How to merge multiple PDFs

You are in the office, you have just been asked to merge the contents of some PDF files and you are desperate because you do not know how to do it? Breathe a big sigh of relief: you have found the solution, or rather a lot of solutions, to your problems!

Well yes! There are plenty of programs to merge PDFs, and I’ll tell you more: many of them are completely free. This means you can download, install and use them without spending a single cent. Don’t think about Acrobat or other expensive commercial software anymore! If you want to learn how to merge multiple PDFs, all you have to do is choose one of the programs that I am about to recommend and use it by following the instructions below.

How do you say? You don’t use a Windows PC but a Mac? No problem. PDF editing and converting software are available for all major software platforms, including OS X and Linux. In addition, there are many online services that, at no cost and without any registration, allow you to merge PDFs directly from the browser. Yes, you read that right: free, without registration and without installing programs on your PC. If you want to know more, take five minutes of free time and read the tutorial I’m about to offer you. Find everything explained below.

PDF Merge Tool (Windows)

Do you use a Windows PC? Then I highly recommend you to try PDF Merge Tool . It is a small free – and open source – app that does one thing, merge PDF files, and does it well.

To download it on your PC, connect to the SourceForge page that hosts it and click on the green Download button  located at the top right. Then open the zip archive you just downloaded, extract the contents to any folder and start the PDF Merge Tool.exe program (which does not require installations to work).

At this point, explaining how the program works is almost superfluous. All you have to do is drag the PDFs to be merged into the main window of PDF Merge Tool, arrange them in the order you prefer (using the Move up  and  Move down buttons  ) and press the Merge button to generate the final document.

Note : PDF Merge Tool requires Microsoft’s .Net Framework 3.5 to work. If you are asked to install it when you start the program, accept by clicking the Download button and install this feature.

Preview (Mac OS X)

On Mac you can merge multiple PDFs without using third party applications. All you need is Preview , OS X’s default software for viewing images and, indeed, PDF files. The procedure to follow is very simple.

After opening the first PDF with a double click, select the Thumbnails option from the Preview View menu and drag all the PDFs to be merged into the program’s sidebar.

Then you have to use the mouse to arrange the documents in the order you prefer, select the Print option from the File menu and choose the Save as PDF item from the drop-down menu located at the bottom left.

PDF Shuffler (Linux)

Linux also has a wide range of free software for editing and converting PDF files. Among these I point out the excellent PDF Shuffler that allows you to merge, divide, rotate and reorder PDFs through a very intuitive interface.

If you use Ubuntu, you can find it directly in the Software Center of your distro and install it with a simple click on the Install button . Its operation, as just mentioned, is really very simple.

All you have to do is click on the + button located at the top left, select the PDFs to merge and reorder their pages using the mouse. When the operation is completed, click on the hard disk icon , choose the folder in which to save the unified document and that’s it.

SmallPDF (Online)

Do you prefer to turn to online solutions? No problem. To solve your problems there is SmallPDF , a great free web service that allows you to edit and convert PDFs in various ways.

It works with all popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge etc.), does not require registration and does not have stringent upload limits. It also protects users’ privacy by automatically deleting, within a few hours, all documents that are uploaded to its servers.

To take advantage of its function to merge PDFs, link to the page I just linked to and drag all the documents you want to group into the browser window. Then use the mouse to sort the files as you prefer and click first on Merge PDF and then on Download the file to download the final document on your PC.

If you want, by selecting SmallPDF’s Page Mode tab , you can also move individual pages of the documents you have selected and change their order without changing the rest of the PDFs.

CloudConvert (Online)

CloudConvert is another great free web service that allows you to convert and merge multiple PDFs with ease. It is a universal converter, so it is not designed specifically for PDF files, but it works great.

It is compatible with all the most popular browsers, does not require mandatory registration (although with the registration you can increase the upload limit of the service from 100MB to 1GB) and respects the privacy of users by deleting all the files that are uploaded within a few hours on its servers.

To find out how to use it, connect to the site using the link I just provided. Then drag the PDFs to be merged into the browser window, reorder them with the mouse according to your needs and click on the Start conversion button .

Once the conversion is complete, click on the green Download button that appears below and the final PDF will be automatically downloaded to your PC.


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