Imagine you have an important presentation coming up. You have a couple of files you want to use, but they’re spread across your computer.

Luckily, you can merge them using a portable document format (PDF). But you have to know the right steps.

Read on to learn how to merge PDFs on Windows or Mac.

Merge PDFs in Windows

If you have a Windows computer, you can merge files that are in portable document format (PDF). You do have to follow a few complex steps and download some software.

So if you have access to a Mac, you may want to use that. But if you don’t, you can still learn how to combine two PDFs on your Windows computer.

Download a PDF App

Unfortunately, Windows doesn’t have a native app or browser that allows you to merge PDFs. You will need to download a PDF app, like PDFsam, to complete the merger.

If you know how to search on PDF apps, you can find other options. That way, you can find something for free or at an affordable price.

A free option is great to start, but you may want to pay if you know you’ll need to combine PDFs often.

Add the PDFs

After you find a suitable app for merging PDFs, you should add the PDFs in question to that program. You can drag and drop them, or upload them.

Consider the app’s layout and what settings you have. You may want to play around with a test file to make sure you can use the app you download.

Know What Pages You Want

If you haven’t already, you should figure out what pages you want to merge to create a new PDF. You can use a separate app on your computer to view the files.

And if your PDF app lets you view in there, you can do that too. That way, you can figure out if you want to merge an entire file or just certain pages. You can also decide on the order of the pages in the merge.

Merge the PDFs

Now, you’re ready to merge the PDFs. Depending on the app you use, the steps may look a little different.

However, in most cases, you’ll need to select the PDFs and click a button like Run or Merge. Make sure you select the PDFs in order of where they will be in the new document.

That way, you can have the cover page first, for example. If you don’t merge it correctly, you will need to merge the two separate files again.

Merges PDFs on a Mac

The Windows vs. Mac debate will probably continue for years. But if you’re looking for one more reason to get a Mac, consider that it’s much easier to use to merge a portable document format with another.

You don’t need any special app or software, and you don’t need to spend extra money for the merge function. All you need is your Mac and the PDFs you want to combine.

Open Finder

You have a couple of options for how to merge PDFs on Mac. The first option is to open Finder from your doc. You can also click on your desktop and open Finder from the menu on the top of your screen.

Once you open Finder, go to the folder or folders where you have your files that you want to merge. If you don’t remember where they are, you can also use the search feature.

Switch to Gallery View

When you get to the right folder in Finder, select the icon in the middle of the top of your Finder window. Select “as Gallery” to switch it to a gallery view.

The gallery view will let you see the thumbnails of each of your files. Then, you can make sure you know what your files look like and which ones you want to merge.

You can also use the icon view for a similar appearance. However, the gallery makes the icons bigger and easier to see.

Select Your Files

Next, hold down the Command key to select as many files as you want to merge. You can merge two or more. Using the Command key will keep you from unselecting any of the files.

Click on the files in the order that you want them to be in the new PDF. Use the gallery view to make sure you know which should go first.

Create a PDF

After you select two or more files, you should see the option to Create PDF at the bottom of your screen. Click on that button to merge your two PDFs.

That’s an easy, quick option if you already know how to use the Finder window. You can create as many PDFs as you want.

How to Merge in Preview

If you know how to use Preview, you can also merge PDFs in there. You’ll need to open each PDF in Preview and place the windows next to each other.

Then, you can drag and drop one PDF into another. That’s a good option if you want to insert something in the middle of a PDF rather than at the end.

You can also use Preview to edit the page order and delete any pages you don’t want. That way, you can further customize the new PDF.


Whether you use Finder or Preview, you can now export your finished PDF. Send it to someone in an email or move it to a different folder on your computer.

You can also open it in Preview to annotate it or send it to an iPad or iPhone with AirDrop. Consider how you want to use your new portable document format so that you can send it to the right person or app.

How Will You Merge a Portable Document Format?

Portable document format is an excellent format to use to send documents. Most devices can open PDFs, so they’re great for sharing information.

But if you want to combine PDFs, you’ll need to do a few steps. Luckily, you can learn how to combine multiple PDFs, whether you have a PC or Mac.

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