PDF Letterhead Into Pages or Word template?

We have a very nice letterhead which we only have printed on paper, no digital copy.

I have a scan of it, as a PDF, but what I would like to do is use it in Pages (preferably) or Word.

So far I have not been able to figure out how to do this, although I assume it must be possible and I’m just not finding it.

Anyone have any tips, tricks, or pointers?

You should be able to convert it to an image, then add it.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re asking but I can just drag and drop any pdf into a pages document and it’s treated like an image.

If you want to add it specifically to the header section in a Pages document you can open up the document set-up, make sure header is turned on, go to more options then click in the header area and paste it. I’d guess drag and drop would work. Paste definitely does.

You can open the PDF in Word, then save as a docx and import it to Pages.

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You could get a good digital recreation done inexpensively from somewhere like Fiverr. It should be easier to perfectly position in your .docx header/footer/sidebars as well, compared to a scan: Fiverr / Search Results for 'recreate letterhead'

So, originally, I was trying to use the entire scanned 8.5x11 as like the ‘background’ of a Pages document (almost like a watermark, I guess?)

Then, after reading these comments, I realized that was dumb, and I just converted the PDF to a PNG and trimmed it down to just the header part, which I was able to drop into a Pages document.

Some days the brain doesn’t work as well as others.


Ha, we all have those days! Just an FYI, no need to convert to PNG, you should be able to just drop a pdf in straight. Also, no need to trim down (though I guess that could cut file size) because once in the document you can double tap or double click to use the cropping tool in Pages. Works like a charm for cropping and repositioning images.

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One advantage to converting to a PNG and then trimming is file size reduction. Cropping a PDF does not actually remove any content. It just makes the cropped-out content not visible which means the size on disk is still the same.

Cropping a PNG removes the content which means the resulting image takes less space on disk than the original.

Not exactly the way your asking for, but this is how I do it.

I do have a digital version (pdf) of my letterhead. To use that in a Pages (or, in my case Word) document (kind of…), I save the document as a pdf. And apply the letterhead pdf as a background using pdftk.

Your Pages doc doesn’t contain the letterhead in this way. That could be a disadvantage. However, I think/believe/assume the quality of the end result is better this way.

I’d be interested in knowing how that works, if you’d be willing to share it. I have only very limited experience with pdftk.

Does PDFTK work on an M1 mac?

I had to Google this (too). That’s a nifty website for those kind of questions, you know. But apparently, pdftk is not compiled for the M1. However, there is pdftk-java which is compatible. That being said, I personally loathe anything Java.

@tjluoma I’m using it in an Alfred Workflow like this (this is the script step, obviously):

for f in "$@"
    DIRNAME="$(dirname "$f")"
	FILENAME="$(basename "$f")"
	TMPNAME="$(basename "$f" .pdf)_frbg.pdf"
    /usr/local/bin/pdftk "$f" multibackground /Users/myuser/Documents/Backgrounds/Letterhead.pdf output "$DIRNAME"/"$TMPNAME"
	mv "$f" "/Users/myuser/.Trash/"

It applies the background and throws away the temporary file, i.e. the one without the background. I’m using the multibackground option, as my letterhead pdf has multiple pages: a true letterhead page and a followup page with basically just a logo and footer.

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Nice! Thank you @vco1!

You can get a non-Java version of pdftk to work on M1-based Macs, but it’s a little confusing.

If you go to the main PDFTK website, it will offer you this download:


That’s not a clickable link because I don’t want you to download that. It won’t work, because that is a 32-bit version that won’t run after Mojave. (10.6 refers to Snow Leopard, which came out approximately 75 years ago).

Fortunately I stumbled across (and bookmarked!) both https://stackoverflow.com/a/58236185/284595 and https://gist.github.com/jvenator/9672772a631c117da151 point to this 64-bit download which point to the correct download:


That one is 64-bit and will work via Rosetta on M1-based Macs.


I was trying to save a Pages document as a PDF last night but couldn’t figure out how to do it , TJ. Any pointers?

I wanted to make use of on of the apps you recommended- Booklets. It makes booklets of PDF’s.

I don’t have the PDF app although I use to.

You can use the Print menu and the choose “Save as PDF” or use Pages’ export feature to get a PDF.

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Thanks ever so much, TJ!