What’s the Easiest Way to Merge PDF Files on a Mac?


There are many ways to merge your PDF files on a Mac, but here, we cover the easiest method. And no, you don’t have to install any software for this.

If you wish to merge PDFs on your Mac, you can do so effectively with Preview or any third-party PDF tool. However, while these methods work perfectly fine, they aren’t efficient when you’ve to merge a lot of PDFs.

Fortunately, Apple offers Quick Actions that can turn this around. Quick Actions is a macOS feature aimed at helping users automate their day-to-day operations on the Mac. And as such, it gives you various actions to facilitate the same, including creating PDFs.

So, follow along as we show you how to combine PDF files on a Mac using Quick Actions.

Enable the Create PDF Action on Your Mac

Apple enables most built-in Quick Actions on the Mac by default. To verify if the Create PDF action is enabled on your device, open System Settings and go to Privacy & Security > Extensions > Finder, and make sure the checkbox for Create PDF is ticked.

enabling Create PDF action to show in Finder

Combine PDFs on a Mac Using the Create PDF Quick Action

Once you’ve ensured the Create PDF Quick Action is enabled on your Mac, here’s how you can use it to combine multiple PDF files into a single PDF:

  1. Gather all the PDF files you want to merge and put them into a folder.
  2. Go to the folder containing these PDFs, select the ones you want to combine into a single document, and right-click on them. Make sure to select the PDFs in the same order you want them to appear in the final PDF document.
  3. Right-click or Control-click the selected files and, from the context menu, select Quick Actions > Create PDF.
    Create PDF action in right-click menu

  4. Alternatively, you can select the PDF files you want to merge and click the Quick Action in the Preview window on the right to merge them. You need the Show Preview option and the Column view enabled in Finder to run the Quick Action this way.
    Create PDF action in Preview window

The Create PDF Quick Action will create a new PDF and save it in the same directory as other PDF files. Right-click this file and select Rename. Give a unique name to this new file and hit Return to save it.

Double-click the PDF file to open it in Preview. Check the order of the PDF files to ensure they’re in the correct order. If they aren’t, go over the process again, ensuring you pick the PDF files in the correct order.

Things to Keep in Mind When Merging PDFs Using Quick Actions

If you intend to use the Create PDF Quick Action, here are a couple of things you should know:

  1. If you’ve got the PDF files you wish to merge into a single PDF file on your desktop, you can combine them directly from the desktop itself—no need to open Finder and navigate to the Desktop folder.
  2. Apple doesn’t let you merge encrypted PDF files using the Create PDF Quick Action. So, if you’ve got a bunch of password-protected PDFs, make sure to unlock the PDF files before following the above steps to merge them successfully.

Save Time When Merging PDFs on a Mac

As you’ve just seen, the Create PDF Quick Action greatly simplifies the PDF merging process on the Mac. As such, if you regularly need to combine PDFs on your Mac, this Quick Action can streamline your workflow by eliminating the extra steps you’d otherwise have to go through with other methods and save time.

Of course, merging PDFs is just one of the valuable applications of Quick Actions. It offers several other actions to simplify various macOS operations, such as image conversion. So, if you’re new to macOS, we recommend referring to our detailed guide on Quick Actions to get started.


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