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For this task, we will use the program PDF Split and Merge. As mentioned earlier, this program will only merge unprotected PDFs or PDFs in which you know the password.
Download PDF Split and Merge from here. You want to download the Win32 Installer under the Pdfsam Basic 2.0.0 section.
Install the program as you would any other program. We recommend that you install it for all users, so any user on the computer can use it.
After the program is installed, click on the Pdfsam button from your Start Menu. You will be presented with the main menu.
On the left side of the screen, you will see the available options (Alternate Mix, Merge/Extract, Rotate, Split, Visual document and Visual Reorder).
Click on Merge/Extract. You will need to add the individual PDF files you want to merge. We recommend that you add the PDF files in the order in which you want them, but don’t worry if you change your mind. You can always change the order later.
Click on the Add button and add the PDF files. You can use the control key to add them all at once. After you get the files, added you should have a listing of the PDF’s, how many pages there are and what version the file is. Don’t worry if the different PDFs are in different versions, they will all be converted to a common format.
If the listing of files is highlighted in yellow, you will not be able to merge these PDF’s unless you know the password.
Keep in mind the PDFs will be merged in the exact order shown. If you do not like the order, make sure you use the Move Up/Move Down buttons to the right of the listing.
Click on the Browse button under the Destination output file section. This is where you get to name the PDF and choose the version. We recommend you choose version 1.5 or 1.6 to keep compatibility with the older versions of PDF software.
When you are ready, click on the Run button and the program will combine the PDFs together.
In the last section, we showed you how to merge unprotected PDFs. Here, we will demonstrate PDFill, which will allow you to merge protected PDFs.
Click here to download PDFill. Make sure you download the right version for your operating system.
Install the program as you normally would. When the program starts for the first time, you will be prompted to install GhostScript. GhostScript allows the program to read and create PDF’s. We recommend that you click the Download Automatically button to download and install GhostScript. If that doesn’t work, try clicking Download Manually. Follow all of the prompts to install GhostScript. After the installation finishes, a Windows Explorer window will open, close this window.
Click on Start, select All Programs, and click PDFill PDF Editor. This program is not free, but we need it so we can configure the rest of the programs. By default, the Java Runtime Environment does not allow the program to use more than 64-128MB of RAM. We need to change this so you can open a larger PDF. If you don’t change it, you will get an error when trying to open a large PDF.
When you open the program, you will be presented with the main window.
Click on Format and select PDFill Options. Click on the System tab. Under Java Memory Size, change the size to 768 if you have 2GB or 1024 if you have 4GB. Just make sure you do not exceed the amount of RAM in your system, otherwise it will slow to a crawl. You can also play with the options a bit if you have more or less RAM. We do not recommend going above 1536 in case the program hangs. Click Ok to save the changes and then close the window.
Click on Start, select All Programs, select PDFill and click on PDFill PDF Tools (Free). When you open the program, you will be presented with many different options.
Click on Merge PDF Files. Click on the Add a PDF File button to begin adding files. As with the previous program, you can use the control key to select multiple files at once. Or, if you are lazy, you can drag and drop the PDF files in to the blank white space of the window.
The program may appear that it locked up or stopped responding if this happens ignore it. The program goes unresponsive due to the size of the PDF. Since we adjusted the amount of RAM that the JRE can use, we don’t run into a problem.
A listing of the PDFs to be merged will appear. As with the previous program, you can change the order the PDFs will be merged by using the Move Up/Move Down buttons.
Click on the Save As button and name the file whatever you wish. As with before, the program may temporarily appear to lock-up, do not click into the window or the program will crash.
After the merge, the PDF will open. If it didn’t merge properly, try re-doing the merge. Close the program when you are finished.