How to merge PDF files on a Mac.

A woman in an office merges PDF files using her Mac.

Need to learn how to combine PDF files on a Mac? Learn how to combine multiple PDF files into one convenient document in just a few simple steps.

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, is one of the best document types available that makes viewing and sharing information more accessible. Because of this, it’s in use nearly everywhere — from small businesses and large corporations to schools, hospitals, and even at home. If you ever feel like you have too many documents floating around, simply consolidate your PDFs into one to achieve a more organized virtual space.

Why merge PDF files?

Merging multiple files into one PDF lets you store and review them more easily. Combining PDFs on your Mac also makes them easier to share, helping your coworkers, classmates, or family members view them more efficiently.

If you need to learn how to combine PDF files using your Mac device, you have two options. You can either use the PDF files using your Mac’s built-in Preview app, or you can use Adobe’s online services.

Merge PDFs with Preview on a Mac.

You can merge PDF files on a Mac using the Preview app. Here’s how:

  1. Open PDF in Preview. This is the default viewer for iOS. If yours does not automatically open with this app, right-click on the PDF file, then select Open With > Preview.
  2. Enable Thumbnails sidebar. If no sidebar appears on the left side of your document, then select View > Thumbnails or press Option + Command + 2 to enable it.
  3. Indicate where to insert a secondary PDF file. Within the Thumbnails sidebar, select the page where you want to insert another PDF document.
  4. Insert file to merge. On the toolbar, select Edit > Insert > Page from file. From the dialog box, select your file. The secondary PDF will now merge with the first.
  5. Save the merged document. Select File, then Export as PDF. In the dialog box, rename the new document and press Save.

Depending on the number of PDF documents you want to merge, this may result in quite a large file size. Before you send it, be sure to compress your file to make sure it’s easily shareable with others.

Option 2: Combine PDF files for free online with a Mac.

If you don’t want to install additional software to your Mac, such as Adobe Acrobat, but still need to combine PDF files, you can use the free Adobe Acrobat online tools.

With the PDF merge online tool, you can combine PDF files easily following these simple steps:

  1. Drag and drop the files you want to merge into the drop zone.
  2. Reorder the files if needed.
  3. Click Merge files.
  4. Download the merged PDF.

Can I combine PDF files on a Mac with Adobe Reader?

Yes, you can combine PDF files on a Mac using Adobe Reader. This is one of the most common methods for combining two or more PDF files into a single document. To merge PDF files, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Adobe Reader app on your Mac computer device.
  2. Expand the File menu and hover the mouse pointer over the Create PDF Online button on the dropdown menu.
  3. Upload the files you want to combine and sign in with your Adobe Reader ID.
  4. The files will be combined and saved online by default.
  5. To save the converted file locally to your computer, click Retrieve PDF File.

Learn more here: Merge PDF files using Adobe Reader.

After I combine PDFs on a Mac, can I split them?

Yes, you can split PDF files on your Mac after you have combined them. This process can be helpful if you’re wanting to share more specific information without asking your recipients to go through unnecessary pages.

You can easily split PDF pages on a Mac using the Preview app. While this built-in option won’t have all the Adobe Acrobat options, it is simple to use if you’re only looking for basic functions such as splitting a PDF file.

To split PDF pages on a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open the PDF you wish to split in the Preview app on your Mac.
  2. Open the thumbnail view and select the page or pages you would like to separate.
  3. Drag and drop the pages to your desktop or to another folder.
  4. You can continue to split the PDF by repeating the last two steps.
  5. Now you have new PDFs created from the old one, and you can share or save them as needed.

If you need to edit a PDF file even more, consider using Acrobat online services.

Additional resources to work with PDFs on Mac.

Now that you have learned how to combine PDF files on a Mac, here are additional guides to work with your documents:

Take a moment to explore everything you can do with Adobe Acrobat online services to make organizing and navigating digital files easy.