How to combine multiple PDF files into one document – Quick and easy

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Portable Document Format (PDF) files are widely used for sharing and distributing digital documents. They provide a faithful representation of the original document while allowing features like searchability, comments, form-filling, and more.

With the right tools, you can edit, rearrange, combine, and modify PDFs to suit your needs. This guide covers the key techniques for working with PDFs.

Combine Multiple PDFs into One Document

Merging multiple PDF files into a single document is easy and useful. Reasons you may want to do this include:

  • Combining chapters of an ebook
  • Joining related contracts or agreements
  • Collating pages from multiple sources

Here are 3 quick ways to merge PDFs:

1. Use Online PDF Merger Tools

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Online tools like SmallPDF and ILovePDF make merging PDFs simple:

  • Upload the PDF files you want to join
  • Drag and drop to arrange the order
  • Click "Merge" and download the combined file

Most online combiners have a limit of 100 pages per file, 1500 total for the merged document.

2. Use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

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Adobe Acrobat Pro provides unlimited merging capacity:

  • Open Acrobat and select "Combine Files" under the Tools tab
  • Choose your PDFs, drag and drop to arrange an order
  • Hit "Combine" to merge into one PDF

3. Use Mobile Apps

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On iOS, apps like PDF Merger and PDFCreator enable combining PDFs on iPhone/iPad.

For Android, PDF Merge & Split and Easy PDF Combine are reliable options.

The process is similar - select files, reorder, merge. Mobile apps provide portability.

Delete Unwanted Pages

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Reasons you may want to delete pages:

  • Removing redundant or outdated content
  • Deleting confidential/sensitive pages
  • Reducing file size

To delete pages:

  • Open the PDF in Acrobat and select the page(s) in the left Pages panel
  • Click the trash can icon to delete selected pages
  • Save the updated PDF

Alternatively, use online tools like PDF2Go **(service is currently Unavailable at this site comment if it's working) to delete pages.

Reorder Pages

To reorder pages in Acrobat:

  • Open the Pages panel and select a page
  • Drag and drop it where needed to improve the flow
  • Save reordered file

Online tools like SmallPDF also let you rearrange pages by dragging/dropping.

Secure PDFs with Passwords

Add password protection to secure sensitive documents:

  • In Acrobat, select File > Protect Using Password
  • Choose to require a password to open and/or edit
  • Enter and confirm the password
  • Click OK and save the protected PDF

Online services like ILovePDF also offer password protection.

Unlock the Power of PDF Editing

With the right techniques, you can easily combine, rearrange and modify PDFs to suit your needs. So don't think of PDFs as static - take advantage of their flexibility and power!

Compress PDFs for Smaller File Sizes

PDF compression Ratios
visualize compression ratios PDF and Doc

Large PDF files can be difficult to share and take longer to load. Compressing PDFs makes them more manageable.

To compress a PDF:

  • In Acrobat Pro DC, go to File > Save As Other > Reduced Size PDF
  • Adjust the compression settings - higher compression = smaller file, but lower quality
  • Save the compressed PDF

Online compressors like PDFcrowd also offer file size reduction. Upload your PDF, choose the compression level, and download the compressed file.

Lossless Compression vs Lossy Compression

There are two main types of PDF compression:

  • Lossless - Reduces file size without losing image quality. Limited reduction.
  • Lossy - Higher compression ratios but some data/image quality is discarded.

Lossless is preferred for documents with photos or scanned images. Lossy works for files with less important images.

Split Large PDFs into Smaller Files

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Large PDFs can be unwieldy to work with. Splitting into smaller files can help:

  • Break up ebook chapters or sections
  • Separate batches of scanned pages
  • Email attachments - Outlook limits attachments to 20MB

To split a PDF in Acrobat:

  • Go to Organize Pages > Split
  • Select how to split - by page ranges, file size, etc
  • Save split files. Each split PDF can be edited separately.

Alternatively, use online tools like ILovePDF which provide options to split by page ranges or file size.

Perform OCR on Scanned PDFs

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) converts scanned documents into searchable/editable PDFs.

Why Perform OCR?

  • Allows searching for text strings
  • Permits copying/pasting text
  • Enables editing with PDF editors
  • Reduces file size of scanned docs

To OCR a file:

  • In Acrobat, go to Tools > OCR > Recognize Text
  • The document text will be identified and made selectable
  • Save PDF to retain recognition

Online OCR with tools like ABBYY FineReader gives searchable PDFs without Acrobat. Simply upload, OCR, and download.

Take Control of Your PDFs!

As you can see, PDF files provide tremendous flexibility if you know the right techniques. Don't settle for static documents - leverage PDF editing to create, combine and convert files perfectly suited to your needs.

The key is having the proper tools - both robust desktop apps like Adobe Acrobat and handy online utilities. Use the right software for the task and you can manipulate PDFs however you wish!

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