From Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) onwards, the Mac OS actually includes the functionality to merge PDF files together.  There are plenty of software packages available to do this at a price, but if you know this trick, then you don't need to buy them!  The Mac has that built right in.

So, for example, if you have two PDFs that you really want to combine together and send as one document, or you even just need to move a page from one PDF file to another, it's actually very simple.  You need to use the Preview App.  You'll find the Preview app located in your Applications folder and it is generally the default app used by the Mac for viewing images and - guess what else - PDF files!

previewThe thing is, it's not just for viewing them.  You can also use it to manipulate them.  In fact, the process varies slightly on the different versions of Mac OS X but for the sake of this post we'll assume that you are using 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

So, let's assume that you have two PDF files, PDF1 and PDF2.  Start by opening PDF1 in Preview.  You should see something like this:

preview_with_thumbsIf for some reason you don't see the thumbnails on the left or right side, you need to go to the View menu and choose Thumbnails.  This is important, since you need to be able to see these in order to merge the documents.  If you want to Merge another PDF into this one in its entirety (all the pages), then you simply drag PDF2 from the Finder and drop it on top of the thumbnail icon for the page that you want the merged PDF to be inserted before.  So, if PDF2 contains 5 pages and you want this entire document to be inserted before page 3 of PDF1, you simply drag and drop PDF2 onto the thumbnail icon for page 3 in PDF1.

Having done that, the entire contents of PDF2 will now be in PDF1.  All you have to do is Save PDF1 and you're done.  If for some reason PDF1 is a locked file and can't be modified, you will be prompted to save a new copy with your modifications.  This is fairly rare though.

So what if you want to just move a few pages from one PDF document to another?  I've had to do this many times.  You will need to open both of the PDF files side by side in Preview.  This will look something like the following:


As you can see, you now have two PDF files open side-by-side and each one has its own thumbnail sidebar.  You can probably guess the next bit.  Just drag the pages you want from one PDF and drop them into the other.  Again, make sure to drop the pages on top of one of the page thumbnails in the other document.  If you do not drop the pages on top of one of the thumbnail icons, Preview will consider it to be two separate documents and will not merge them.  This is the key to merging the documents.

Once again, when you are finished moving the pages, simply save the PDF file that you have modified and you're ready to go!

As I mentioned above, the process can vary slightly on different versions of Mac OS X, so if you are having problems be sure to remember that you can always contact us using our Live Chat Support system. Live, instant, online support.  It doesn't get much better than that!