Best PDF merger tools of 2022

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REASONS TO BUY
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Files in a filing cabinet
(Image credit: Shutterstock / 300 librarians)

If you want to know how to combine PDF files, we've got you covered with the best PDF merger tools. These tools make it simple and easy to merge together files into a single document, or a more manageable number of files.

There are many situations in which you need to combine multiple PDFs into a single file. Maybe you’re sending multiple invoices to accounting and want to keep them bundled together. Maybe you’re collating several reports to send to a colleague. Or maybe you’ve printed multiple web pages to PDFs and need to join them together.

Whatever your reason, having the best PDF merger can make it straightforward to combine these files. The good news is that there are many free and paid options that you can turn to for help. The bad news is that sorting through them can be time-consuming when all you want to do is merge PDFs quickly. 

In this guide, we’ll help you sort the top apps from the rest by highlighting five of the best PDF merger apps you can use for Mac and Windows. 

Here then are the best PDF merger tools currently available. Also, be sure to check out our reviews of the best PDF compressor available.

Our choice of the best PDF merger tools available comes after robust testing of each of the solutions mentioned here. Although merging PDF documents may initially sound like a simple process, unfortunately, it rarely is. Only the best PDF merger tools make it quick and easy to edit and combine multiple PDF files. 

We have assessed these PDF merger tools for speed, cost, and feature-set to determine the best one for your needs. Some PDF merger tools are free, others must be paid for, but all of the programs listed here have something to merit your attention, whether it’s cloud connectivity, good customer support, or compatibility with multiple operating systems.


The best PDF merger tools of 2022 in full

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(Image credit: Soda)
Best PDF merger tool for cloud connectivity

Reasons to buy

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All-in-one PDF software
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Available for web and desktop
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Limited free version available
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Connects to cloud storage

Reasons to avoid

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No page reordering in free version
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Doesn’t include PDF encryption

Soda PDF is another all-in-one PDF handling software program with a capable merger tool. What’s particularly nice about this platform is that it’s available both on the web and as desktop software for Windows and Mac. 

Both versions of the platform connect to Dropbox and Google Drive so you can quickly access your files in the cloud. This is particularly useful in the era of remote working, where individuals frequently use multiple different devices to manage their files. With Soda PDF's cloud options, you shouldn't have to worry about where you've saved your PDF documents. You can also email merged PDFs right from the software. 

During our testing of the software, we found " you have many tools at your disposal to merge multiple documents together, insert or extract pages, replace them or move them around. There’s even a tool to export the images embedded in a PDF."

Overall, we thought the software was incredibly accessible, offering just about every tool you need to edit and manipulate PDFs.

You can use Soda PDF for free, but this version is somewhat limited. You can’t reorder individual pages or convert between file types. Paid subscriptions are available as an annual fee, or as a one-time license fee and comes with customer support.

Read our full Soda PDF review


(Image credit: ILovePDF)
Best free PDF merger

Reasons to buy

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Connects to Google Drive and Dropbox
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Drag and drop to rearrange
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Free up to 25 files
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Includes other PDF tools

Reasons to avoid

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Pricey to merge more than 25 files
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Ads when using free version

I Love PDF is a one-stop shop for working with PDFs and includes a simple tool for merging files. You have to upload your PDFs to the online platform to start the merge process, but this process is made easy thanks to a drag and drop option. You can also connect I Love PDF to your Google Drive or Dropbox accounts. 

When we tried out the tool, we felt offered many tools for manipulating PDFs documents - although it's not possible to change the existing content in the files. On the other hand, you can still add additional text boxes, shapes, images, and more. Overall, it's an easy PDF merger, and the output is of great quality.

Among the excellent features on offer, I Love PDF lets users merge, split, compress, convert, unlock and watermark PDFs with just a few clicks. Once your files are online, you can rotate pages or drag and drop PDFs to rearrange the merge order. The platform displays thumbnails of each page to make working with your files easier. When you’re ready, just click ‘Merge PDF’ and your new document will download automatically. 

I Love PDF is free for merging up to 25 PDFs and 100 MB in total. A Premium account is available for a small monthly fee and enables you to merge up to 200 files or up to 1 GB of data. However, the inclusion of ads and a 25-file limit is certainly not bad for a free solution. If you don't want to pay for your PDF merger, then this is the tool to go for. 

Read our full I Love PDF review


(Image credit: SmallPDF)
Best PDF merger tool that's paid

Reasons to buy

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Includes document conversion tools
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Delete individual pages during merge
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Save merged PDFs to Drive or Dropbox
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Free 14-day trial

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive for PDF merging
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Files are deleted after one hour
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Batch upload doesn’t always work

If you’re going to shell out money for a PDF merger, SmallPDF is one of your best options. In addition to merging an unlimited number of files, this platform includes tools for converting between document formats, signing PDFs, and securing files. You can merge PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and JPGs seamlessly. 

SmallPDF shows you thumbnails of your PDFs and enables you to easily drag and drop files to reorder them. You can also delete individual pages while merging documents, which is nice if you need to eliminate cover pages or other extraneous sheets. Once you merge your PDFs, you can download the new file or save it directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. 

You can try SmallPDF free for 7 days, and after that you can subscribe either monthly or annually. It’s a bit of an investment, but it can be well worth it if you work with PDFs often.

Read our full SmallPDF review.


Screenshot of Apple Preview User Guide

(Image credit: Apple)
Best PDF merger from Apple

Reasons to buy

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Free, built by Apple
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Comes preinstalled on Mac
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Limited but powerful editing tools
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Ability to merge, annotate, and sign PDF files

Reasons to avoid

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No OCR software
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Not a full PDF editor like Acrobat

Apple Preview is arguably the best PDF merger tool for Mac - if only because it's free and comes pre-installed on all modern Macs. 

Built by Apple, the PDF manipulator isn't quite as feature-filled as rivals such as Adobe Acrobat and Nitro PDF Pro. But when we tested out the software, we were delighted with the results. 

The first-party PDF software houses plenty of tools, including an elegant PDF merger and the option to simply and seamlessly combine PDFs. 

"One of the best PDF readers on the Mac which also comes with powerful editing functions," we wrote in our review, "Apple’s Preview should be able to cater to all but the most demanding PDF road warriors."

When it comes to PDF editing, Apple Preview is slightly lacking. It's mostly limited to reordering, rotating, and removing pages from documents. And there’s no way to edit PDF text here.  

But if you're a Mac owner who needs to swiftly merge PDF files, Apple Preview makes the job a breeze.

Read our full Apple Preview review


(Image credit: PDF Converter)

5. PDF Converter

Best PDF merger tool for robust security

Reasons to buy

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Seamless document conversion
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Drag and drop files to reorder them
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All uploads secured with 256-bit encryption
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Premium subscription comes with support

Reasons to avoid

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Only one free merge per hour
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Doesn’t integrate with cloud storage
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Files removed after three hours

PDF Converter is a reliable PDF merger that can handle most of your file needs. You can merge PDFs, Word documents, images, and more through seamless conversion. The web-based merge tool is easy to use and enables you to drag and drop files to reorder them. When you’re done, you can compress your new PDF to save space on your hard drive. 

The catch to this tool is that its name is misleading. PDF Converter allows you to conduct just one merge for free per hour. So, once you merge files, you’ll need to wait 60 minutes before you can merge any more unless you purchase a Premium subscription. Subscription options include monthly, yearly, or a one-time lifetime license that comes with priority account support.

The most important thing about PDF Converter for some users, however, will be the fact that all uploads are secured with 256-bit encryption. For any individuals that frequent convert sensitive documents into PDFs, this feature could make PDF Converter a must-have.


(Image credit: PDFsam)

6. PDFsam Basic

Best PDF merger tool for no-limit PDF merging

Reasons to buy

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Desktop-based PDF merger
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Works for Windows, Mac, and Linux
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No file limits
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Easily reorder individual pages

Reasons to avoid

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Doesn’t connect to cloud storage
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No customer support

PDFSam Basic is a desktop-based PDF merging software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In stark contrast to many of its competitors, PDFSam doesn’t impose any limits on how many files you can merge or how often you can use the tool. The app also offers batch processing tools if you have multiple documents to deal with. 

Of course, you get what you pay for. This software has a rather simple interface that can merge and split PDFs and enable you to quickly reorder pages, but that’s about it. You cannot connect to your cloud storage or automatically email or share merged PDFs from the tool. It also does not include file conversion, so you’ll need another tool or you’ll have to upgrade to PDFSam Enhanced if you want to mix and match file types.

Read our full PDFsam Basic review.

We've also featured the best PDF editors.


What is a PDF merger tool?

A PDF merger tool enables users to merge multiple PDFs into a single PDF. 

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are designed for easy sharing and access across all compatible devices. But these files cannot be modified directly and you need special software to make changes. 

How to choose the best PDF merger tool for you?

When choosing the best PDF merger tool, you’ll want to consider what your needs are. If you need to merge PDFs occasionally, then a free online option will be perfect. But if you regularly merge PDFs, a paid app may offer better value and save you time. Some of the free PDF merger tools have daily merge limits or other file limits, so check the app’s guidelines if you have plenty of files to merge. Similarly, if you’re working with sensitive documents, you’ll want to check for offline PDF merger tools, especially ones that offer advanced security and encryption. 

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things. 



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