How to Combine PDF Files on Mac

Learn to merge PDFs on Mac

What to Know

  • Preview: Select the sidebar button > Thumbnails. Open PDF, select thumbnails, and drag into Thumbnails sidebar of the new PDF. Save.
  • Adobe Acrobat: Find Combine Files and select Use Now > Add Files. Choose files, then select Add Files. Order as you wish. Select Combine.
  • Combine PDF: Go to Combine PDF and select Upload Files. Choose files. Select Download. Rearrange as needed. Choose Combine.

If you need to combine multiple PDF files into a single file, and you have a Mac, you can easily combine several PDFs for free. Whether you use software that comes with your Mac, websites, or paid options, here's what you need to know about how to combine PDF files on any version of macOS.

How to Combine PDF Files on Mac Using Preview

The Preview program that comes pre-installed on every Mac provides a super-simple way to combine PDF files for free. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the PDF files you want to combine using Preview. The Preview app is located in the Applications folder on your Mac.

    The Preview app in the Applications folder on a Mac.
  2. Make sure page thumbnails are visible on both PDFs by clicking the sidebar button and and clicking Thumbnails.

    Screenshot of enabling the Thumbnails view in Preview.
  3. On one PDF, select the thumbnails. You can select all of them by clicking command+A, or individual pages by holding down Shift and then clicking on the pages you want to merge.

  4. Drag the thumbnails you selected in the last step 3 into the Thumbnails sidebar on the other PDF. This merges the new pages into the existing PDF.

    Screenshot of combining PDFs in Preview.

    To choose where in the merged file the new PDF is added, drag and drop in the sidebar to put the file in the proper order. You can also re-arrange the pages in the Thumbnails sidebar after dragging and dropping the new PDF, if you prefer.

  5. Save the new, combined PDF.

    Screenshot of saving a merged PDF in Preview.

How to Combine PDF Files on Mac Using Adobe Acrobat

If you've got Adobe Acrobat—which is part of Adobe's Creative Cloud line of high-end graphics, animation, and publishing programs—you can merge PDFs using that program instead. Here's what to do:

You can only do this with the paid version of Adobe Acrobat. The free Adobe Acrobat Reader program can't combine PDFs and just prompts you to upgrade to the paid version.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat.

  2. From the homescreen of Adobe Acrobat, find the Combine Files section and click Use Now.

    Screenshot of Adobe Acrobat home screen.

    If this option isn't displayed by default for you, click See All Tools first.

  3. Click Add Files.

    Screenshot of Adobe Acrobat when combining PDFs.
  4. A Finder window pops up. Navigate to the PDFs you want to combine and select them. You can select them one at a time, select files next to each other by holding down Shift when you click, or select files that aren't next to each other by holding down Command when you click.

    When you've selected all the files you want to combine, click Add Files.

    Screenshot of combining PDFs in Adobe Acrobat.
  5. All of the files you're going to combine are displayed. You can drag and drop them to change their order in the combined PDF. When they're in the order you want, click Combine.

    Screenshot of combining PDFs in Adobe Acrobat
  6. After the files are combined, the merged PDF is displayed. You can still re-order the pages here, if you want. Click Page Thumbnails in the sidebar and then drag and drop the pages to re-order.

    Screenshot of the Page Thumbnails view of a PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
  7. Save the PDF.

How to Combine PDF Files on Mac Using Combine PDF

If you prefer to combine your PDFs using a free online tool, you've got a number of options. For these instructions, we chose Combine PDF, but there are a number of other good options out there. We also like PDF Merge.

To use Combine PDF, follow these steps:

  1. In your preferred web browser, go to the Combine PDF website. Click Upload Files.

    Screenshot of the Combine PDF website.
  2. Navigate through your hard drive to find and select the PDFs you want to combine and then click Choose.

    Adding files from a Mac to the Combine PDF website.

    You can also drag and drop the PDFs into the page, if you prefer that route.

  3. The PDFs will upload and then convert for use by the website. Wait until that process has completed and both PDFs show the Download option.

    A screenshot of the merged PDFs are ready to download on the CombinePDF site.
  4. Drag and drop the files to change the order in which they'll be merged.

  5. Click Combine to merge the PDFs (and, if your browser prompts you with a security warning, click Allow).

    Screenshot downloading a merged PDF from the Combine PDF website.
  6. The combined PDF automatically downloads to your Mac's Downloads folder. The PDF will be named combinepdf.pdf.

    The combined PDF is shown in the Downloads folder on a Mac.
  7. Open the merged PDF using Preview or Adobe Acrobat to see the results or to re-order pages using the steps described earlier in this article.

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