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How to merge multiple photos in Preview for Mac

Use Preview's editing tools to fix photo blemishes, merge shots and more on your Mac

mainEditing images on your Mac doesn’t have to be done in iPhoto – Preview has a number of options that just aren’t possible in iPhoto, including the ability to merge two or more images together. Whether you want to edit a photo to add a person who wasn’t there before, replace an unsmiling face with a happier shot or just compare two photos side-by-side, you can do it in Preview with just a few steps.

It’s worth remembering that if you’re working with a PNG image file, you can remove its background too and save the image without losing the transparency. When combining photos, working with PNGs is a vital step, so make sure you use them whenever you need images with blank areas. Let’s get started.


Step 1

1 Separate windows

First, select your images and open them up in Preview. You’ll need to make sure they open in separate windows, as copying and pasting within a single window can cause problems.

Step 2

2 Instant Alpha

First, select the image you want to cut out and open up the Editing panel. Here you’ll find the tools you need to remove the unwanted areas. Pick the Instant Alpha tool now.

Step 3

3 Make a selection

Put your cursor over a colour you want to remove, then click and drag slowly away. The further you get away from the starting point, the more of your image will be selected.

Step 4

4 A bit at a time

Don’t feel that you have to remove the whole section in one go. Select small parts and work a little at a time. When you have an area selected, hit the Delete key to remove it.

Step 5

5 Lasso

There will undoubtedly be some areas left over after you’ve finished with Instant Alpha. Select the Lasso tool and draw around the areas you’ve missed to remove them.

Step 6

6 Copy and paste

Now hit Cmd+A to select the whole image, then hit Cmd+C to copy it, before pasting it into your other image. Resize it and place it so it looks natural in the second photo.

Click Image to Enlarge: