Free method to combine PDFs?
July 15, 2013 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Is there a free / easy method to combine multiple PDFs into one long PDF?

I need to concatenate multiple ~15 page PDFs (mostly text, but also with some large color graphics) into one ~100 page PDF document. There are no exotic PDF features, such as links or forms. I don't have easy access to Acrobat Pro - but do have access to just about every OS (windows, linux, mac). I would strongly prefer a free solution.
posted by kickingtheground to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you use a mac, Preview can do this. There's a weird little "drag the right thing into the right space in exactly the right sequence" dance you have to do, but it works.
posted by Sara C. at 2:47 PM on July 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: If you have access to a Mac and it has Preview on it, you can drag all the PDFs into the Thumbnail column of one PDF doc which is open in Preview, and then Print to PDF. I just did this very thing about 5 minutes ago!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 2:47 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

On Linux or Mac, ImageMagick is great - then, just do

convert file1.pdf file2.pdf output.pdf

Has a bunch of other handy options, too, if you need to resize or rotate individual pages.
posted by jenh at 2:48 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

This says it's free for files up to 15 MB (haven't tried it, can't vouch for it).
posted by AwkwardPause at 2:48 PM on July 15, 2013

Try, assuming that you're not doing anything top-secret.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:49 PM on July 15, 2013

This can be done with Automator in OS X as well.

If you're likely to need more involved rearrangements of PDFs, look into pdftk.
posted by hoyland at 2:49 PM on July 15, 2013

Best answer: This how-to guide from Apple shows you the specific steps for doing this in the Preview app.
posted by whitecedar at 2:50 PM on July 15, 2013

For windows, if you use PDF Creator (free) and simply print each document to pdf creator and use the "wait" button to aggregate all into one, it should work although I do not know if there is a maximum size limit, but I combine multiple pdf docs all the time with it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:54 PM on July 15, 2013

I've successfully used the PDF Merge service AwkwardPause links to.
posted by BlooPen at 3:10 PM on July 15, 2013

If you need to do this on PC, I have used Adolix Split & Merge PDF.
posted by radioamy at 3:26 PM on July 15, 2013

Pdftk is pretty easy and cross platform. No link because I am on phone, but there are tutorials and such all over the place.
posted by HermitDog at 5:35 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I do this all the time with PDF Split and Merge.
posted by harkin banks at 10:42 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I see that you already solve your issue, but for future reference, I do this in Windows with PDFTK. It is free and it couldn't get much easier than just selecting the files you want to merge and clicking the save button.

Here's a link to the portable version that can run from a USB Drive
posted by fjom at 8:21 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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