An organized report, presentation or dissertation can be ruined by an unnecessary disarray of PDF files. It is quite a tedious task to arrange the clutter, especially if you require the documents together. Its importance dawns on us when we have to send an email and brevity is absent in the attachments.

Fortunately, a feature called “PDF merge” can help you combine two or more documents into a single file. Apart from the flagship product of Adobe, there are many third-party software products and online tools that can be used to accomplish the same task.


Here are four methods you can use to merge multiple PDF files.

Method 1: Using Online Tools

Type “merge PDF” into your Google search field and you will see numerous hits of online tools for combining two or more PDF documents. There are many online tools available, but here we will explain how to use PDF Merge, which is both useful and free.

Step 1. Open the PDF Merge website

Open pdf merge website

Open the website and you will see four upload options.


Step 2. Click the “Browse” button

By default, there are four“ Browse” buttons that you can use to select up to four PDF files. Below them, you’ll see an option called "More files" to accommodate more than four documents.

click browse button

Click on the "Browse" button to select the PDF in your files that you want to merge.

browse files

Select the PDFs in the order in which you want them to appear in the merged file. That is, select that file first whose content you wish to see first in the merged PDF.

browse files


Now click on "Browse" again to select the next file.

select files

Choose the next file.

Step 3. Click the “Merge” button

click merge button


After selecting the PDF files, click the "Merge" button.

files uploading

The website will begin the process of uploading and merging the PDF files.

Save merged pdf

After the merging process is complete, a save dialog box will popup for you to download the merged file.

Method 2: Using a Third-Party Software

Among third-party software options, Split and Merge by PDFSAM takes the cake. A popular software with more than 1.5 million downloads, it is efficient and easy to understand. Download the software from here.


Step 1. Select the “Merge” tab in PDF Split and Merge

open pdfsam

Open PDF Split and Merge and you will see the button to "Merge" PDFs on the left side of the screen.

click on merge

Click on that button to open the Merge window.

merge window open

The Merge window will open.

Step 2. Add PDF files to merge

click on add

Use the "Add" button to insert the PDF documents you want to merge.

select pdf files

A dialog box will open, select the required files. You can make multiple selections.

pdf files selected

The selected files will appear on the merge window. Split and Merge also supports dragging and dropping files.

Step 3. Arrange the order of PDF files and pages

The pages appear in the merged PDF according to the order in which you arrange your files in PDFSAM. The application merges the PDFs in ascending order. That is, the first PDF file in the list will constitute the initial pages in the merged PDF and the last PDF file in the list will constitute the final pages in the merged PDF.


select files to move up

If you wish to change the order in which the PDFs are merged, simply select the file and click on the “Move Up” or “Move Down” buttons, according to your preference.

files moved up

The files will be moved according to your choice.

Arranging the order of selected pages from PDFs

If you wish to merge a select few pages from a PDF file instead of all the pages, PDFSAM offers you a way to do this.

arranging the order

In the list of the PDF files, you will see ‘Page ranges’ written in the last column. Simply type in the range of pages you wish to have from each PDF in the final merged PDF. Separate pages with a comma and you can merge pages in any order. For example:

  • Selected pages of 1st file: 2, 9, 8, 7, 4-6
  • Selected pages of 2nd file: 1

In the above example, PDFSAM will merge the pages in the following order: 2, 9, 8, 7, 4, 5, 6 (of File 1) and 1 (of File 2). Writing a range in reverse order (like 9-7) is not allowed. Instead, write individual page numbers separated with commas (like 9, 8, 7).

Step 4. Change the Merge Settings

If your PDF is a simple document without any interactive data or bookmarks, or you don’t want an index of the file names that you merged, then you don’t need to even look at this option, go to the next step.

acroform settings

If your PDF is an interactive file (AcroForms), that is, it contains buttons like a sign-up form foran email service, you can merge it with other files. From the first option in Merge Settings, choose the one that suits your needs.

bookmark settings

If you wish to retain the bookmarks in your PDF, you can make the suitable changes in the second option in the settings.

adding index settings

The third option in Merge Settings lets you create an index of the files you have merged.

Step 5. Define an output folder

click on browse

Under Destination File, click the browse button.

select destination folder

Define an output folder by specifying the exact path into which to save the new file.

select options below

In the options that follow, you can choose to overwrite the merged PDF to an already existing file of the same name or compress the files by clicking the checkboxes beside those options.

Step 6. Click the “Run” button

click on run

Click on the "Run" button to begin the merging operation.

merge option complete

Once the merging is complete, your merged PDF will appear in the designated destination.

merged file in destination

You can view the merged PDF from its destination.

Method 3: Using the Preview App in a Mac

Thankfully, the process of merging PDFs in a Mac can be carried out without much ado in the Preview application.

Step 1. Open the PDF in Preview application

open pdf in preview app

Open the Preview application using the Finder, or select the first PDF file and open it in the Preview app.

Step 2. Switch to thumbnail viewing

switch to thumbnails

Once Preview is open, check whether Thumbnail viewing is on. In the left side of the screen, a sidebar with the thumbnail of the file should be visible. If it is not visible, go to the View menu and click on "Thumbnails."

thumbnail switched

Preview will shift to thumbnail view.

Step 3. Click and drag the second PDF into Preview

click and drag-the second pdf

Now, click and drag the next PDF into this thumbnail bar. Now both the documents are open in the Preview app.

Step 4. Click and drag one PDF into the other

drag one pdf into other

If you wish to copy the first document into the second one, then click on the thumbnail of the first PDF and drag it into the thumbnail of the second PDF.

Step 5. Save this PDF

save this pdf

To save the merged PDF as a new file, click the “Export” option in the File menu.

click on save button

You can even change the format of the PDF to an image type.In the Export dialog box, type the desired file name and choose the format and location. Finally, click the “Save” button.

merged pdf saved

Now your merged PDF is saved as a new file in the location that you specified.

Method 4: Using Acrobat Reader

To use the merge feature in Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, you must purchase its monthly/annual subscription or the complete desktop subscription.

click on tools

In the latest Acrobat Reader, click on the "Tools" tab adjacent to the Home tab.

click on combine files

Here you will find the "Combine Files" option. Click on "Add" to merge your PDFs.

buy now

As soon as you click on “Add”, a page will open asking you to purchase Acrobat Pro. Purchase the professional version to complete the merging process. You can also check Adobe’s website for a free trial of Acrobat Pro.