Combining PDF files is a common task that many people need to do in their daily work. Whether you need to merge several documents into a single file or combine parts of different PDFs, this process can be time-consuming and frustrating without the right tools. Fortunately, there are many free PDF merger tools available online and offline that can help you merge PDF files with ease. In this article, we will explore the best ways to combine PDF files for free, including online tools, software, and mobile apps.
How to Use Online PDF Merger Tools for Free: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you don’t want to download any software or app, you can use an online PDF merger tool to combine PDF files for free. These tools are easy to use and don’t require any technical skills. Here’s how to merge PDF files online using a free tool:
1. Choose a reliable online PDF merger tool, such as PDFJoin, SmallPDF, or ILovePDF.
2. Click on the “Upload Files” button and select the PDF files you want to merge.
3. Rearrange the files in the desired order by dragging and dropping them.
4. Choose the output format and click on the “Merge” or “Combine” button.
5. Wait for the tool to merge the files, and then click on the “Download” button to save the merged PDF.
The Best Online PDF Merger Tools
There are many online PDF merger tools available, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the best online PDF merger tools you can try:
1. PDFJoin: This is a simple and fast online tool that allows you to merge PDF files without any limitations. You can drag and drop files to rearrange them, and there’s no need to create an account.
2. SmallPDF: This is a versatile online tool that not only merges PDF files but also converts, compresses, and edits them. You can upload files from your computer, Dropbox, or Google Drive, and there’s no watermark added to the merged PDF.
3. ILovePDF: This is a feature-rich online tool that lets you merge, split, convert, and compress PDF files. You can choose from different output options, such as optimizing for web, print, or mobile, and the tool supports batch processing.
Merge PDF Files for Free: Best Software and Apps to Use
If you need more advanced features or want to merge PDF files offline, you can use free PDF merger software or apps. These tools are more powerful than online tools and allow you to customize the merged PDF, such as adding bookmarks, headers, footers, or watermarks. Here are some of the best free PDF merger software and apps you can use:
The Best PDF Merger Software and Apps
1. PDFsam Basic: This is a popular open-source PDF merger software that allows you to merge, split, rotate, and extract pages from PDF files. You can also mix and match pages from different PDFs, and there’s no limit to the number of files you can merge.
2. PDF Shaper Free: This is a powerful PDF toolkit that includes a PDF merger tool, as well as tools for splitting, rotating, encrypting, and converting PDF files. You can merge different PDFs into a single file or create a new PDF from selected pages.
3. Adobe Acrobat Reader: This is a well-known PDF reader that also includes a free PDF merger tool. You can combine different PDFs into a single file, as well as edit, sign, and share PDF files. However, some advanced features require a paid subscription.
Combine PDFs with Google Drive: A Quick and Easy Method
Google Drive is a cloud storage service that also allows you to merge PDF files for free. This method is ideal if you already use Google Drive for storing, sharing, or collaborating on documents. Here’s how to merge PDF files using Google Drive:
1. Upload the PDF files you want to merge to your Google Drive account.
2. Right-click on each file and select “Open with” > “Google Docs”.
3. Once the files are open as Google Docs, click on “File” > “Download” > “PDF Document”.
4. Repeat the process for all the files you want to merge.
5. Upload the downloaded PDF files to a new folder in your Google Drive.
6. Open the folder and select all the files.
7. Right-click and select “Make a copy”.
8. Rename the copy and open it.
9. Click on “File” > “Download” > “PDF Document” to download the merged PDF file.
The Advantages and Limitations of Using Google Drive as a PDF Merger Tool
Using Google Drive as a PDF merger tool has some advantages and limitations. On the one hand, it’s free, easy to use, and doesn’t require any software or app installation. Moreover, you can collaborate on the merged PDF file with other users and access it from anywhere. On the other hand, this method can be time-consuming, especially if you have many PDF files to merge. Also, some formatting or layout issues may occur when converting PDFs to Google Docs.
How to Merge Multiple PDFs into One PDF Document on Mac and Windows
If you use a Mac or Windows computer, you can merge PDF files using the built-in apps, such as Preview or Acrobat Reader. Here’s how to merge PDF files on Mac and Windows:
On Mac using Preview
1. Open Preview and click on “File” > “Open”.
2. Select the first PDF file you want to merge, and then click on “Open”.
3. Click on “View” > “Thumbnails” to show the page thumbnails.
4. Drag and drop the thumbnails of the second PDF file into the sidebar of the first PDF file.
5. Repeat the process for all the PDF files you want to merge.
6. Click on “File” > “Export as PDF” to save the merged PDF file.
On Windows using Acrobat Reader
1. Open Acrobat Reader and click on “Tools” > “Combine Files”.
2. Click on “Add Files” and select the PDF files you want to merge.
3. Rearrange the files in the desired order by dragging and dropping them.
4. Click on “Combine Files” to merge the PDF files.
5. Click on “File” > “Save As” to save the merged PDF file.
Comparing Preview and Acrobat Reader as PDF Merger Tools
Both Preview and Acrobat Reader are free, built-in PDF merger tools that allow you to merge PDF files on Mac and Windows respectively. However, each tool has some differences in terms of features and usability. For instance, Preview is more user-friendly and allows you to drag and drop page thumbnails, whereas Acrobat Reader includes more options for customizing the merged PDF, such as adding bookmarks, headers, or footers.
Free Tools to Merge PDF Files: Which One Is Right for You?
With so many free PDF merger tools available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. Here are some tips on how to choose the best PDF merger tool for you:
– Consider the type and size of the PDF files you want to merge. Some tools have limitations or requirements for file types and sizes.
– Look for tools that offer the features you need, such as combining, splitting, editing, or converting PDFs.
– Consider the level of technical skills required to use the tool. Some tools are more user-friendly and intuitive than others.
– Check the reviews and ratings of the tool from other users and experts.
– Test the tool before committing to it. Most tools offer a free trial or demo version that you can use to see if it meets your expectations.
Merge PDF Files on the Go: Best Mobile Apps for iOS and Android
If you need to merge PDF files on the go, you can use a mobile app on your iOS or Android device. These apps allow you to merge PDF files directly from your smartphone or tablet, without the need for a computer or internet connection. Here are some of the best mobile apps for merging PDF files:
The Best Mobile Apps for Merging PDF Files
1. PDF Merge – PDF Merger & Joiner: This is a simple and fast app that allows you to merge multiple PDF files into a single file. You can also reorder pages, add a password, and share the merged PDF via email, cloud storage, or social media.
2. Adobe Acrobat Reader – PDF Viewer, Editor & Creator: This is the mobile version of the popular PDF reader and editor that also includes a PDF merger tool. You can combine PDF files, as well as edit, sign, and share PDF files on the go.
3. PDFsam Basic – PDF Split and Merge: This is the mobile version of the popular PDF merger software that comes with a simple and intuitive interface. You can merge PDF files from your device, Dropbox, or Google Drive, and customize the output format.
The Advantages and Limitations of Using Mobile Apps for PDF Merging
Using a mobile app for merging PDF files has some advantages and limitations. On the one hand, it’s convenient, fast, and allows you to merge PDF files on the go. Moreover, you don’t need a computer or internet connection, and the app is usually free or affordable. On the other hand, mobile apps may have limitations in terms of features, compatibility, or file size. Also, the small screen of a smartphone or tablet may make it difficult to edit or customize the merged PDF.
Tips and Tricks for Merging PDFs: Save Time and Effort with These Techniques
Now that you know how to merge PDF files using different tools and methods, you can optimize your workflow by using some tips and tricks. Here are some useful techniques for merging PDFs:
– Use batch processing to merge multiple PDFs at once, instead of merging them one by one.
– Use shortcuts or hotkeys to speed up the merging process, such as Ctrl+V to paste the files or Shift+Ctrl+O to open the PDF merger tool.
– Rename the PDF files in a consistent and descriptive way, such as “Report_January2021_Page1”, to avoid confusion or errors.
– Use online storage or backup services, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, to store and share the merged PDF files with others.
– Check the merged PDF file for formatting or layout issues, such as missing pages or margins, before sending it to others.
Merging PDF files for free is now easier than ever, thanks to the variety of online tools, software, and mobile apps available. In this article, we have covered the best ways to merge PDF files, including step-by-step instructions, reviews, and tips. Whether you prefer to use an online tool, software, or mobile app, you can find a solution that fits your needs and preferences. With the right PDF merger tool, you can save time and effort and produce high-quality PDF files that meet your goals and expectations. Don’t hesitate to try different tools and techniques and share your feedback and questions in the comments.