December 13, 2005
convert *.tiff out.pdf

geese and clouds
Geese and clouds, taken by my old pal Eric.

I had twenty 2500x3300 TIFFs I wanted to turn into a single PDF, one image per page. I didn't want to load them one-by-one into a Word document. Trying the straightforward fink-installed ImageMagick command "convert *.tiff output.pdf", my 1.5 GB RAM machine immediately began swapping and 10 minutes later it still hadn't finished. I wrestled with Preview, but I couldn't figure out how to get it to print multiple images at once. I even looked at CL-PDF, but it didn't seem to support TIFF images.

I was reminded that Apple ships a Python CoreImage wrapper, with some example scripts that convert images to PDFs and turn collections of text documents into multi-page PDFs, so I combined a couple examples. The script took 9 seconds and gave me a beautiful PDF.

The final script,, should run on any later version of OS X, and will create a PDF from a sequence of text, HTML, RTF, .doc, and image files, one per page.

Posted by jjwiseman at December 13, 2005 10:35 AM

1) Load pictures into iPhoto
2) Select your photos
3) Do "Print"
4) Do "Save as PDF"

Works for my JPEGs, might work for your TIFFs.

Posted by: Olivier Drolet on December 13, 2005 02:32 PM

I don't get it, was convert trying to turn the tiffs into binary postscript data, then convert that to pdf? Even that shouldn't take too long. I just don't understand why it would go so resource crazy. Cool solution though.

Posted by: fred on December 13, 2005 09:49 PM

Oh no! Now you've gone over to teh dark side too! What will we do if you abandon lisp for python!


/exits room giggling

Posted by: Bruce Durling on December 14, 2005 06:36 AM

Olivier, that's a good idea, I should have thought of iPhoto.

Posted by: John Wiseman on December 15, 2005 02:42 PM

This is what I've wanted. Make my own custom pdf. Not combine pdf's. Thanks.

Posted by: doug pennington on April 21, 2006 02:34 AM


Please could you zap up a Windows version of this to be run in Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat or other windows program?

Thank you

Posted by: Lara on October 23, 2007 10:15 PM

Thanks a lot!

This is superfast. Much faster than those costly programs.

Posted by: Hey on November 5, 2007 09:42 AM
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