Initially created by Adobe in 1993, the Portable Document Format is an incredibly flexible and reliable file format that is used to this very day by experts in pretty much any industry you can think of. This is because PDFs are essentially static images that can be easily viewed on any device either with the help of apps or through a regular web browser.
However, this incredible cross-compatibility comes at a cost – unlike your regular DOCX or Google Docs format, PDFs tend to take up more space since they often include lots of images. They are also much harder to edit, especially when all you have to work with is a scanned digital copy of a physical document. So, how do you reduce the size of your PDFs and conveniently edit them all at the same time? The solution is to use a PDF combiner.
So, what is a PDF combiner?
Imagine that you need to submit a detailed report to your superior about the current state of the U.S. electric car market, but your research, while finalized, is still a largely disorganized mess of scanned documents, DOCX files, spreadsheets, and individual images. The real kicker? You work from home and need to be ready by the end of the day. What do you do?
You’ll use a PDF merging tool, of course! Essentially, what such tools allow you to do is to bring a variety of file formats together in a single well-ordered and fully searchable file that you can then open on any operating system under the sun. And the best part? Such software doesn’t degrade the original image quality or apply any changes to the content’s formatting – once the files are combined, everything will look the exact same way as before.
Now, you can confidently send that report over to your superior as a single email attachment, knowing full well you did a stellar job.
4 reasons you should learn how to combine PDF files
Now that we know how to merge PDFs, it’s time to answer the next question – why bother with this in the first place? While we’ve already touched on some of the benefits of bringing multiple files together, we can’t stress enough just how helpful such a tool can be in your arsenal. For example, by using a PDF combiner, you:
- Free up space on your device. In this day and age, every bit of storage counts and so it makes zero sense to keep twenty-something individual files that belong together, especially if you have to quickly email them to someone else. As an added bonus, by sending just a single PDF file containing all of the information, you won’t exceed any file size limits and won’t have to bombard your recipient with separate emails containing multiple attachments, all of which could quickly lead to problems.
- Care for the environment. It’s a no-brainer – having one fully searchable digital copy of your report is much more convenient than printing dozens of physical documents, rearranging them as needed, and scanning them back into your device. Not only is the whole process way less tedious and time-consuming, but you also make the world a better place – just think of all the paper you won’t be using!
- Make collaboration simple. If you are working on a large-scale international project involving people from different departments, things can quickly get out of hand once you start exchanging reports, contracts, and other paperwork in different file formats, some of which may even have to be signed by multiple parties. This is where having a PDF combiner comes especially in handy since you can grab all of these scattered and seemingly unrelated files, merge them into several cohesive reports, and send them to all stakeholders for final review and signing.
- Fiddle less with passwords. Imagine having to manually add encryption to a dozen documents only to accidentally leave one out and possibly risk leaking highly confidential client information. Now imagine having to do that just once – simply combine all documents into a single password-protected file and you are all set!
How to combine PDFs in Windows
While macOS comes with preinstalled tools to help you merge PDF files, such as the Finder and Preview apps, Windows users are left with no other option but to search for third-party solutions. And while a quick Google search will no doubt reveal many free tools, you could end up sharing your data with a potentially malicious site that could then sell it for profit.
Luckily, you don’t have to necessarily buy a Mac as there are many affordable PDF combiner options available, such as PDF Extra. Here is how you can quickly start combining files on Windows 10 and 11 straight away:
1.Download and install the app.
2.Open the app. Once you’re in, click on the “Combine” icon at the top of the home page. In case you decide to access the feature while you are already working on a document, it will be automatically added to the combiner window.
3.Add as many files as you need. You can merge both PDFs and images by clicking on “Add File” or by simply dragging and dropping them directly within the combiner interface. You can even add encrypted files to the mix – as long as you’ve memorized their passwords.
4.Arrange the content exactly how you want. Before you get to combine any files, you will be able to rearrange the order of each file and image on the PDF combiner window via simple drag & drop controls.
5.Make sure you’re merging the right files. You can inspect each individual item in the queue and rearrange or even delete some of its pages until you are satisfied with the result. And in case you have inspected one document too many, you can always collapse the unnecessary pages from view.
6.Hit “Combine”. Your brand-new file will be ready in a few moments!
File management shouldn’t be difficult, and with a capable PDF combiner by your side, it really isn’t. Armed with this tool, you can easily power through multiple folders of disorganized paperwork and come out with neat searchable files that you can be truly proud of. It will also save your business lots of billable hours and improve its efficiency as employees would no longer have to waste precious minutes searching for the right files.
By learning how to combine multiple PDFs into one, you can also secure multiple files all at once and also free up precious space, saving you the hassle of upgrading your physical or cloud storage. And if you ever need to send some of these files over to your clients or key stakeholders, you can confidently do so knowing full well that they will look great on just about any device. So, give your printer a breather and install a file merging tool instead – you can thank us later!
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