The Portable Document Format is universal, reliable, and secure. It is also easy to share, as all popular operating systems recognize it. Yet, one area of use is problematic. Combining several documents into one is a hassle unless you know the right tools for the task. Discover the best ways to merge PDF documents in 2022 below.
While Mac has Preview (with limited customization), Windows does not offer native functionality at all. To combine files, you could use online services or third-party converters. Which method is the best for your needs?
1. Software for Merging
A simple offline PDF combiner will not only merge any number of PDFs. It will also let you make the output easier to navigate by adding a clickable table of contents, inserting page counters, and creating bookmarks. This method has no limitations on the size of files, and you can also combine documents within folders.
If you want a professionally-looking document with an attractive cover page and smooth navigation, this is your best bet. Popular converters may be used with a graphic interface or via the command line.
Professional versions usually work with multiple formats. You can even compile diverse data! For example, PDF Combine Pro can integrate PDF pages, Word files, Excel spreadsheets and JPEG images into a single document.
2. Combining PDF Online
Users can perform PDF merger for free on a plethora of websites, but this method has limitations. On the upside, the procedure is simple: just upload your files and click on the merger button. Upon completion, you can download the result or send it to your email address.
On the downside, online merger only suits basic tasks. If you have just a few files of modest size, an online merger will be quick and easy. However, anything more demanding is out of the question. Aside from rearranging the pages, there are no editing options, either.
Another important concern is security. After all, you have to upload data online. Many websites claim they delete their users’ information in 60 minutes, but how can you be sure this really happens? This method is not suitable for tasks involving confidential information. Finally, the quality of conversion varies.
Best Methods for Archiving and eDiscovery
For businesses, desktop tools are preferable. Not only are they more reliable and secure — they also provide such features as Bates numbering. Here are some of the advantages:
- You can prepare documents for litigation purposes.
- The tools can process any number of files in one go.
- The files never leave your computer during the merger, so the contents are protected.
- Security options include setting a password and different levels of user permissions.
- You may insert a digital signature, add text watermarks, copyright information, or even QR codes.
To Sum Up
Free online tools cope with basic merger tasks, but businesses should opt for reliable desktop software. Not only is it more powerful — there is a wide range of customization options and diverse security settings. You can combine multifaceted data and protect documents in a variety of ways. Such tools have a trial version, so you can test their functionality and convert data for free for a limited period.