crazy. For such reason, I decided to take note of these simple and annoying tasks and to share the notes with my readers. I will group such tips under the category "visual tips" in this blog, so that it's easy to filter.

Today I will report how to crop multiple images on a Mac. Sometime in my presentation I describe a sequence of events by similar images, slide after slide. Of course it looks much better if you place the image at the same coordinates and at the same size in each slide, so that the changes is well-highligthed when you scroll down. This visual offers the benefit of being able to scroll freely up and down to show your point. One problem is the following: how to fix a series of images which you saved, say, from MatLab, in the same way to get a series of still similar images.

I searched for solutions online but apparently the latest version of Preview does not allow to simultaneously crop a series of images. You need a little more work, but here is what you need to do:

Step 1.

Select all your images, then right-click and select Open with > Preview.

Step 2.

Select: File > Print. Make sure the orientation is as you want it. Then select PDF > Save as PDF (look image below).


Now your images are all saved in a PDF, one for each page. This step was necessary because the latest version of Preview allows simultaneous cropping of PDF pages but not images.

Step 3.

Open your PDF again with Preview. Make sure you have thumbnails on the left side. If not, select:



Step 4.

Click View > Show Edit Toolbar. Use the Select tool to select the area you want to crop on one of the pages. Then select one of the thumbnails on the left and press ⌘+A to select all thumbnails. Finally, press Crop.

Step 5.

Now you need to split the pages of your PDF file. I used the online free tool Zamzar, but there are alternatives (Google will help).

And here you have your simultaneously cropped images. If you have a faster method, please feel free to share your solution in the comments. Hope this turns out useful to someone else as well :).

Featured image from

Paola Elefante

Digital Scaling Project Manager at Plan International. Proud mother & wife. Shameless nerd&geek. Feminist. Undercover gourmet.

5 thoughts to “Visual Tips: Cropping multiple images”

  1. I've found that it doesn't actually removed the content that wasn't cropped, but it simply hides it in Preview. (There's a dialog box that pops up saying this.) However, you can go to Print > Save As PostScript, open that up and then Export as PDF.

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