The PDF (Portable Document Format) format is ideal for sending documents and offers many advantages: for example, it is compatible with all platforms, and the files always have the same layout and structure, thanks to the incorporation of fonts and graphics. Users have numerous free programs to open PDF files..
In some cases, it may be convenient to edit these handy documents before sending them. One of the most common things to do is combine PDF files . In this article, we tell you the situations in which it should be done and what free tools you have at your disposal.
If you send several individual PDF files, it can be a bit annoying and confusing for the recipient , because they will have to download, open and read each document separately. The same is true if you scan multiple single pages that actually belong to the same document..
In both cases, it is more practical to join the PDFs. The standard reader program, Adobe Acrobat Reader, does not have this function in its free version. However, there are many other providers that offer free online tools with the option to combine PDF. Keep in mind that if you consolidate multiple documents, the final file can be very large. In our article on compressing PDF, we introduce you to some practical tools with which you can easily reduce file sizes.
In other cases, what we need is to split a PDF into multiple documents . Also for this there are several free tools and programs. We explain what they are and how they work in our article on splitting PDF..
Online applications are especially useful when we need to join PDFs quickly, as they allow to combine several PDF files into a single document without the need to download any programs . The PDF24 Tools web package is perfect for this: as long as you have an Internet connection, it allows you to combine PDF files directly in the browser in just a few steps.
Open the PDF24 Tools home page, where you will see a number of functions. The first one is? Join PDF ?, where you must click to open it.
Second, upload the PDF documents you want to combine. To do this, you can drag and drop them into the window or indicate the corresponding local path . You can also import PDF files directly from Google Drive or Dropbox by clicking on the icons in the lower right corner of the upload window:
To change the order of the uploaded documents, click on each PDF file and drag it to the position you want. When you're done, you can export the new file. To do this, click the button? Join files ?.
If you only want to include some of the pages of the documents you have uploaded in the new PDF, check the box for? Advanced mode ? to edit them:
In advanced mode, PDF24 Tools displays each of the pages that make up the files. You just have to select the ones you want to include in the new PDF. To go faster, you may want to press the plus icon, which is used to select all the pages:
The selected pages can be distinguished at a glance, because they have brown border:
In the last section of the advanced mode, PDF24 Tools shows all the pages that you have selected to combine in the PDF. Before exporting the file, you also have the option to reorder the pages . To do this, click on the page you want and drag it to the new position. When you're done, click the button? Join files ? to start the export.
The new PDF is already created. To save the document on your computer, click? Download ?:
If you prefer, you can also choose other export options , such as sending the file by fax or email and saving it to Dropbox or Google Drive. The program also allows you to edit or reduce the size of the document, configure password protection or divide the file into several different PDFs in the last step. To display the menu with all these additional options, click on the icon with the three dots:
There are several free alternatives to PDF24 Tools , with few differences. In the following table, we summarize the advantages and disadvantages of some of them:
Numerous functions; automatically delete files after one hour; almost no advertising
The most complete program without advertising; automatically delete files after one hour
Free trial version limited to 14 days
Especially fast to join PDF
Advertising; does not offer editing options
With the appropriate freeware, it is also possible to join PDF without internet connection. Above all, it will be useful to install a useful program if you usually edit PDF files regularly and want to maintain maximum control over your data. In the following step-by-step tutorial, we show you how to combine multiple PDF files with the PDF24 Creator for Windows application.
Download and install PDF24 Creator, then open PDF24 Launcher. The software offers a number of functions. Select the option? PDF Creator ?.
Now, select the PDF files you want to merge into a single document. To do this, double-click on the PDF or use drag-and-drop :
Once you have opened all the documents, you can combine them . In this example, we are joining the PDF 1 and PDF 2 files. To do this, we drag the PDF 2 pages to the PDF 1 area. PDF24 Creator automatically combines them into one document.
Documents are displayed page by page, which also allows you to combine only a few pages from multiple PDF files.
Drag all the pages of the new document to the first line. If you wish, you can change the order of them, moving them to the position you want. When you're done, click the floppy disk icon to save the PDF .
PDF24 offers numerous configuration options for exporting a new document. If you intend to send the PDF for use in digital format, the default settings are usually sufficient. In this case, click? Next ? On the other hand, if the PDF is also going to be printed, it is advisable to increase the quality and resolution of the document.
If any PDF contains sensitive data, we recommend that you protect it against unauthorized access. In our article on how to encrypt PDF, we explain how to protect documents with PDF 24 Creator.
PDF24 Creator is one of the most popular programs to combine PDF. In the following table, we compare this classic with two other free alternatives:
Many functions; hardly any advertising; allows to encrypt PDF
Outdated user interface
7-PDF Split & Merge
It allows joining a maximum of five PDF files, it is not available in Spanish
Open source software; actively develops
It's only available in English