Combining multiple PDF files on Windows or Mac is easy and free. here’s how

Use these tips to combine PDF files on Mac or Windows devices.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Trying to merge multiple PDFs together? Don’t be stressed out. While working with many different documents can be tricky, there are a few easy ways to combine PDF files, whether you’re building a portfolio or just looking for ways to reduce file clutter.

One of the most popular tools for combining PDFs is Adobe Acrobat, but this software will cost you at least $ 13 per month for a subscription. Fortunately, there are several other ways to combine PDFs for free no matter what type of computer you are using.

Here’s how to combine multiple PDF files for free, whether you’re working on a Windows device or a Mac. (We also have tips for how to easily sign PDFs, and four free apps for better PDF editing.)

How to combine PDFs on Windows

If you are using Windows, you will need a third party application to help you combine PDF files. We tested a few and found a solid option in PDF Merger and Splitter by AnywaySoft. It is available for free from the Microsoft Store.

Here’s how to merge PDFs with this app:

  • Open the app and choose Merge Where To divide. If you just need to merge two documents without changing the order of the pages, choose Merge.
  • Click on Add PDFs, and select the number you want to merge. You have the option to move them up or down, or sort them by name. You can also preview what the merged documents will look like.
  • Once your documents are in order, press Merge, then name and save the new merged PDF.

If you want to customize your merge a bit more, such as changing the order of the pages or adding only certain parts of each PDF, you will need to split them first. To do this, select Divide when the app opens. Choose the individual pages or page ranges that you want to extract. You can save them as a single PDF or as individual PDFs.

Read more: How to download Windows 11 for free

How to combine PDFs on Mac

On Mac, you can combine PDFs with a built-in tool found in Preview, according to Apple support.

Here’s how to combine two PDFs:

  • Open PDF in Overview.
  • Go to View> Thumbnails. You will see page thumbnails in the sidebar.
  • Select the thumbnail of the page where you want to insert the other document.
  • Click on Edit> Insert> Page from File (If the Page from File selection is grayed out so you can’t click it, make sure the file you opened is a PDF. Some encrypted PDF documents cannot be merged, according to Apple. Check permissions PDF file by choosing Tools> Show Inspector, then click the lock icon).
  • Select the PDF you want to add and click Open.
  • To choose File> Export to PDF to save.

And here’s how to combine parts of one PDF with another PDF:

  • Open the PDFs in which you want to combine Overview.
  • In each document, choose View> Thumbnails. You will see page thumbnails in the sidebar.
  • Press and hold the Command key, and then select the page thumbnails that you want to add to the other document. Release the Command key.
  • Drag the selected thumbnails to the sidebar of the other PDF and release where you want them to go. (If you have macOS Sierra or earlier, drag the thumbnails directly into a thumbnail of the other PDF.)

You can also rotate, delete and rearrange pages from the thumbnails section.

Now that you have mastered combining all of your PDFs, be sure to check out the other hidden Mac tips and Windows 10 secret tricks, and how download windows 10, Windows 11 and Free Microsoft Office Apps.

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