PDF is a format used when you need to save files that cannot be modified but can be easily shared and printed. Today, there are various programs available that can read a PDF file. So what happens when you have a collection of images, say, documents sent or scanned into your computer as JPEGs??

There are so many online tools that help you merge PDFs for absolutely no cost. PDFs just like other files may contain metadata that could identify you, and if you choose wrongly, uploads might end up shipped to identity thieves as it is hard to know for sure a well-secured site. Although some of these programs are run by well-appraised companies having strong security protocols. 

But all you want to do is just join some files together, not playing Sherlock for the privacy practices of a virtual stapler. Even the most trustworthy web-based tool can’t help if you are working without an internet connection.

Fortunately, Apple has an inbuilt PDF combiner in the macOS. However Windows doesn’t have something similar, but I would show you some workarounds you can use. 

How to Combine PDF File on Windows 10

Unlike the macOS, you’ll need to work to merge PDFs on Windows machines. There’s no built-in capability like there is on macOS, which means you’ll have to download a separate program and get creative.

To combine a group of images into a PDF file in Windows 10, you must first ensure that your files are listed in File Explorer in the order you want them to appear in the PDF file. Arrange them correctly, this may include renaming them so it is sorted the way you want.

Once your images are in the right order, select them all and right-click on them. Select “Print” from the popup menu.

Or, you could combine a selection of images into one PDF, paste those images into Microsoft Word or any other program that can display images, and offer a Print to PDF option.

A PDF can also be converted into image files with an image editor, it will give the outcome of the point above. This is, far from the choicest option, a low-tech choice that is probably not going to look great. If the document is for personal use, you wouldn’t care. 

Now let’s talk about downloaded programs. With internet access, I highly recommend you download a third-party program, which is an open-source tool. Choose PDFsam for the job. 

After downloading PDFsam,

  • Select PDFsam Basic from the program’s website and choose Windows from the download options (it also works on macOS, Linux, and through a command-line interface), and install. 
  • Once it’s installed, options may include splitting, rotating, merging, PDFs with images.  
  • In merging PDFs end-to-end, click “Merge”, then drag and drop the files into the workspace. You can add and select files that way. 
  • You can drag them up and down the list to rearrange them on the workspace. 

PDFsam Basic can’t be used to mix and match pages, but you can use the Split function to break a multi-page PDF into smaller chunks (down to individual pages if necessary). Use Merge, import all those building blocks, and create a new PDF.

Windows 7 or 8, has the same procedure as in Windows 10, but you have to install a third-party tool to be able to accomplish the same task. We discuss this tool in the third section below.

But if you must use an online free service, at least delete your metadata first to avoid a breach of privacy and identity theft.

How to combine PDFs on macOS

With Apple’s operating system, there are two ways to merge PDFs on Apple’s operating system, one allows for more customization than the other. 

Interestingly, these techniques would allow a combination of any type of image file into a PDF, so you can take a JPEG of a receipt onto the end of a PDF invoice if you want.

To combine two or more files together, end-to-end, 

  • Open Finder and ensure it’s in the gallery view.
  • Next, select your files in the order you want them to appear in the PDF. Use command + click Will to select as it’s almost the best selection method, although other approaches will work too. You can create a new folder for the files you want. 
  • Finally, click Create PDF from the options in the bottom right of the Finder window to save the file.
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