Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to combine PDF documents!

I was super jazzed to find the post on Pinterest from Mary on Adventures in Kindergarten on how to how to have landscape and portrait layouts in the same document!  It was a little different on Mac, but just knowing it was possible was life changing!  Buuuut then Apple had to throw a wrench in my little discovery by throwing me a curveball.  When I went to save my documents it saved them as separate PDF files.  My unit I had been working on for weeks was saved as 16 different pdfs!  Eeks!  This was definitely a bummer when I was finally feeling like my work was over and less than helpful when I was trying to post my pretty, unit on TpT.

This prompted an internet search which then led to watching several tutorials.  An hour later I finally had my document back in one piece.  The kicker for me was that process was different depending on which operating system you used.  So even after watching the first tutorial and thinking I had it under control....nope, nope, nope.  After more digging I realized it was because I recently had upgraded to the Mountain Lion operating system and that apparently made a difference for how you were able to combine the documents.  Since this whole debacle made me want to -- poundmyheadagainstawall ;) -- I thought I would share what I found in case anyone else found themselves in the same situation.  :)

If you are using the Mountain Lion (OSX 10.8) these tutorials made it very easy to figure out.  Macintosh How To post goes through step by step and includes pictures.  If you are using an OSX before Mountain Lion, see this post by Macintosh How To.  As they mention in their post, there are many programs that offer to do this for you, but this is so easy!

Here are some of the ways that learning how to do this and use Preview has really rocked my world -

1.  I can combine documents that I made at different times without having to fiddle with combining them in Word. (Word can be a little more than frustrating sometimes, right?) I had so many things that I wanted to put together and share for different units. When I would try to add pages on and cut and paste from each document.  It was a nightmare.  Now I can just open up the different PDF files and plop them into one.  :)

2.  You can not only combine the PDFs but rearrange the pages within the PDF document!  Holy cow. This was pretty huge for many reasons.  You can make parts of your document with different programs (PowerPoint, Word, Publisher, etc.) and combine them into one....and put them in whatever order you want.

3.  Have you ever tried to delete a page from one of your units and everything beneath it just gets all crazy crazy?  Even if you're not combining PDFs if you open them up in Preview and select view thumbnails, you can just click on them and delete!

These are just a few of the ways it has helped me.  If you have the Mountain Lion OSX, I say check it out.  I think you'll be a fan like me.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment.  I would love to help! :)


  1. Wow, this could be helpful for me when we finally get a new computer. Thanks for posting..

    If you can believe it, I do everything in Pages and then convert to PDF from there. Pages is Mac's version of Word and I LOVE IT.

    PS I went to Target and got some of those smaller dry erase boards and dice. They barely had any left when I went.

    Thanks Abby!

    1. Hmmm, I definitely need to check out Pages. I've never tried it, but sounds like I definitely should. :)

  2. I discovered that trick by accident one day, and I've been taking advantage of it ever since! :)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  3. Thank you so much for sharing!! My sis and I are your newest followers!! =)
    Sister Teachers

  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm glad it was helpful! :)

  5. This is a good tip! I've been wanting to combine 2 of my units into a bundle, but couldn't because of the layout.

    1. Glad it worked for you! I was so excited when I discovered I could do it. :)