5 Ways to Combine PDF Files: Online and on Your Desktop

By Author thumbnail image Emily Shaw | on

Merging PDF files efficiently is a common need. Whether you're compiling reports, building project portfolios, or consolidating various documents, effective methods to combine PDFs are crucial. This guide covers various ways to merge PDF files, accommodating both online and desktop options. You'll find step-by-step instructions for online merging using DocFly, straightforward options for combining files on Windows, and Mac-specific methods using Finder and Preview. This guide empowers you to unlock the versatility of merging PDFs, enhancing your document management capabilities.

How to Combine PDF Files Online with DocFly

Combining PDF documents online has never been simpler, thanks to the user-friendly features of DocFly, an online PDF merger. Here's a straightforward guide.


Step 1: Open DocFly in Your Web Browser

Start by opening your preferred web browser and navigating to DocFly's merge tool.

Step 1 Open DocFly


Step 2: Upload Your PDF Files

Once on the DocFly website, click the "Click to upload PDFs" button. This will prompt you to select the PDF files you want to merge. You can also drag and drop files directly into the designated area.

Step 3: Arrange and Merge

One notable advantage of using DocFly is its visual interface. After uploading your files, you can see thumbnails of each PDF, making it easy to arrange them in the desired order. Simply drag and drop the thumbnails to organize the files as needed. Once satisfied with the order, click the "Merge" button.

Step 3 Arrange Merge


Step 4: Download or Export

Finally, download your merged PDF to your computer or export it to a cloud storage service such as Google Drive.

Step 4 Download Export


DocFly offers not only a seamless merging experience but also serves as a versatile PDF editor and free online tool. This means you can go beyond just combining files and make necessary edits to your PDFs directly on the platform. For example, DocFly allows you to easily split PDF and convert PDF in addition to merging PDFs. The intuitive interface and visual representation of your files make DocFly an ideal choice for efficient PDF file format management.


Using Windows to Merge PDF Files

Microsoft Windows users have several options for merging PDF files, and many of these tools are available for free. Here are a couple of methods using commonly known tools:


Using PDF24 Creator

  • Download and install PDF24 Creator.
  • Open the PDF24 Toolbox.
  • Select “Merge PDF”

PDF24 Toolbox

  • Add the PDF files you want to merge.

PDF24 Merge

  • Arrange the files in the desired order.
  • Click "Merge" to merge the PDFs.


PDF24 Creator provides a straightforward interface, making it accessible even for users with minimal technical expertise.


Using PDFSam Basic

  • Download and install PDFSam Basic.
  • Open the application and navigate to the "Merge" tool.

PDFSam Merge

  • Drag and drop PDF files into the indicated area.
  • Arrange the files in the desired order if needed.
  • Click "Run" to initiate the merging process.

PDFSam is a reliable choice for merging PDF files, providing a straightforward interface and efficient merging capabilities, and its PDF combiner tool is no exception.


These tools offer user-friendly interfaces, ensuring a smooth experience for those using Windows as their operating system.


Using Mac to Merge PDF Files

If you are on a Mac, you have built-in tools that make merging PDF files a breeze. Here are two methods using Finder and Preview.


Finder Method

  • Open Finder and navigate to the folder containing your PDF files.
  • Select all the PDF files you want to merge.
  • Double-finger click on the selected files and choose "Quick Actions" > "Create PDF."
  • This method uses the built-in macOS Quick Actions to swiftly merge your selected PDF files into a single document.

Finder Merge Mac


Preview Method

  • Open one of the PDF files in Preview.
  • Go to "View" > "Thumbnails" to display the thumbnails of the PDF pages.
  • Open the second PDF file in Preview.
  • Drag the thumbnails from the second PDF to the thumbnails of the first PDF.
  • Rearrange the PDF pages if needed.
  • Go to "File" > "Export as PDF" to save the merged document.

Preview Merge Thumbnails

Preview provides a visual and intuitive approach to merging PDF files, allowing you to see the pages as you arrange them.


Both methods leverage the native capabilities of macOS, ensuring a seamless merging experience for Mac users.


Benefits of Combining PDF Files

Merging PDF files offers several advantages that enhance document management and streamline workflows. Here are key benefits of merging PDF files.


Organization and Accessibility

Merge related documents into a single PDF, creating a cohesive and organized file. This simplifies storage and ensures that all relevant information is easily accessible in one document.

Reduced Clutter

Combine multiple PDFs to reduce file clutter. Instead of handling numerous individual pages, a consolidated PDF streamlines your digital workspace.

Efficient Sharing

Share a comprehensive document instead of sending multiple files. This simplifies collaboration, especially when sharing project reports, presentations, or legal documents.

Enhanced Presentation

Merge PDFs to create seamless presentations. This is particularly useful when compiling reports, portfolios, or any document that requires a unified presentation.

Preservation of Hyperlinks and Bookmarks

Merging PDF files with the right tools preserves hyperlinks and bookmarks. This ensures that interactive elements in your documents remain functional.

Document Versioning

Combine versions of a document to maintain a clear version history. This is valuable for tracking changes and updates over time.

Visual Cohesion

Some merging tools, like DocFly, provide a visual interface that allows you to see thumbnails of PDF files before merging. This ensures visual cohesion in the final document.


In conclusion, the benefits of combining PDF files extend beyond mere consolidation. It is a strategic approach to document management that brings efficiency, organization, and clarity to your digital documents. Whether you are a professional managing business reports or an individual handling personal files, mastering the art of merging PDFs can significantly improve your workflow.

Author image

Emily Shaw is the founder of DocFly. As a software developer, she built the service from scratch and is responsible for its operations and continued growth. Previously, she studied engineering at the University of Hong Kong and mathematics at the University of Manchester.