Combine Pdf Files Into One Document.

Photo by Leon Dewiwje on Unsplash


Portable document format (pdf) is the most popular file format used to send documents via email, upload on websites for download, store documents as electronic copies and much more. Also, all document shared electronically on websites exist in pdf file format.  Now, there are instances where one need to combine multiple pdf files into a single pdf file. Obvious examples include, electronic job applications either emailed or upload, list of appendix and figures in a report or proposal and etc. In this article, we discuss how different sets of related pdf documents can be combined together into one single file.

Combine Pdf documents for job applications.

Typical job application requires more than one set of related documents. Cover letter, CV, references, academic certificates, transcripts and etc. If the application is a manual hard copy submission, then it’s easy print and bind the copies together and mail it. However, these days, electronic application either by email or uploading online is becoming more common. Job advertisements in many cases state clearly that only electronic applications are preferred.

With so many application submissions, the receiving organizations will sort the documents to screen and shortlist potential candidates. During this process, there is always the probability of files being misplaced or organized the way that is presentable. Therefore, every applicant as part of his/her application make sure that all documents are in tact and in the order that he or she preferred it be when received by the receiving organization.

Therefore, combing pdf files into one single document does help in this situation.

Combine pdf documents as list of appendix as supporting documents.

Import task related documents such as Business Proposals, Reports, handbooks and all sorts of documents required additional supporting documents. For example, figures, photographs, maps and etc which are often listed as appendix at end of the documents. Collating these documents can be tedious and time consuming and may involve more than one person. For big organizations, they have the capacity in terms of technical staff and etc to do it. However, for individual or small organizations they might engage third parties to do it for them.

It is always good have those supporting documents in electronic format (pdf) and have it ready. In the event such document is needed again later then those documents can be easily integrated into the document without having to go through organizing them again if they exist in manual hard copies only.

Combine pdf files for Loan or Withdrawal Applications with Financial Institutions.

Financial organizations like banks, money lenders, supper funds (Nasfund, Nambwan Supper) , Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) for tax related,  and PNG Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) have different applications for different  purposes that require additional supporting documents. Due to COVID-19 most these organizations have come out in the public media, advising people to use electronic means to submit their applications. Read the IPA Encourages Clients to Use Online Registry Facility

How to combine pdf files into one document.

Combining pdf files requires a two step process. Preparing the documents and combing the files.

First Part- Preparing the documents-converting them into pdf.

Before combing the files, it is important to prepare the different files into pdf file. The files may exist in many forms. For example, cover letter written in word, certificates or ID Cards in image file (photograph) and etc.

So the first part is to organize them into pdf file.

Convert Photographs into pdf file.

If the photographs are scanned using a scanner, the scanner has settings which allows the scanned copy to be save as pdf copies. If there is no scanner, then documents can be photographed and then converted to pdf.

  1. Use a smartphone to carefully photograph the documents. If you are photographing a certificate or ID, make sure to put the document on top of a white (A3 or A4 paper). This is to have a white background on the image.
  2. Transfer the image to your laptop or desktop PC.
  3. Double click the image to view it.
  4. On the image window, click More Actions icon on the far top right corner and click Print. Or alternatively press Ctrl + P  (short cut for Print)
  5. Photo by Thom Bradley from Burst

  6. On the print dialog log box, under Printer, the default Printer will be shown. Here, change the printer to Microsoft Print To Pdf printer option.
  7. Then set the other settings. Orientation (Portrait/Landscape-depending the photo), Paper size set to A4, Photo size set to full page or as required. See the preview image and set those settings.
  8. Then click Print, name the file with a descriptive name and safe.

If you have an existing file in image file,  print  as stated above to convert pdf.

Converting a Word Document into Pdf file.

For word documents, there are two options. Print using the Print to pdf Printer option as stated above to print  photo or use the Export command  option in Word.

  1. Open the word document file
  2. Click File (Backstage) Tab ==> Select Export == > Select Create Pdf/XPs document
  3. Click Create Pdf/XPs button.
  4. Name the file and save it.

Note: Include signature image bottom of the document to sign off. Read more about signing documents electronically.

2nd Part-Combing the pdf files

Once the files are all in pdf, put all into one folder so it’s easier to combine into different files as required.

  1. Download the free software Adolix Spilt & Merge PDF. It is  free software  from It’s free to use for personal use. Install in it in the desktop or Laptop.
  2. After installing it, launch the application. From the application window, select Merge tab  (see image below)
  3. Upload the files to merge together by clicking the File Add button (plus + sign) and load the required files. Note that the free version only allows for five (5) files to be merged. Obvious, some documents will require more than five documents. To overcome this, group the files and merge first. For example, for a job application. Merge all the certificates into one file first. Then all references together as one. Then combine again the merged single certificates file, merged references file , CV and cover letter. That will by pass the 5 files merge restriction here.
  4. Sort the order of documents by using the up and down buttons
  5. Once sorted, click the Merge Files button.

The merged file will be created in the same folder from which the files are upload. Rename the file. This is your merged document.

Also, note that merging related documents together is a great way to organize your documents so that later it becomes easier to merge them together for a final document. For example, merge all certificates together and store it as single file or different references together as one file. Later, if applying to different job advertisements, the two files are ready to combine with the  CV  and cover letter for each application.

Final Note

There are different free pdf merge and spilt software on the internet. If you come across one, test it and use the one you are comfortable with but also it’s not a malware with malicious intent.