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Is there a painless way to combine/merge PDF files in Windows? I understand that pdftk will do it on Linux.

closed as off-topic by slhck Jul 7 '13 at 11:18

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10 Answers 10

119

There are quite a few free options, as well as some good commercial ones:

Web-based (Free)

  • MergePDF. Merge up to 10 files. Max limit of 5MB/file.
  • PDF Hammer. Web-based PDF editor that supports merging of multiple files
  • Booklet Creater. Merges files to create a booklet. Rearranges pages to that you can print and fold to create a simple booklet.
  • BCL Premium PDF Merge Merge 2 PDF documents. Max 10MB/file. Limit of 20 merges/day

Desktop tools (free)

  • PDF Sam. Also known as "PDF Split & Merge". FOSS tool for splitting and merging PDFs. Windows & Mac. Console and GUI interfaces. On Windows, the installer by default installs Ad-Aware Security Toolbar, sets Lavasoft SecureSearch as homepage, new tabs, and default search provider.
  • Swift PDF. Combines multiple images (JPG, GIF, etc.) into a single PDF.

    Editor's note, 5/1/2017: Swift PDF was last updated in 2006 and was compatible with Windows 95. The original link is dead and the product appears to no longer be supported. However, it is still downloadable at https://swift-pdf.en.softonic.com/

  • pdftk. FOSS power tool. Command line only. Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD. Windows GUI versions exist, including a portable version and the official free version.

There are also a lot of commercial tools.

  • Just tried PDF Sam and the resulting PDF it generates is version 1.5 at minimum, when I needed version 1.4. In case you need that, on Windows you can use PDF Version Converter, available here: freeware-guide.com/dir/util/pdf.html – Rahul Dec 10 '10 at 14:19
  • 3
    Just installed PDF Sam, and as far as I can see, the installer no longer includes any toolbars or other browser related garbage. – Svish Nov 13 '15 at 19:20
  • I had to get swift pdf from here: swift-pdf.software.informer.com, but +1 for that. I can't find another tool that works for images. – Charles Clayton Nov 25 '15 at 4:22
  • I'd like the pdftk command line version so I could call from another application/script but on the site I only found the GUI version... Where can I find the command line one? – Jack Jan 17 '17 at 18:17
  • 1
    MergePDF and PDF Hammer require sign up to use. Booklet Creator isn't a web tool. It seems that only the last web option (now called easyPDF cloud) is the only one that works without signup. – Kat Mar 21 '17 at 21:58
42

pdftk.exe is available for Windows as well. See here: http://www.accesspdf.com/pdftk/#packages and here: http://www.pdfhacks.com/pdftk/pdftk-1.41.exe.zip

Here is an example commandline for pdftk.exe. It merges all PDF files in the current directory into a combined one:

pdftk.exe *.pdf cat output combined.pdf

Another one:

\\myserver\c$\path\to\pdftk.exe ^
   c:\path\to\input1.pdf ^
   d:\path\to\input2.pdf ^
   cat ^
   output ^
   e:\path\to\combined.pdf

Ghostscript can also combine multiple input PDFs (and PostScript files) into one output PDF:

gswin32c.exe ^
        -dBATCH ^
        -dNOPAUSE ^
        -sDEVICE=pdfwrite ^
        -sOutputFile=output.pdf ^
        [...more Ghostscript CLI options as needed...] ^
        input1.pdf ^
        input2.pdf ^
        input3.ps ^
        input4.eps ^
        input5.pdf

Update suggested by @sunk818

There is a GUI for pdftk named PDFTK Builder. This essentially builds a command line based on your option choices for you and executes:

PDFTK Builder


My own update

Since I originally posted this answer, pdftk has undergone further developments.

  1. The application's name changed to PDFtk Server (the command line tool is still called pdftk).
  2. There is now version 2.02 available.
  3. The developers now offer their own GUI for Windows, called PDFtk Pro.
  • 2
    pdftk was already suggested in this answer - superuser.com/questions/34284/… – ChrisF Jun 24 '10 at 13:01
  • 3
    I know. But user1413 seemed to have missed pdftk to be available on Windows as well. Therefor I emphasized that point by repeating it. – Kurt Pfeifle Jun 24 '10 at 15:52
  • 2
    There's a portable version here: portableapps.com/apps/office/pdftk_builder_portable - I used it merge PDF via the GUI provided. Worked quite well. – Sun Jan 6 '15 at 18:03
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    @sunk818: Thanks, I included your suggested edit into the answer (and then some). – Kurt Pfeifle Jan 6 '15 at 19:36
  • 1
    @pacoverflow: Does the following command line work? pdftk A=pdf1.pdf B=pdf2.pdf cat A1-3 B3 B2 B1 output merged.pdf – Kurt Pfeifle Mar 1 '16 at 13:41
7

You can use PDFill PDF Tools to perform lots of manipulations on your PDFs for free.

Use the "Merge PDF Files" button (button #1) in the screenshot below.

PDFill PDF Tools screenshot

6

Try PDFsam, which comes for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

The basic version is free, I'm pretty sure that the basic version will meet your needs. You will need to have Java installed on your computer to run this program.

enter image description here

4

I found the best for me: PDF Split and Merge

enter image description here

PDF Split and Merge tool is implemented using the PdfSharp library and is either GUI or command driven.It is useful for automated document creation.It allows bookmarks from the input pdfs to be imported and flexibly embedded in the destination document.

It just merges or splits PDF files, nothing else.

3

PDF Creator will do the trick -- you can print multiple documents to a single PDF. Relatively painless :)

2

Also this program named pdfbinder proved to be useful. It has a simple commandline interface for input and uses the same engine as the PDF Split and Merge already mentioned.

1

This little app I found with a Google search let me merge image files into a single PDF, which it didn't look like some of these options would. It's very limited, but it did the trick for me just now.

http://www.pdfmate.com/free-pdf-merger.html

1

I know that you can do this with Adobe Acrobat. I assume that you don't want to pay for this if it's the only use you have. You highlight your PDF files, right-click and select Combine files in Acrobat...:

enter image description here

Ghostscript, available on Linux and Windows, should be able to concatenate them, but it uses complicated command-line functions. You can use CutePDF, which has a free version, but I believe the Professional (paid) version is the only one that will concatenate.

1

When installing software is not an option, then combinepdf.cc is quite neat.

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