How To Combine Multiple PDF's Into One (Using Adobe Acrobat)
STEP 1 - Install the full version of Adobe Acrobat.
Most computers have Adobe Reader or Acrobat Reader, but Acrobat was created specifically for editing and managing PDFs. As of 2015, the only Adobe product that can merge PDFs is the paid program Adobe Acrobat DC. However, many computers come with the program pre-installed. If not, you'll need to buy it or move on to the online method at the very bottom.
- If you are not sure if you already have Acrobat DC, right-click (PC) or Ctrl-click (Mac) on the one of your PDF's and hover over "Open With." All PDF compatible programs will appear.
- While Adobe now charges for Acrobat, you can download a 30-day trial that will let you merge PDFs immediately if you are in a pinch.
STEP 2 - Click the "Create PDF" button on the main toolbar.
If you don't have "Create PDF" on your toolbar, go to "View" → "Tools" → "Create PDF." This is for newer versions of the program.
- If you do not have these options, try navigating to "View" → "Task Buttons" → "Show All Task Buttons."
STEP 3 - Select Merge Files into a Single PDF. From the "Create" menu, choose the "Merge Files..." option. It may also be labeled as "Combine Files" This will allow you to pull multiple files from your computer and merge them into one PDF.
- If you've got the unpaid version of Acrobat, you must click on "Tools" under "Create PDF." You'll see "Combine Files" in the following menu, and clicking on it will bring you to a page offering for you to buy the appropriate software.
STEP 4 - Use "Browse" to find and select the PDFs you want to merge. Locate the files on your computer. Once you click OK on a file, it will flow into the white box on the right. This is your organizing section for the entire merged documument.
STEP 5 - Order your files. Once you've pulled all the files you want to merge, use the "Remove," "Move Up," and "Move Down" buttons on the left to organize them in the correct order.
- Uncheck "Include all open PDF files" if you don't want Adobe to include a PDF file you might have open in the background.
STEP 6 - Click OK. Your PDFs will be organized in one file. Be sure to click "Save As..." under File and name your new PDF file.
How To Combine Multiple PDF's Into One (Online Method)
STEP 1 - Use a free PDF merging program if you need to combine lots of PDFs, or need to work offline. These programs are simple to use, acting almost exactly like their online counterparts. The good news is that they are generally free. However, like all programs downloaded from the internet, they carry some risk when downloading. Only use sites you trust. They should be free from excessive pop-ups and never ask for personal information, including your email.
STEP 2 - Search for and Download a PDF merging program. There are several good options available. Some tested, reputable programs include:
- Nitro PDF (software download)
- PDF Shuffler (Linux users)
- PDFill PDF Tool
STEP 3 - Open your chosen program and select "Merge PDF." It may be labeled as "Join" or "Merge Files," but either way it will be easy to find. Click on "Merge PDF" and find your files that need to be combined using the pop-up browser.
STEP 4 - Browse to the folder with the PDF documents. Open one of them to bring PDF files in the list.
STEP 5 - Deselect the PDF documents that are to be excluded from the final merged copy. There is no limitation on the size and number of files.
STEP 6 - Give the file a name and select the folder to save it. You might click on a "merge" button," or a "save." Again, it is straightforward. Choose a location and name for your merged PDF and you can call it a day.