Let’s say you’re working on a group project with various members in a team. Everyone is working on their own parts and they send it back to you in PDF format. This is perfectly fine, but then it can get a bit messy if you’re trying to figure out which file contains what information, and how you can put it all together for easy reading and access.
This is where combining multiple PDF files into a single PDF file can come in handy. It can also be useful if you’re trying to merge all your receipts into a single file for tax purposes, and so on. Now, there are many ways to go about combining PDF files, with the most obvious method involving the use of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
Unfortunately, Acrobat Pro is not a free software and you’ll have to pay for it, which might be a bit of a put off for people who only need to use it once. Thankfully, there are plenty of free ways to combine PDF files, and we’ll show you how to do that in the guide below.
How To Combine Your PDF Files For Free Online
The easiest way to combine your PDF files for free is to use online services. In the guide below we will be using PDF Merge, but like we said, there are plenty of alternatives out there but for the most part, they’re pretty much the same.
- Go to PDF Merge’s website
- Click Choose File to select your PDF files
- Repeat the process until you’ve included all the PDF files you want to merge
- Click Merge Files and wait for them to be uploaded and processed
- Click Download & View in browser and you’re all set and good to go. Alternatively, you can also choose to send the merged PDF files to your email address for safekeeping.
The process is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, but with free online services, there could be limits in terms of the size of the PDF uploaded or the number of PDFs you upload. If you are dealing with small files then this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you’re looking to combine massive PDF files, then you could run into problems.
Also, there might be some users who might not necessarily feel comfortable uploading their files to the cloud and processed on a remote server. This means that if your files contain potentially sensitive information, then it might be a good idea to seek offline alternatives which could involve you paying for software.
How To Combine PDFs On Mac
If you’d rather not use an online tool, you can actually convert PDFs on your Mac for free. This is ideal for those who don’t want to use online tools or pay for Adobe Acrobat. The process is also pretty simple and straightforward, and it also does not involve the need for third-party software.
- Locate the PDF files that you want to combine.
- Right click the first PDF file and go to Open With and select Preview
- Once the PDF is opened, drag the other PDFs from the folder they are in into the sidebar on the left
- You will notice that the number of pages will expand depending on how many pages there are in the PDF files
- When you’re ready to save it, go to File > Export PDF, select a name and you’re good to go
How To Combine PDFs On Windows
If you are using Windows, unfortunately unlike Mac, there is no native PDF merging tool. Instead, you will need to turn to third-party applications. There are many options around, but we found that PDFsam Basic is the best option out there. It is free, it is simple to use, and it gets the job done. You can download it from its website here.
- Once PDFsam Basic has been downloaded and installed, launch the app
- Click Merge
- Drag and drop the PDF files you want to merge into the window above
- Click Run when you’re ready to combine them
- When the PDF files have been merged, the status bar below will turn green
- Click Open to open the file you’ve just merged