How to Combine 2 Pics in a MacBook

by Anthony Bonesarelli

Although the image viewer application Preview allows you to crop and add text to photos and other images, the MacBook doesn't come equipped with any particular on-board software for major photo editing. If you want to add color filters, use distorted brushes or combine multiple images onto a single canvas, there are other applications available, such as Photoshop and its open-source clone, GIMP. By merging two photos, you can save the combination as one file to be uploaded, sent and shared with others.


Purchase, download and install an image editing software application or free trial. Adobe's ( Photoshop is a professional tool available for download at the developer's website. GIMP ( provides much of the same functionality as Photoshop, and you can download it for free from the Mac OS X page for the application. Other image editing software exists for the Mac OS X as well, including the simplified Pixelmator ( and Apple's official application, Aperture (


Open your image editing program. Click the "File" menu and click "Open File."


Locate the first image on your computer. Click to highlight the image file. Take note of the pixel size of the image. This will be displayed as a set of dimensions listed beneath the file name.


Click "Open" to display the picture. Repeat the process to locate and open the second image in a new tab or window.


Click the "Image" menu and click "Canvas Size." A menu displays the current dimensions for the image. Determine the best location for the picture you want to add, for example, whether it belongs on the top, bottom, left or right of the second picture. Click to use the anchor tool to determine where the existing image will be positioned on the new canvas.


Increase the width, height or both dimensions of the image by the exact pixel size of the first image. The dimension you need to increase depends on the size of the second image, as well as the placement of the new image. For example, you would increase both the width and height dimensions if you wanted to position a tall image on the side of a shorter image, whereas you would only need to increase the height dimension if you were adding a tall image on top of a wider image.


Return to the image that still has its original dimensions. Press "Apple" plus "A" to select the entire image. Press "Apple + C" to copy.


Click to return to the second image. Press "Apple + V" to paste the image.


Click and drag the image into position in the extended canvas space.


Click the "File" menu and click "Save As." Type a name and select a location for the file and click "OK."


  • check Different image editing applications may have variations on the specific titles of menus. All contemporary image editing software provides the necessary Canvas Size menu to combine your pictures, so refer to the Help menu if you can't locate the appropriate menu.

About the Author

Anthony Bonesarelli began writing as a columnist for "The Daily Athenaeum" university publication in 2006. He now specializes in music criticism online at Garbage Days and social media consulting at a West Virginia art gallery. He graduated from West Virginia University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images