Learn to Merge PDFs Like a Pro

PDF documents are ubiquitous. They are easy to share, and all popular operating systems recognize them. At the same time, the format has a few imperfections. For example, combining files without third-party services is impossible. Follow our tips to merge hundreds of documents in a flash.

Owners of Mac computers can use a native tool for basic merger — the Preview program. Windows offers no such features at all. However, you can merge PDF files using the CoolUtils offline software quickly and easily. If you are interested in editing PDF files, you can edit your pdf on Smallpdf.com


Do Not Convert Online

Countless websites offer free online merging of PDF documents. All you need to do is upload the files and decide whether to download the output or email it. Most of these services accept files of a specific size, and their number is also limited. Customization is non-existent aside from page rearrangement. However, users who just want to join a couple of files for free find them convenient enough. 

Usually, you just upload your files online, rearrange them if possible and click on the “Merge” button. This is a straightforward process, but it is only suitable for personal needs. You would not use them for working with sensitive information or converting voluminous data. Website creators may promise to delete your files after the merger, but this is never guaranteed. As data theft is so rampant, the web-based interface is too risky. 

All in all, these tools are sufficient for primitive tasks. You can have your files linked for free, but do not expect much from the online interface. When quality and security are paramount, you need powerful tools that work on your PC. While Macs have a simple in-built feature, users of Windows have no native functionality at all. The range of professional converters is impressive, and the prices vary a lot. 

Offline Software: Is It Worth the Money?

Desktop software for file merging is usually multifaceted. Aside from joining the pages together, you may change their layout, add details like copyright information, set a password, etc. These tools are indispensable for office needs. Even hundreds of documents are combined in seconds, without online uploads. 

Most of the programs come with a trial period, so you can merge files for free. This is a great opportunity to see how the combiners work in practice. If you do not want to pay a recurring fee, you may opt for a product with a lifetime license. There are also options for commercial use. 

Different software developers offer different functionality and licensing options. Here are some of the things you can do with one powerful utility.

1.Smooth Navigation

Top systems come with incredibly flexible customization. You will be surprised by how many changes you can make with a few clicks! Merge dozens or hundreds of documents to get a combined PDF that is just as easy to navigate. Here are some of the options:

  • Create headers and footers with any suitable information (page numbers, dates, company name, etc.)
  • Insert bookmarks from a separate file, create them manually or automatically
  • Generate a table of contents with clickable items.

2.Add Different Data

Advanced versions of offline utilities can process more than one type of file. You may intersperse PDF documents with images, spreadsheets, and more. For instance, did you know that you can:

  • attach audio files and
  • add (JPEG images, XLS tables, etc.)?

3.Strong Security

During the merger, you may also make sure your file will be protected from prying eyes. Here, you have several options, from setting up a password to managing user permissions. As you may add any headers or footers, it is also easy to add copyright details to the document. Finally, you may insert a digital signature. 

4.Archiving and e-Discovery

Corporate users often merge PDFs to prepare them for archiving or collect evidence for eDiscovery purposes. With a superior offline tool, you may include Bates numbering or Bates stamping, which involves identifying images with copyrights. They may be marked in a number of ways — with a company name, logo, and/or legal copyright. 

More Options

These are the features of the most powerful tools. The wider the functionality — the better the value for money. If you are looking for an inexpensive solution, consider a tool with a lifetime license. Every new operation will be cheaper, without recurring payments. This is the optimal choice for anyone who merges PDF files regularly. 

How to Merge Files

With desktop software, the logic of merger is similar to online services. There are just three steps to take — locate the files, set up the preferences, and launch the process. This is as easy as 1-2-3. All the adjustable parameters are fine-tuned in the wizard, which guides you through the steps. Even beginners can master the process quickly. 

  1. To begin, select the files on your machine (these could be PDFs, images, and spreadsheets depending on the program and your needs). 
  2. Next, set your desired parameters in the settings wizard (for example, you may add a footer with page counters, a date, company name, etc.). 
  3. After you click on the “Start” button, the system will join the files together seamlessly. This takes seconds, and the system lets you know when the process is complete. 

One of the biggest benefits is that there are no limits on the size or number of the source files. If you rely on software from well-known developers, you have peace of mind. A high-quality merger interface with rich functionality is invaluable for creators of brochures, ebooks, reports, and other professional documents. Overall, it is worth every cent.

To Conclude

Online combiners may be free, but their value is very narrow and unsuitable for corporate needs. For anything more challenging than joining two files together, consider a desktop-based tool. Create a table of contents, insert bookmarks, protect the document from unauthorized access, prepare it for archiving, and more. With a lifetime license, file merging will be unlimited.