How to combine multiple PDF documents into one using Preview on macOS


Quite often, when preparing a report, presentation or other document that includes a number of separate fragments, it becomes necessary to combine various files – texts, tables, PDF documents, etc. This can be done both using special programs and standard macOS tools.

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Did you have to combine several text documents into one for work or for your favorite hobby? For example, compose manuals for the internal use of the company or collect information from various sources that can be useful to you in what you love?

Many users simply manually copy texts from several sources and paste them into one separate document. However, this method has at least two disadvantages. Firstly, it does not provide an opportunity to properly format the resulting document, and secondly, it takes too much time. To combine several parts of PDF files or several PDF documents into one, it is better to use a standard program “View” on macOS.

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How to combine multiple PDFs into one document

You can combine multiple files into one PDF document using one window in the program “View”

Open one of the files in View… To do this, click on the document, and it will automatically open in the application window. If this did not happen, open “View” in the Applications folder on your Mac, click on the tab “File” and from the menu select “Open”

How to combine multiple PDFs into one How to combine multiple PDFs into one

With the original PDF document open, click on “View”“Miniatures” (keyboard shortcut ⌘ + ⌥ + 2)), and thumbnails of each page appear in the sidebar on the left. Thus, we get a “tiled” interface with the ability to swap fragments by simply dragging and dropping them. It is now possible to drag and drop any third-party PDF file in the base document. All nested and exported fragments can be deleted and moved in any way.

How to combine multiple PDFs into one

Scroll through them until you find the place where you want to insert the next document and select the corresponding thumbnail.

Go to “File”“Edit”“Insert”“Page from file”

How to combine multiple PDFs into one

In the dialog box, select the second PDF document you want to insert and click on “Open”… The second document will be inserted in the first one at the location you specified. If you need to insert multiple pages, follow the steps above for each one.

How to combine multiple PDFs into one

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How to add individual pages to a PDF document

Using the program “View” you can also add part of another to one PDF document (for example, a chapter from a book or one page).

Open both documents in two separate program windows “View”… Make sure the thumbnails of both documents are clearly visible. If the thumbnails are not displayed, repeat the steps in the previous section.

In the second document, select the pages you want to insert in the first. You can select each individual page using the key Command (⌘)… If you need to add several pages, click on the thumbnail of the first page, scroll down to the last required page, hold down Shift (⇧), and then click on the thumbnail of the last page. Drag the selected page or pages of the second document to the sidebar with the thumbnails of the first document (where you specifically want to insert the selected pages).

How to combine multiple PDFs into one

How to combine multiple PDFs into one

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Additional editing

If the pages are not in the place where you wanted to insert them, just click on them and drag them to the desired location on the sidebar.

If you inserted an extra page by mistake and want to delete it, select the corresponding thumbnail, click on “Edit”“Delete”

Other options are also available in the menu, such as page rotation and flagging.

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Don’t click on “Save”

When you are done merging the document, do not click on “Save”… If you decide to save the document, then it will be saved in the already edited form and you will not be able to return it to the original one. If there is no backup copy of the original, it is not recommended to keep the edited version. Open up “File” and select “Export to PDF”… In this case, you will have both the new and the original versions of the document. A window will open where you can rename the document and select the location where you want to save it. Press “Save”, and the edited copy is saved in the location you specified.

How to combine multiple PDFs into one

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