How to Combine PDFs Into one File on iPhone

PDFs are among the most widely used digital document formats. As such, many iPhone users may find themselves with a collection of PDFs that they want to combine into a single file. Combining PDFs can be beneficial as it makes it easier to manage your documents and saves you time while file sharing. This blog post walks you through five different methods of how to combine PDFs into one file on iPhone.

Video Tutorial:

Why You Need to Combine PDFs on iPhone

Combining multiple PDFs into a single file is a helpful technique to manage your documents. Here are a few reasons why you might need to combine PDFs on your iPhone:

Easy sharing: Sometimes, sending one large file is easier and more efficient than having to share multiple small files.

Better organization: Having multiple PDF documents in a single file is a more efficient way to organize them. It saves time and reduces clutter.

Effortless navigation: Combining PDFs ensure you don’t have to switch documents back and forth, making it easier to navigate through the files.

Method 1: Using iBooks to Combine PDFs

iBooks is an in-built application found on your iPhone. It is a good tool for merging PDFs because it is free, easy to use, and there’s no need to download a third-party application.

  1. On your iPhone, open ‘Files’ and navigate to the folder where your PDF files are saved.
  2. Select all the PDF files you want to merge.
  3. Click the ‘Share’ icon. It looks like a square with an arrow pointing up. This will bring up a list of apps on your iPhone.
  4. On the list, select ‘Copy to iBooks.’ This will transfer all your selected documents into your iBooks collection.
  5. Open iBooks; all the PDF files you selected should be there.
  6. Long press on the title of the first PDF file, wait until they all wobble, and then drag and drop each file on top of one another. Arrange them in the order you want them to appear in the combined PDF document.
  7. Once you have them all in the order you want, click ‘Done.’ The final PDF document will now be saved in your iBooks collection.

Pros:

  • Free and comes pre-installed on your iPhone.
  • Easy to drag and drop the PDF files and arrange in the order needed.

Cons:

  • Limited to the iPhone ecosystem.
  • Composing a large number of documents into one file at once can be taxing on the system, potentially leading to crashes.

Method 2: Using Adobe Acrobat to Combine PDFs

Adobe Acrobat is a top PDF editing application with several helpful features, including combining PDF files. Although it’s not free, the application offers a trial version that you can use for a limited time before you decide to purchase it.

  1. Install Adobe Acrobat on your iPhone from the Apple Store.
  2. Open the application and sign in if you have an account, or sign up.
  3. On the app’s homepage, press the ‘+’ button in the bottom right corner to add PDF files.
  4. Select each PDF file that you want to combine and then click on the ‘Merge’ option.
  5. Click ‘Continue’ in the prompted screen.
  6. In the next screen, reorganize the PDF files’ pages by dragging them to the desired order.
  7. Once set, click ‘Done’, and your combined PDF document will be saved in the Adobe Document Cloud.

Pros:

  • Adobe Acrobat offers various editing options, which means correcting mistakes and making additions is easier when all the files are combined.
  • You don’t need an exclusive Adobe account.

Cons:

  • Not free, and the trial version has limited capabilities.
  • Can be slow and draining on the iPhone’s resources, especially when handling large PDF files.

Method 3: Using PDFelement to Combine PDFs

PDFelement is another popular PDF editor that can combine multiple PDF files into one. It’s well-regarded for its all-encompassing PDF editing capabilities.

  1. Download PDFelement from the Apple Store and install it.
  2. Launch PDFelement and click on the ‘+’ icon to add the files you want to merge.
  3. Select the PDF files you want to merge and click ‘Done’.
  4. Reorganize the file’s pages in order by dragging them to the desired position.
  5. Once set, Hit ‘Merge’ and then ‘Export’ once you’re done selecting the settings you want.

Pros:

  • Easy to install and simple to use, even for beginners.
  • A wide array of PDF editing features.
  • It has more functionality than free merging tools.

Cons:

  • Not free, but a free trial version that you can use to test functionality.

Method 4: Using Mac or PC Using iCloud

You can also combine PDF files using iCloud, making it easy to access across different devices. This solution is ideal for people who have a Mac or a PC and an iPhone.

  1. Open the Finder or File manage and select files to be merged.
  2. On your Mac or PC, open System Preferences, then navigate to the iCloud tab.
  3. Select ‘iCloud Drive’.
  4. In the Finder or File Manager, move the desired PDF files into the iCloud folder.
  5. Access the iCloud folder on your iPhone via the ‘Files’ app, and you’ll find all the PDF files in the folder.
  6. Select all the PDF files in the cloud folder, click on the ‘Share’ icon, and then select ‘Create PDF.’ This will automatically combine the individual PDF documents into one file.

Pros:

  • Easy to access across different devices – Mac, PC and iPhone.
  • No need to install an additional application to merge PDF files.

Cons:

  • Relies on iCloud, which requires a subscription to store documents.

What to Do If You Can’t Combine PDFs

If you are unable to combine PDF files using any of the above methods, here are some fixes you can try:

Use a different PDF editing application: If one method does not work for you, try another. There are several free and paid apps available online that can combine PDF files.

Check for corrupted files: Corrupted PDF files may be impossible to merge, so it’s vital to ensure your files are in good condition before attempting any combination.

Resize or compress files: Some files may be too large, and your phone has limited storage space, causing it to lack the resources necessary to combine files. Resize or compress files to make merging possible.

Bonus Tips

  • Before merging, make sure you double-check the order of the PDF files to prevent disorganization.
  • Should the merged PDF files be too large, you can use online tools to resize or compress them.
  • Take advantage of iCloud if you have a Mac or PC, as it makes managing files across devices easier.

5 FAQs

Q1: What is the best way to combine PDFs on iPhone?

A: The answer depends on your preference and the tools you have at your disposal. However, the five methods highlighted in this post are all effective in merging PDF files.

Q2: Can I combine password-protected PDFs using these methods?

A: Yes, but you’ll need to enter the password to unlock the file before merging.

Q3: Can I add bookmarks when combining PDFs using these methods?

A: Yes, some methods such as Adobe Acrobat and PDFelement allow you to add bookmarks to your merged PDF file.

Q4: What do I do if my iOS device lacks the storage space to combine my PDF files?

A: Resize or compress the individual PDF files. You can also try uploading them in a cloud storage, then download when you have more space.

Q5: Is combining PDF files easy for first time users?

A: Yes. The applications mentioned in this post are user-friendly, making the process of merging PDF files easy, even for first-time users.

Final Thoughts

Merging your PDF files into one document can make your work easier and more efficient. Whether you use iBooks, Adobe Acrobat, PDFelement, or any of the other methods above, the process is straightforward, regardless of your technical knowledge. If you’re trying to avoid investing in expensive software or looking to combine the PDF files for once-off use, start with the iBooks or iCloud method. You’ll find that merging PDF files no longer seems like an insurmountable task.

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