How to merge pdf files on a Mac efficiently ?

June 12, 2024

Merging PDF files on a Mac doesn't have to be a headache! Discover quick and easy ways to combine your documents in just a few clicks. From a step-by-step guide to using Preview to powerful third-party tools, learn the best tricks to ensure a quality merge. Simplify your office routine and maximise your productivity effortlessly!

Using the Preview application to merge PDFs

  1. Open Preview: Launch the Preview application on your Mac.
  2. Select your PDF files: Go to "File" > "Open" and choose the PDFs you want to merge.
  3. View thumbnails: Click "View" > "Thumbnails" to see the pages of your PDFs.
  4. Drag and drop: Drag pages from one PDF to another to combine them.
  5. Save the merged file: Go to "File" > "Export to PDF".

Advantages and disadvantages of Preview

Before relying on Preview as your primary tool for PDF needs, it's important to weigh up the pros and cons of this native macOS application.

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This analysis will help you determine whether Preview meets your specific needs or whether you should consider a more powerful alternative.


 One of the main advantages of Preview is that it's free. It's a native macOS application, which means it's already installed on all Mac computers. So you don't need to spend any money to buy or download it. What's more, Preview updates are included in macOS operating system updates, so you don't have to worry about updating it manually.

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What's more, Preview has a simple, intuitive interface that makes it easy to use for novice users. Basic commands are easily accessible and there are no complicated features to learn. This makes Preview a good choice for users who simply need an application to view and annotate basic PDF files. For more details, explore


Although Preview is a useful application for viewing and annotating PDF files, its functionality is limited compared to specialist tools such as UPDF. For example, Preview doesn't have an OCR (optical character recognition) function for extracting text from PDF images, and it doesn't have advanced PDF editing tools such as the ability to merge, split or edit PDF pages. If you need more advanced features, you'll need to use another PDF tool.

Tips to ensure the quality of your merged PDF

Check the page order before saving.

Use high-quality PDFs to avoid loss of resolution.

Save an original copy of the files before merging.

Use third-party tools to merge PDFs

OptiPDF offers an effective solution for merging PDFs on the Mac. With a user-friendly interface, OptiPDF enables fast and secure merging without the need to install any software. Merged files retain high output quality and are protected by robust security measures.

Compared with UPDF and Adobe Acrobat, OptiPDF stands out for its simplicity and free pricing, although it also offers premium options. UPDF, on the other hand, excels with advanced features such as batch processing and file compression. Adobe Acrobat remains a benchmark for its extensive capabilities, but is often criticised for its complexity and high cost.

Tips and tricks for efficient PDF merging

To merge your PDFs quickly and efficiently on the Mac, start by organising your files. Rename them logically to make drag-and-drop easier. Use tools like OptiPDF or UPDF for advanced features like batch processing and compression.

Solving common problems

If the order of the pages is incorrect, use the thumbnail view to rearrange them easily. To avoid errors, always save a copy of your files before merging.

Importance of security

Make sure your merged files are protected. Use applications with robust security measures to guarantee the confidentiality of your documents.