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3 ways to combine PDFs on Mac: Easy, fast and free

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Avatar of author Fred Melanson

Fred Melanson

Published: Thu Sep 14 2023

Tired of skimming through articles that offer outdated methods to combine PDFs on Mac?

Your search ends here.

Here’s a detailed guide on the newest, most hassle-free ways to merge PDFs – and guess what? It's all free.

Read this article to learn three methods that help you merge PDFs quicker than a cat chasing a laser pointer. 🐈

How to merge PDF files on Mac?

Merging PDFs can streamline workflows, improve document management, and enhance team collaboration.

No matter what profession you’re in, merging PDFs is a part of every business.

You might want to merge multiple contract and addendum PDF documents when closing a deal. Or, if you’re in legal, regulatory submissions often require merging multiple documents.

In this section, I explain how to merge PDF files on a Mac.

#1. Macro

Macro is a PDF editor and merger that enables you to combine PDFs for free. The world’s top banks, law firms, and investors trust Macro.

The software has a sleek, modern interface, making it easy for students and professionals to merge PDFs in just a few clicks.

Merging PDFs with Macro is a 4-step process 👇

Step #1. Open a PDF in Macro

To open a PDF in Macro, click on the ‘Open a PDF or DOCX file’ button.

Select the PDF you want to open and click ‘Open.’

Like any other PDF viewer, Macro will open the PDF for you to view, edit, and perform several other PDF-related tasks.

Step #2. Merge PDFs in Macro

Click on the 'Pages' icon on the top left menu bar.

This opens the page layout menu on the left side of your screen. If you look at the top of this section, you will see a button named ‘Organize, Export and Merge.’

Click on it.

This opens a dashboard where you can rearrange, rotate, split, or merge PDFs. Since this guide is about merging PDFs, let's just stick to Macro’s merge functionality.

Step #3. Add another file to merge in Macro

To merge the current PDF with another one, you must first add another file to Macro. To do so, click the 'Add Files' button on the top of the dashboard.

Select the PDF you want to merge and click ‘Open.’

Macro will now add the selected PDF to your dashboard.

The first PDF I added was 46 pages long. I scrolled all the way down to the 46th page andMacro had added the second PDF I just opened at the end of the first one.

You can now rearrange pages by simply dragging and dropping them.

You can also delete pages that you don’t need. Select them individually with the Command button or select multiple pages at once using the Shift key.

Once you've finished with the rearrangement, click 'Done' to successfully save merged PDFs.

Step #4. Editing the merged PDF in Macro

After saving your PDF, Macro will automatically open it in its free-to-use editor. You can click on the ‘Edit’ icon on the top left menu to make changes to the PDF.

Macro gives you lots of options to edit PDFs for free.

You can:

  • Add a text box anywhere on the PDF to add text or take notes
  • Add shapes – rectangle, circle, or triangle of any color and thickness
  • Add page numbers to your PDF
  • Draw or type your signature and add it anywhere on the PDF
  • Add images, watermarks, headers, and footers to merged PDFs
  • Redact text to protect confidential information
  • Comment and bookmark pages for future references
  • Perform optical character recognition to copy text or make it searchable and interactive

After editing, click on the Save icon at the top right corner of the Macro app and save your merged PDF to your Mac.

#2. Mac’s finder option

Mac lets you merge PDFs with a built-in feature.

Let me show you how to do it 👇

Step #1. Open finder and select PDFs

Finder is a default folder in Mac that comprises all files saved on your Mac to date.

To open finder, Click on File > New Finder Window.

Step #2. Merging PDFs on Mac with Finder

Select the PDFs you want to merge from Finder.

Right-click on any selected PDFs, hover over 'Quick Action,' and click 'Create PDF.'

This will create a new PDF containing both files you selected.

Step #3. Editing merged PDFs with the Mac Preview app

Merged PDFs will be saved on your desktop. You can then open it via the Mac preview app and make changes.

With the Mac preview app, you can:

  • Highlight text in the PDF
  • Rotate pages individually
  • Draw shapes, add text, and redact text
  • Add shapes to PDFs
  • Draw or upload a digital signature
  • Add sticky notes

Once you’ve finished editing the PDF, you can save it to your Mac and, just like that, you have successfully merged PDFs on your Mac using Finder.

The drawback of using Finder is that, unlike Macro, you can't rearrange or delete pages from the PDF.

#3. Use online tools to merge PDFs

The two methods we discussed above were both offline. You can also merge PDFs online via third-party tools.

For this example, I used Smallpdf to merge PDFs.

Here’s how I did it 👇

Step #1. Uploading PDFs on Smallpdf

Click the 'Choose Files' button and select all the PDFs you want to merge.

Step #2. Merging PDFs

Click on the ‘Merge PDF’ button to merge PDFs. If you subscribed to SmallPDF’s Pro plan (the free version is very limiting), you can select, arrange, and combine individual PDF pages in the Page mode option.

Step #3. Organizing merged PDFs

After the merge process, Smallpdf opens the PDF in its free editor, where you can edit the document.

The platform lets you:

  • Add text to your PDF
  • Highlight or erase text, add shapes to a PDF, and e-sign documents
  • Insert new pages or extract existing PDF pages
  • Split PDF into separate documents
  • Compress PDFs without compromising quality
  • Add a password to your PDF

Once you’ve finished with edits, you can click the Download button to save merged PDFs to your Mac.

Read and edit documents faster with Macro

Mac’s default finder and preview app is a quick and easy way to merge PDFs, but it’s not comprehensive enough.

The process doesn’t let you rearrange or delete pages from the final document.

To do so, you need a best-in-class third-party tool like Macro that enables the merging and customizing of PDFs for free.

Download the free-to-use app and merge multiple PDFs into a single document today.

Avatar of author Fred Melanson

Fred Melanson

Fred leads Growth at Macro. He is a passionate generalist in the Product-Led GTM space, with experience in content creation, marketing strategy & sales. His LinkedIn has over 1M views yearly, and his Vlogs generate hundreds of thousands of views. His favorite thing in the world is walking with his dog, Lola 🐶
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