There are a number of ways to combine or merge multiple PDF files into one single file or to split such a file.
How to merge PDF files
- Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has a ‘Combine Files’ function in its list of Tools. It is easy to use and powerful, allowing you to change the order of pages or use only part of the pages of a file.
- Acrobat Pro versions 8 and later had a dedicated ‘Combine files’ menu option in the ‘File’ menu. If you are using an even older version of Acrobat there are two other ways to merge files:
- Using the ‘Insert pages’ menu option is only practical if you want to merge just a couple of files
- If you need to merge a large number of files which use consecutive file names simply open the first file, make sure the ‘Pages’ navigation pane is visible, and use drag&drop to copy all other files to this area. Never forget to perform a ‘SAVE AS’ in Acrobat after combining files. This makes sure that the new file gets cleaned properly.
- If you have a prepress workflow system, it can be used to merge files. In Agfa Apogee, for example, you can simply create a job that contains the total number of pages, add all PDF files and then use the Export Task Processor to save the combined file to disk.
- If a full-blown workflow is slightly above budget but you need to merge loads of PDF files on a regular base, google around as there are a number of tools on the market to split and merge files.
How to split PDF files
- Acrobat 9 Pro has a ‘Split file’ option which works fine but doesn’t offer much control over the naming convention of the split files.
- I often use my prepress workflow to split files.
- There are loads of tools on the market to split PDF files. In a prepress environment, tools like callas pdfToolbox that go beyond simple splitting and merging are worth taking a look at.