How to Combine PDF Files Into One Document

Quickly convert multiple PDFs into a single document

What to Know

  • In Acrobat DC, go to Tools > Combine Files > Add Files > Combine.
  • On a Mac, you can use the built-in Preview application to combine PDF files.
  • You can also use a PDF merging service like PDF Merge, a free web-based tool like Combine PDF, or an app on mobile devices.

This article explains various ways you can combine 2 or more PDF files into a single document on Macs, PCs, and Android or iPhone.

How to Merge PDF Files With Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader is free. You can use Acrobat Reader to view and print PDF files, as well as add annotations. To further manipulate these files or combine multiple PDFs into one, install Acrobat DC. Acrobat DC makes it easy to merge PDF files.

Acrobat DC is available for a monthly or yearly subscription fee that varies based on the application version and length of commitment. If you have a short-term need, Adobe offers a 7-day free trial, which doesn't contain limitations in terms of functionality.

Follow these steps to merge PDF files with Adobe Acrobat DC:

  1. Open Acrobat DC and select Tools > Combine Files.

    Tools > Combine Files in Adobe DC
  2. Select Add Files to add as many files as you would like. Select Add Open Files to include documents you're currently viewing.

    The Add Files button
  3. Adjust the order, including that of individual pages, by dragging and dropping each to the desired location.

  4. Select Combine to complete the process.

    The Combine button

How to Combine PDF Files With Apple Preview

On a Mac, use the built-in Preview application to combine PDF files, eliminating the need (and cost, as Preview is free with macOS) for third-party software or an online service.

  1. Open one of the PDF files you want to combine in the Preview app.

  2. Go to the View menu and select Thumbnails, if it isn't selected, to enable the thumbnail preview.

    To toggle the Thumbnails view, press Option+Command+2 on the keyboard.

    The Thumbnails view option in Preview
  3. If the open PDF has more than a single page, select a thumbnail in the left panel where you want to insert another PDF file.

    Inserted PDF pages appear after the selected page.

    The Thumbnails tray in Preview
  4. Select Edit > Insert > Page from File.

    The Page from File command
  5. In a Finder window, locate the second PDF file you want to import into the current one, then select Open.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each additional PDF file you want to import.

  7. Drag thumbnails to change the order of pages.

  8. When you are satisfied with the combined PDF, select File > Save.

How to Combine PDF Files With PDF Merge

Several websites offer PDF merging services. Many are ad-driven and free of charge. One of these is PDF Merge, which makes it possible to upload multiple files using a web browser. There is a limit of 10 MB for files that are uploaded.

PDF Merge also offers an affordable downloadable app that merges PDFs offline. Only a Windows version is available.

  1. Go to the PDF Merge website.

  2. Select Choose File.

    The Choose File button
  3. Choose the first PDF you want to merge, then select Open.

  4. Select Choose File again for the other files you want to combine. If you run out of slots, select More Files.

    The Choose File and More Files options on PDF Merge
  5. Select Merge to combine the selected files.

    The files are combined in the order in which you select and upload each file.

    The Merge button
  6. Download the final combined PDF to your computer.

How to Combine PDF Files With Combine PDF

Combine PDF is a web-based tool that merges multiple PDF documents into a single PDF file. Merge up to 20 files, including images, into a single PDF file for free. Combine PDF claims to delete all files from their servers within one hour of upload.

  1. Go to the Combine PDF tab, if it isn't selected.

    The Combine PDF tab
  2. Drag the PDF files to the PDF Merge web page. Or, upload the files in the traditional fashion by selecting Upload Files.

    The Upload Files button
  3. Adjust the order of the uploaded files by dragging the files in the queue.

  4. Select Combine.

    The Combine button
  5. The merged PDF file, combinepdf.pdf, downloads to your computer.

How to Combine PDF Files From the Cloud With Merge PDF

Merge PDF, part of the Smallpdf.com site, is a free browser-based solution that incorporates files from your local device, Dropbox, and Google Drive. Before you combine the files into one PDF file, use Merge PDF to drag-and-drop files to reorder or delete the pages as you please.

All uploads and downloads are deemed secure, and files are permanently deleted from the Smallpdf servers within an hour. The site also offers other PDF-related services, including viewing and editing tools, and the ability to convert file formats.

  1. Select either From Google Drive or From Dropbox to open a login window.

    Uploading options on Smallpdf
  2. Enter your login credentials for the cloud service to see your cloud-based files.

  3. Select the files you want to upload, then select Choose.

How to Combine PDF Files on Mobile Devices

There are Android and iOS apps that combine PDF files on a smartphone or tablet. Many mobile apps that promise this functionality either do not deliver the expected results or are poorly developed, resulting in frequent crashes and other unreliable behavior. These options are the most reliable:

  • PDF Utils: This often-updated app combines a large number of PDF files from an Android device and has other useful features. Basic functionality is available without a fee, while an ad-free experience can be had with in-app purchases.
  • PDF Utility: Despite some limitations in the free edition of this Android app, including a maximum file size of 2.5 MB, PDF Utility quickly merges two or more PDF documents. The pro version lifts this restriction and removes all ads.
  • PDF Converter: This iOS app combines PDF files on an Apple iPhone or iPad fairly easily. In-app purchases remove some size and file number limitations.
  • PDF Expert: One of the better known and stable iOS apps on this list. PDF Expert's price tag is worth it if you combine PDF files from your iCloud library regularly.