This document provides instructions for Acrobat XI. If you're using Acrobat DC, see Acrobat DC Help.

Create merged PDFs

Combine most file types — even rich media — into a single, organized PDF. You can merge Word, Excel, PowerPoint, audio, video, or web pages, as well as existing PDFs. Acrobat lets you preview and arrange the documents and pages before creating the file. You can delete unwanted pages and move individual pages from a document anywhere among the pages being combined. Acrobat converts the pages of the various files into sequential pages of a single PDF.


You cannot create merged files using the Adobe Reader application.

  1. Choose Tools > Pages > Combine Files Into PDF.

    The Combine File dialog box lets you work in two different views:

    Thumbnail view

    Displays a preview of the pages. It lets you quickly rearrange documents and pages by dragging the thumbnail images.

    List view

    Lists information about each file. It lets you sort the files by any of the fields, such as name, size, or modification date.

  2. Drag files or emails directly into the Combine Files dialog box. Alternatively, choose an option from the Add Files menu. You can add a folder of files, a web page, any currently open files, items in the clipboard, pages from a scanner, or a file you combined previously (Reuse Files).
    Thumbnail view of the Combine Files dialog box
    Thumbnail view of the Combine Files dialog box lets you drag-and-drop documents and rearrange pages.

    A. Thumbnail and list view buttons B. Slider to resize thumbnails C. Undo and Redo buttons D. Remove Selected Items button E. Plus sign displays all pages in a document 


    If you add a folder that contains files that Acrobat does not support for PDF conversion, those files are not added.

  3. As needed, do any of the following:

    Rearrange pages

    In the Thumbnail view, drag-and-drop the file or page into position. As you drag, a blue bar moves between pages or documents to indicate the current position.

    View pages of multipage file

    In the Thumbnail view, click the plus sign next to the filename. Once visible, you can move the individual pages freely among the other pages and documents. Double-click a page to close the multipage file.

    Preview pages

    In the Thumbnail view, hover over the page, and then double-click the Zoom icon.

    Delete pages

    In the Thumbnail view, select the page or pages you want to delete, then click the Remove Selected Items button.

    Sort files

    In the List view, click the column name that you want to sort by. Click again to sort in reverse order. The order of files in the list reflects the order of the files in the combined PDF. Sorting rearranges the pages of the combined PDF.

    Move files up or down file list

    In the List view, select the file or files you want to move. Then click the Move Up or Move Down button.

  4. Click Options, and select one of the file size options for the converted file:

    Smaller File Size

    Reduces large images to screen resolution and compresses, using low-quality JPEG. Suitable for onscreen display, email, and the Internet.

    note: If any of the source files are already PDFs, the Smaller File Size option applies the Reduce File Size feature to those files. The Reduce File Size feature is not applied if either the Default File Size or Larger File Size option is selected.

    Default File Size

    Creates PDFs suitable for reliable viewing and printing of business documents.

    Larger File Size

    Applies the High Quality Print conversion preset.

  5. In the Options dialog box, specify the conversion settings as needed, then click OK.
  6. When you have finished arranging the pages, click Combine Files.

    A status dialog box shows the progress of the file conversions. Some source applications start and close automatically.

Insert one PDF into another

  1. Open the PDF that serves as the basis of the combined file.
  2. Choose Tools > Pages > Insert From File.
  3. Select the PDF.
  4. In the Insert Pages dialog box, specify where to insert the document (before or after the first or last page, or a designated page). Click OK.
  5. To leave the original PDF intact as a separate file, choose Save As, and type a new name for the merged PDF.


You can also add an existing file to an open PDF. Drag the file icon directly into position in the Page Thumbnails panel in the navigation pane.

Insert a clipboard selection into a PDF (Windows)

You can insert one or more pages of selected content copied from any application into an existing PDF.

  1. Open the document containing the content that you want to add. Select the content, and then copy the selection (in most applications, by choosing Edit > Copy File To Clipboard).
  2. Open the PDF that serves as the basis of the combined file.
  3. Choose Tools > Pages > More Insert Options > Insert From Clipboard.
  4. In the Insert Pages dialog box, specify where to insert the selection (before or after the first or last page, or a designated page). Click OK.
  5. To leave the original PDF intact as a separate file, choose Save As, and type a new name for the merged PDF.

Placing PDFs as linked files in other documents

You can incorporate PDFs into other types of files that support Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), such as InDesign® or Word files. These files are called OLE container documents. Later, if you edit the original PDF, the OLE features in the container application update the embedded file in the container document, to reflect your changes.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose the OLE container application’s Insert Object command or Insert Hyperlink command.

    • (Windows)In Acrobat, choose Edit > Copy File To Clipboard, and then choose the Paste Special command in the container application.

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