5 Ways to Combine PDF Files on Mac, Free Included

Megan Charles
time September 14, 2022 Preview 13.3K
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Sometimes, we need to combine 2, 3 or more PDF files into one so that we can get all the wanted pages in one file. But how to merge PDF files into one on a Mac? Here’s everything and tool you need to know about PDF combining, from simple merging with Mac built-in apps to digging deep with efficient desktop PDF programs. 

Part 1. Best Desktop App to Combine PDF Files on Mac

If you want to combine PDF files on Mac with ease, you can do so with a desktop PDF combiner app, which unlocks a load of extra features and customisability letting users have advanced PDF tasks done professionally.

The best tool to combine PDF Files on Mac is Cisdem PDFMaster, it is all-in-one PDF tool for Mac users, which facilitates you to edit PDF files, create, convert, sign, split, combine, compress, comment, protect, decrypt, collaborate and organize your PDFs.

How to combine PDF files on Mac with Cisdem PDFMaster?

  1. Download and install PDFMaster. And then you need to launch this powerful PDF merger on your Mac.
    Free Download
  2. Go to PDF Merge.pdfmaster main interface
  3. Drag and drop mutiple PDFs that you want to merge on mac into the program, you can also add, delete or rotate the pages.combine pdf mac01
  4. Click Save button and select output folder, then click Save to combine all the PDF files.combine pdf 02

Part 2. Merge PDFs with Mac Preview and Fixes When Preview Won’t Combine PDFs

Preview is the built-in application of Mac, it enable users to open PDF and image on Mac. Although its features are limited, combining PDF files on Mac is a mere trifle for Preview.

How to merge PDFs with Mac Preview?

  1. At first, you need to open the PDF documents that you want to combine in Preview.combine pdf files on mac with preview 01
  2. Then, you should select each Preview window,  choose View > Thumbnails to display all pages in thumbnail.combine pdf with preview 02
  3. Next, you can choose the thumbnails of the PDF pages that you want to combine with another PDF, then drag the thumbnails to other PDF file.combine pdf with preview 03
  4. Finally, go to File>Save the merged PDF on your Mac.

Preview Won’t Combine PDFs? Fix It!

Preview is undoubtedly an excellent productivity tool on Mac, you can count on this app most of the times. But there may be some times that it has poor performance or becomes completely unusable for users, this is particularly frustrating when Preview won’t combine PDFs.

The reasons why Preview won’t combine PDFs can be many, either technical problems or human errors. Here we will list several solutions for you to fix this.

Fix 1. Restart Preview

  1. Quit Preview app, or click on Apple icon>Force Quit to exit Preview.
  2. Then restart the Preview app and repeat the combining process as we list above.

Fix 2. Drag the thumbnails to the right place

Don’t just drag the thumbnails into the thumbnails sidebar, try to drop them directly on top of another thumbnail.

Fix 3. Try to “Insert” for merging

There is another option to merge PDF files with Preview, the Insert feature allows users to put 2 or more files in the same PDF document.

  1. Open the PDF in Preview.
  2. Go to Edit>Insert>Page from File.preview not combine
  3. Choose the PDF file you want to combine.
  4. Go to File>Save, the PDFs are combined in Preview now.

Part 3. How to Combine 2, 3 or Multiple PDF Files into One on Mac for Free?

Besides Preview, macOS has other built-in apps to help users combine 2, 3 or multiple PDFs into one for free.

Finder

  1. Select all the PDF files that you want to combine
  2. Right click them and choose Quick Actions>Create PDF.combine pdf finder
  3. A combined PDF will be created under the same location of the original PDFs.

Notes: Finder app can only combine PDF files in the same folder, and you cannot reorder the pages when combining.

Automator

  1. Go to Applications, find the Automator app and launch it.
  2. Select Workflow>Choose.combine pdf automator 01
  3. Select Files & Folders >Ask for Finder Items, drag it to the right panel, tick the box before Allow Multiple Selection.combine pdf automator02
  4. Select PDFs>Combine PDF Pages, drag it to the right panel.combine pdf automator 03
  5. Select Files & Folders>Move Finder Items, drag it to the right panel, choose the output location where you want to save the merged PDF.combine pdf automator 04
  6. Click on Run button and load the PDF documents that you want to combine. combine pdf automator 05
  7. Check the merged PDF in output folder. Quit Automator app, then save the workflow to combine your PDFs next time. You just need to open the workflow and load PDFs for auto PDF merging on Mac.combine pdf automator 06

Part 4. Merge PDF Files on Mac Online

Online PDF combiner also can help you to combine PDF files on Mac, and it is totally for free. If you are interested in online free PDF combiner, I recommend Smallpdf most, you can click the hyperlink to visit its website.

How to merge PDF files on Mac online free with Smallpdf?

  1. Go to smallpdf.
  2. Drop the PDFs you want to merge to the online program, or you can select from your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive. You may need to wait since it will take some time to upload your PDFs. merge pdf smallpdf01
  3. Choose to Merge Files or Merge Pages, the second option requires paying for the premium version.merge pdf smallpdf02
  4. Click Add More to upload all the PDF files you want to combine on your Mac, then click on Merge PDF.merge pdf smallpdf03
  5. Wait for the combining, then click Download button to save the merged PDF to your Mac.merge pdf smallpdf04

Notes: the uploading and combining process may be long, wait patiently and the status bar will indicate a successful process.

Part 5. Combine PDF Files into One on Mac Using Adobe Acrobat

For those who have installed Adobe Acrobat on Mac already, they can combine PDF files with Adobe Acrobat directly.

How to combine PDF files on Mac with Adobe Acrobat?

  1. Launch Adobe Acrobat on your Mac.
  2. Go to Tools>Combine Files.combine pdf adobe01
  3. Then “Combine Files” window will pop up, you can click “Add Files” to select the PDFs you want to combine.combine pdf adobe 02
  4. Next, click “Combine” to merge all files into one PDF in Adobe Acrobat.combine pdf adobe03

So, what's your best PDF tool for mac to combine PDFs on mac efficiently?

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Megan Charles
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Megan has an impressive deal of experience with Mac software and has the ability to explain tech stuff in a simplified, straightforward and easy to understand way.

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Comments (2) Leave a Reply

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  • Deb

    Preview is really the great tool to manage your PDF files, which also makes macos so amazing.

    6 years ago Reply

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  • william

    useful small tool, helped me a lot.

    7 years ago Reply

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