Learn the best ways to join PDF files on Mac

Learn the best ways to join PDF files on Mac

PDF files are a great way to transfer documents over the internet, learn now how to join PDF files using macOS

The PDF documents they are in our daily lives, being widely used to send presentations, contracts and even project plans over the internet. The PDF (Portable Document Format, or Portable Document Format, in free translation) is a universal format designed to securely display and share documents, regardless of the software, hardware and operating system used. However, we can often organize multiple files into just one, so we need to think about how to join PDF files. This task is not always easy, as it depends on specific programs, but if you have a computer Apple we can use some ways to combine PDF files on Mac.

The origin of the PDF

The history of this format goes back to 1991, when Dr. John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe, started The Camelor Project, which aimed to capture documents from any source such as Word text, a CorelDRAW! with the same quality as the source, on any computer. The format can include text, bitmap images, vector images, and even 3D information.

However, one of the limitations is the possibility of editing PDF documents. As they were made only to be viewed in digital and printed format, it is necessary to use specific applications even for simple actions, such as joining two PDF. But now, let's show you some ways to join PDF files using the computers on the Apple.

How to join PDF files using Mac Preview

THE Preview (or Preview, if you are using macOS in English) the system's native application for viewing image files, such as JPG and PNG, and PDF documents. But it offers more than just viewing, it can also make minor edits to these file types.

  1. To join two PDF (or more) using the Preview, open the first PDF file.
  2. Check that the panel with the page thumbnails is visible on the left of the screen. If not, go to the menu View> Thumbnails.
  3. Select the thumbnail of the last page you want before the file to be inserted. After that, go on Edit> Insert> File Page> Open, and choose the second PDF to be added.
  4. Ready! Simple to join PDF in one file, right? Now just save, going on File> Export as PDF.
Know the best ways to join PDF files on Mac

How to insert single pages in a PDF file using Mac Preview

There is also the possibility that you need to include only one page of a PDF file in another file, for example, you have a sales report for a product in one year, and you only need to attach the page for one month in another document. The simple process, similar to the previous one:

  1. Open the two PDF files using Preview, keeping them open side by side.
  2. Check that the panel with the page thumbnails is visible in both documents. If not, go to the View> Thumbnails menu.
  3. With the Command key pressed, select the thumbnails of the pages you want to copy to the other document. Then, drag these pages to the destination file.
  4. To save changes, just go to File> Export as PDF.

Other actions that can be taken using the Preview of macOS only:

  • Reorder the pages of the document;
  • Rotating the pages, very useful when we are joining files that have different orientations (landscape and portrait), just select the page thumbnail and go to Tools> Rotate Left / Right;
  • Remove unused pages: select the thumbnail of the page to be deleted and go to Edit> Delete.

Unfortunately, when it comes to how to join PDFs, these are just the possible editions in the Preview, and even then there may be serious limitations in its use:

  • Loss of fonts embedded in the PDF file may occur, causing the document to lose its formatting;
  • It is not possible to upload signatures to include in a combined file, it is only possible to draw with the trackpad or take a picture with the computer's camera;
  • The system is not optimized for these actions, and can be slow when large files are combined.

How to get around these limitations? There are specific solutions on the market for editing PDF files, being a good option for those who regularly work with large files and edits in PDF documents.

Combining PDF files using PDFpen

As we have already mentioned, a PDF file can contain several types of information, such as embedded fonts, signatures and annotations, and to work with more complex documents we recommend using the PDFpen gives Setapp, a great program for you who need merge PDFs.

THE PDFpen is a complete tool for editing PDF files. More than join PDF documents, it has a series of editing tools, being a complete solution for those who routinely work with this type of file. Like PDFpen from Setapp, it is possible to add text, images and a signature to the documents, maintaining the original formatting. The program also has OCR for text recognition, so you just need to scan a printed text that the program transforms into editable text on your computer.

And how to combine your PDF files with PDFpen? simple:

  1. Open the two PDF files (source and destination) in PDFpen.
Know the best ways to join PDF files on Mac
  1. Make sure the sidebar with the thumbnails is visible. If not, go to the menu View> Show Sidebar.
  2. In the file you want to copy the pages, select all the pages by accessing Edit> Select All.
  3. Now, just select the thumbnails selected in the source file and drag to the desired position in the destination file, and that's it, the PDFs have been combined. After this operation, you can still drag the thumbnails to organize the order of the pages in the document.
Know the best ways to join PDF files on Mac
  1. To save the document, just go to File> Print. Then in the selection box PDF, select Save as PDF, and then choose the folder and name the file.
Know the best ways to join PDF files on Mac

If you want to include only a few pages of the source document, just keep the key pressed Command and select the individual pages in the source document, and then drag the pages into the destination document.

Another possibility to add blank pages to the document. To do this, select the thumbnail of the previous page you want to add the blank space to, and go to Edit> Insert Blank Page.


If you have a Mac, now you know it's possible combine PDF files in some ways, either through macOS tools themselves, or through third-party solutions, such as PDFpen. You find the program on Mac App Store:

Know the best ways to join PDF files on Mac

The choice of the program to be used must be made taking into account the volume of PDF files that are edited on a daily basis, as well as the characteristics that must be kept in the documents and can be lost using the Preview.