How to Save Multiple Files As One PDF on Mac

PDF files have become ubiquitous as they can be easily shared and viewed on any device without compatibility issues. This has made it a preferred format for professionals. However, sometimes, you may need to combine multiple files into a single PDF for convenience. This could be a hassle, particularly on a Mac, which has a distinct operating system with its own set of features and functions. If you are a Mac user, and you need to combine several PDFs into one, then this is the article for you. Here, we will discuss various methods to save multiple files as one PDF on Mac.

Video Tutorial:

What’s Needed:

– A Mac computer with an updated macOS version
– Preview, the default PDF viewer on Mac
– PDF editing software that can merge multiple PDF files
– High-resolution scans or photographs of the documents that you want to combine into a single PDF

What Requires Your Focus:

Merging separate PDFs into a single document without losing the original formatting requires attention to detail throughout the process. Follow the steps carefully to avoid any errors that may result in data loss or quality degradation.

Method 1: Using Preview application

Preview is a powerful PDF application that comes bundled with macOS. One of its many functions is the ability to merge multiple PDF files into one document. Here’s how:

1. Open the Preview app on your Mac.
2. Click on "File" in the menu bar and choose "Open…" to select the PDF files you want to combine.
3. Once you have opened the first file, click on "View" in the menu bar and select "Thumbnails" to show all the pages of the document in the sidebar.
4. Click on the thumbnail of the first page of the second PDF that you want to add to the first PDF, drag it, and then drop it onto the thumbnail of the last page of the first PDF.
5. Repeat step four for all the PDFs you want to merge together.
6. Once you have combined all the files, click on "File" in the menu bar, and choose "Export as PDF…"
7. Give the new document a name and choose a location to save the file.
8. Press "Save" to create the merged PDF file.

– No external software or tools required as Preview comes bundled with Mac
– Easy to use and has a user-friendly UI
– Quick and efficient for small PDF files
– Provides basic editing tools such as adding annotations and images

– Limited to basic PDF functions, not suitable for advanced editing or complex documents
– Can be slow and unstable with larger file sizes and numerous pages

Method 2: Using Safari browser

Safari is the default browser on Mac, and it offers another straightforward way to combine several PDFs into one file. This method works by printing the PDFs to a new PDF file that will contain all the pages of the original documents. Here is how you can do it:

1. Open Safari on your Mac.
2. Click on "File" in the menu bar, then select "Open File…" to locate the first PDF file you want to combine.
3. Once opened, click on "File" again, and choose "Print" from the options.
4. In the "Print" dialogue box, click on "PDF" button in the lower-left corner.
5. Select "Save as PDF" option from the drop-down menu.
6. Give the new file a name and location to save the file.
7. Click on the "Save" button to create the merged file.
8. Repeat the above steps for all the remaining PDF files that you want to add to the newly created file.

– Can be used with any browser that supports PDF printing
– Easy and quick method for small files
– Saves time as there is no need to open PDF files in an editor

– Not suitable for PDF files with complex formatting or layout
– Can be slow and unstable with larger file sizes and numerous pages
– No custom editing or modification features available

Method 3: Using PDF editor

There are many PDF editors for Mac that offer advanced features for editing, modifying, and merging PDF files. These applications provide a cleaner user interface, more tools for customization, and greater control over formatting. Here we will outline steps for merging multiple PDF files using the PDF expert application.

1. Download and install PDF expert on your Mac computer. It has a 7-day free trial which you could make use of even if you don’t plan to buy it.
2. Launch the PDF expert, and click "Merge PDFs" o the welcome window
3. To import the PDFs you want to merge click "Select PDF files", now locate and add the desired files from your computer.
4. Now rearrange the files in the order you want them to appear in the merged PDF.
5. To merge the PDFs, click "Merge".
6. The merged PDF file will now be available for you to download.

– Full suite of PDF editing functions available
– Precision editing and formatting controls
– Suitable for PDF files with complex layouts and figures
– Supports highly customizable merging of different files.

– Needs to be downloaded and installed on your Mac
– Paid software with limited free trial.

Why Can’t I Save Multiple Files As One PDF on Mac?

1. Outdated software or devices – If you are using an older operating system or outdated software, you may experience issues while merging PDF files.
Solution: Make sure your Mac is updated to the latest macOS version before attempting to merge PDF files.

2. Corrupted PDF files – If your PDF files are damaged or corrupted, they may not merge correctly or could cause errors while saving.
Solution: Repair or regenerate the PDF files using a trusted software tool before attempting to merge them.

3. User error – Incorrect steps or incorrect selections during the PDF merging process can cause issues, including inaccurate pages or lost data.
Solution: Follow the instructions carefully and ensure that the files you want to merge are in the correct order.

Implications and Suggestions:

Merging multiple PDF files into one document can be a great way to save time and organize your PDF files. However, before merging, ensure that the files are compatible, and the formatting is consistent. Verify the order of the pages and ensure that any annotations or edits are saved. Always keep a backup of individual documents. This helps avoid data loss or errors in the final merged PDF file.


Q1. Can I merge PDF files for free on Mac?

A1. Yes, you can use Preview, the built-in PDF viewer on Mac, to merge multiple PDF files into a single document. Most PDF editing applications offer free trial periods as well.

Q2. Can I merge multiple file types into one PDF on Mac?

A2. Yes, most PDF editing applications allow you to merge files in different formats, including images and text files into one PDF.

Q3. Is it possible to merge encrypted PDF files?

A3. Yes, most PDF editing applications can merge encrypted PDF files, provided that you have the password to access them.

Q4. Can I adjust the order of pages in the merged PDF file?

A4. Yes, you can use most PDF editing applications to rearrange the pages of the merged PDF document in any order you would prefer.

Q5. What is the size limitation for merged PDF files on Mac?

A5. The size limitation varies based on the method you use to merge the files. Preview and Safari are limited in file sizes and pages. PDF editors are generally better suited to manage larger files. It is essential to be mindful of file sizes while merging and minimize the amount of data being merged per file.


Merging multiple PDF files on Mac has never been easier, with several tools and applications available to help you combine files and create one document. Preview, Safari, or PDF editors are all effective ways to combine multiple files into a single PDF. Ensure that the process is followed carefully, and all files are in order before attempting a merge. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can quickly combine files into a single PDF document, saving you valuable time and effort.