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Advanced Guide to Merging PDF Files

by Hung Nguyen

The most comprehensive guide to combining PDF files, including tricks to organize, rotate and delete pages before merging.

Smallpdf has the most popular online PDF Merge tool. It's quick, free and easy-to-use - everything that you could ask for to get the task done effectively.

If one needs to simply combine two PDF files, this is an easy two-click process. However, if you need to delete, organize and further edit PDF files before or after the merging process, we've created this advanced guide to help you to do so. All the answers to your merging problems.

Page Mode vs. File Mode


There are two modes to preview the content of your PDF files within our Merge tool - Page Mode and File Mode.

  • File Mode is the default and allows you to edit files that have been added to the tool as a whole.

  • Page Mode, on the other hand, allows you to view and edit all the pages within all the uploaded PDFs. They will be displayed in the order of the files as listed in File Mode.

You can switch between the two options directly from the preview screen of the merge tool, as seen below.

Switching between File Mode and Page Mode

Organize Files and Pages


Drag and drop files as you'd like to arrange the order in which you would like to merge and view them. If you want to organize pages, switch to Page Mode and drag the pages around.

On the Page Mode, each group of letter represents one file. All the pages that start with the letter A belong to the first file, and so on...

Move pages around with ease

Delete Pages


As you hover each page or file, there is an 'x' icon for you to delete them as you please. We don't have a limit as to how many pages or files can be combined, so feel free to add and remove pages as you wish!

Delete pages in Page Mode

After you are happy with the order of the files/pages, click 'Merge PDF' to combine the files and download your merged PDF.

If you wish to continue to work with other tools, you can do so by clicking the connected tools before you download your files.



Smallpdf aims to make merging PDF files as seamless as possible. As such, you can:

  • Merge on any OS, including Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • Any internet browser. It doesn't matter if you are on Edge, Firefox, Safari or Chrome. As long as you are connected to the internet, you can use Smallpdf.

Offline Processing


Introducing the Smalldpf Desktop application, to bring a whole new experience to PDF processing. Smallpdf Desktop merge files a bit differently, but it's equally as easy. It's also much faster as you no longer need to upload any files.

Best of all, the desktop app offers many more features to further edit your files before merging.

Offline File Mode


To quickly merge multiple PDF files:

  • Open the Smallpdf Desktop app, which is free to download.

  • Click 'Merge' and then use the up and down arrows to rearrange your files. X icon is used to delete files from the process.

  • Click 'Merge' to start.

Merge PDF with Smallpdf Desktop

Offline Page Mode


This is where the Smallpdf Desktop really shines. The equivalent to 'Page Mode' on the desktop app can be accessed by clicking 'Merge' when you have a PDF opened with our PDF reader. Afterward, click 'Add File' to include the other PDFs that you wish to merge together with the current file. From here, you can start to edit all the pages.

To move multiple pages, hold down the 'Shift' key and click on the pages you wish to move. Then, drag and drop them around the file as you'd like.

You can also rotate the pages as you please, using the round arrow icon on each previewed page. To rotate multiple pages, highlight them and click the two circular arrows on the top to do so.

Delete multiple pages within Smallpdf Desktop

And that's pretty much it. Merging PDF is one of - if not the most popular request when it comes to PDF manipulation. We aim to make this process as effectively for you as possible, through our website and offline app.

If you have any further feedback or requests that can make Smallpd even better, please send an email our way. Smallpdf was created as a product of user feedback and we take every single message in mind, to consider for product development.

Hung Nguyen
Marketing & Customer Satisfaction Manager
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