Merging PDF Files

After staying up until 3:30 AM working on the final project for one of my classes last night, I was woken at 8:30 this morning by my phone ringing.  My friend was lucky that her picture showed up on the screen of my iPhone, because you have to be a pretty special person to get away with waking me up after only five hours of sleep!  After talking with her for a few minutes incoherently, I finally started to understand that she needed computer help.  The Graduate College needs her to have one complete PDF file in order to deposit the Dissertation for her PhD.  Her problem was that she had it split up into two Word documents, and she didn’t want to combine them in Word and have to redo a whole bunch of formatting.

Now, of course there are many ways to do this… but how do I explain the easiest method?  Here is what I found to be a quick and easy way to do it:

First you will need to convert your Word documents into PDF files.

  • This is easy for Mac OSX, just go to “Print” in the “File” menu and it should be a default option.
  • For Windows, you should install a PDF Print Driver.  May I suggest CutePDF?  It’s simple… and cute!

Now you need to merge the PDF files together.  For people who love Open Source, you can check out PDFsam.  This powerful utility can be adapted for a lot of different uses.  The simple way, however, is this little gem of a website I found called  Here is how it works.

  • Go to in your web browser.
  • At the bottom, click the “Pick Files” button.  Choose the document you want to be the first pages.
  • Once you select your first document, you can click the “Pick Files” button again to choose more documents.
  • Finally, press the “Merge PDF!” button to splice them all together.  It should automatically save for you.

I wouldn’t trust them to merge any documents with national security secrets (or that PDF book of photos from my last vacation in Cabo…), but they take your privacy seriously and promise not to keep any of the data you uploaded.  All in all it is a great little site, so please make a donation if you end up using it more than a dozen times!

So that is about it.  I hope that if you ever need to merge PDF files, you find this method to be useful.  I bet you could even explain it to your grandparents over the phone.

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