If you’re working on several documents and need to merge them into one single PDF file, some tools can help. We have compiled some of the best options you can use and get the best experience.
While Adobe Acrobat is one of the best tools for operations like this, it will cost money (depending on how you use it). And that’s why we have included other free alternatives you can use. Keep reading for all the possible ways to merge PDF files.
Quickly Merge PDF Files With These Tools
1. Using PDF Merger & Splitter (Windows)
Because it is only available in the Microsoft shop, this tool is only for Windows users. To merge your PDF files, download the software and follow the steps below.
- Select Merge or Split from the app’s menu. Choose Merge if you only need to merge two documents without affecting the sequence of any pages.
- Select the number of PDFs you wish to combine by clicking Add PDFs. You can sort by name or move them up or down the list. You can also get a sneak peek at how the merged files will look.
- Once your files are in order, click Merge and save the new merged PDF with a new name.
You’ll need to split them first if you want to customize your merger further, such as adjusting the order of pages or simply including specific parts of each PDF. When the app first opens, select Split. Select the pages or page ranges you want to remove. You can save them as a single PDF or as separate PDFs.
2. Using Finder (macOS)
If you use a Mac, the only tool you’ll need is already included in the macOS operating system. However, purchasing paid third-party programs will provide more versatile and full-featured options. To combine PDF files in Finder, follow these steps:
- Switch to Gallery view from the toolbar or the top-line View menu to merge two or more PDFs in the macOS Finder.
- Next, choose the files you want to merge while holding down the Command key.
- Choose the order in which you want the files to appear in the merged PDF by clicking each one. A Create PDF button appears in the right-hand inspector panel when choosing multiple files.
The Finder will produce a new PDF on your desktop that contains all of the PDFs you selected when you click Create PDF. Alternatively, you can use the Finder’s List View to pick multiple files and then use Ctrl-click to create a contextual menu.
Select Quick Actions, and Create PDF.
You don’t have to limit yourself to PDF file mergers. In addition to existing PDFs, you can select numerous pictures, such as PNG, TIFF, and JPEG files, and use the same process to combine them into one PDF.
NOTE: It’s simple to correct if the merged PDF file you make from the Finder doesn’t have the pages in the order you want. To open the PDF in the Preview app, double-click it. If thumbnails aren’t visible in Preview’s sidebar, turn them on from the View menu, then drag the thumbnails up and down the sidebar to reorder them.
3. Using Preview App (macOS)
The Preview program has the same PDF-merging capabilities as the Finder, but it’s easier to use for more complex operations. To combine multiple PDF files in Preview, make a copy of one of the files and work with it. Because Preview saves the file in realtime, you’ll need to make some smart moves to get back to the original file if the outcome isn’t what you want.
Open the file that has been duplicated. Additional PDF files can be dragged into the sidebar and dropped where you want them in the document. You can move them to the beginning or end of a page or between two other pages. If you make a mistake with the placement, you can drag one or more thumbnails to the correct spot and delete any pages you don’t want.
What if you only need to combine a few pages from another PDF file? Drag the thumbnails you want into your first PDF file by opening that file in a new PDF window. You can Shift-click to choose a continuous range of pages or Cmd-click on several pages to select pages from any location in the file like you do in macOS. If specific pages are imported in the incorrect orientation, utilize the toolbar in Preview to rotate them.
Preview, like the Finder, allows you to combine any file that Preview can show with an existing PDF. That implies PNG, TIFF, JPEG, and other common image formats are acceptable.
4. Using Adobe Acrobat
Adobe’s various tools and resources are not free, and merging PDF files is one of them. However, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial and use the service. Alternatively, you can merge your files for free using the Adobe PDF merger tool. The first time you use the tool, you do not need to sign in.
If you want to use the tool again, sign in with your Google, Facebook, or create an account with your email address and password. When you sign in, you’ll have the option to share your file with others by creating a link or sending it to them.
To combine PDFs with Adobe Acrobat, follow these steps:
- Click the “Select Files” box at the top of the page to submit your PDF files.
- You can execute this by dragging and dropping your PDF files into the box or selecting files from your computer by clicking the “Select Files” button.
- After adding the files, you want to merge, drag and drop them in the order you want. The top file in your list will display first in the merged PDF.
- What’s left is to hit the “Merge/Combine” button towards the top right of your screen once you’ve uploaded your PDF files.
- You’ll need to name the new file before clicking the “Combine” button if you’re logged in.
This menu provides additional editing choices, such as reorganizing the pages, splitting the PDF, modifying it, converting it to another file format, such as a JPEG or Word file, and adding a comment. To make it happen, click on each option.
NOTE: The Acrobat Merge PDFs feature allows you to merge 1,500 pages into a single PDF. You can combine up to 100 files, with each file having a 500-page restriction.
5. Using Smallpdf
Smallpdf merger enables you to merge multiple PDF files into a single PDF document with just a few mouse clicks. This online tool does not require registration. Smallpdf will delete all of the files you upload and the files generated on their server within an hour. Because the web software is browser-based, it works on all operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
How to use Smallpdf to merge PDF files:
- To use the PDF combiner, drag & drop your PDFs into it.
- You can rearrange individual pages or entire files in the desired order.
- If necessary, add new files, rotate them, or delete them.
- To combine and download your PDF, click ‘Merge PDF!’
6. Using Sodapdf
Another third-party program for merging PDF files is this Sodapdf. The tool can also execute other document-related tasks, such as converting PDF to other formats, converting other formats to PDf, attaching an electronic signature, etc.
To merge your PDF with Sodapdf, follow these steps:
- Choose a file to upload: drag and drop documents from your computer or a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Change the order of your PDF documents once they’ve been posted to their system.
- After merging PDFs, you can send them directly to your email or save them to your computer to view in your browser.
Using Soda PDF Joiner does not preclude you from changing the document if necessary, such as rearranging your PDF pages. You can use the Split tool to eliminate any pages from your original documents that you don’t need in the final PDF before or after merging two or more PDFs.
There’s no limit to how many files you can add or drop using their free and secure internet tool. You can join multiple files at once using batch import. Whether you convert to PDF or from PDF, the merging is totally up to you!
NOTE: Even if you don’t have Internet access, you can merge PDF files. To edit, compress, split, secure, and combine PDF files offline, download and install the Soda PDF desktop program.
There are several other ways to merge PDF files, but these are some of the best options you will need. If you’re using a Mac, you don’t need to use an online tool as your system has built-in tools (Finder and Preview). Windows users can download the PDF Merger and Splitter app from the Microsoft store.
All that said, Adobe Acrobat does offer far superior features for merging documents and carrying out other tasks. Adobe is our best recommendation if you don’t mind using an online tool.