This morning I ran into a problem where I needed to convert a series of photos into a
single PDF document. I am going down to Mexico for two weeks to climb two of their highest peaks and needed to get the old release of liability form out of the way. And then email it to the guide service. It’s a brainless process to take the iPhone, make photos of each page, then email the pictures.
But the company I am going with needs/wants the form back in a single PDF, so there’s not so much to manage. At first I looked around for an application to do that, then I realized I’m on a Mac and I bet there’s the ability to create an Automator workflow to take care of that.
Sure enough, after a little looking around, I found a way to create an application. It took two minutes to make it. I can’t believe how easy it is to do this, whereas on my old PC I would have had to download an application, get a virus or two in the process, suffer through whatever bad programming was built in, then finally get my PDF. I wouldn’t even bother to have tried to write software to do it myself, on either the Mac or PC.
Now, on my Mac, it’s taken longer to write this blog entry than it did to create the single
PDF from four different images. In fact, I was looking through the actions in Automator and found there’s an action to create an ePub file from text. This text can then be read on a Kindle or in the Mac/iPhone’s Kindle app. How cool is that. I digress.
In any case, here is a link to the Automator action to create a PDF from one or multiple images. To create a PDF from multiple images, hold the Command button when clicking those image files. The Choose a Finder Item: dialog might open behind some other open windows, so make sure it’s not hiding.
If you don’t want to download the above Automator action, you can just take the image to the right, duplicate it in Automator by dragging the two actions in and save it as an application. Then you will have created an Automator application. Something that would have taken me hours or days now takes literally minutes with Automator.