How can I split up a PDF into smaller segments or combine multiple PDFs into one?

By Sandra Clitter  

How many times have you run into the situation where you have a large PDF and want to share just a portion of it with someone else…or, you have several PDF’s that you want to combine into one large one? Maybe you have the situation where you want a couple of pages from one PDF and a couple of pages from another PDF. Sound familiar?

I had forgotten about a tool that I use ALL the time (yes, it’s free!), but hadn’t written about until someone asked today for just page 2 of a 2-page PDF. AHA!!! The PERFECT opportunity for a post!

There are a couple of ways you can accomplish getting a few pages out of a larger PDF. The first is to open the large PDF, then click on the print icon. Select your PDF ‘printer’ (if you don’t have a free PDF tool, click here to find out about getting one of those for free: Cute PDF), and print ONLY THE PAGES THAT YOU WANT – just as you would a ‘real’ printer. You will be challenged (as is traditional with PDF writers) for a file name…simply name your new file whatever you want and you have your ‘slimmed down’ PDF.

There is also another way to split a PDF AND merge multiple PDF’s in a bit more elegant of a manner. Enter the phenomenal tool by Adolix, “Adolix Split & Merge PDF”.

Go to and download the free version. There is a professional version that removes limitations in the free version, but most of the time, I can do what I need to with the free version. Sometimes it takes me a few more steps, but I can accomplish the task that I set out to do. If I were managing alot of large PDF’s on a regular basis, I’d spring for the $19.95 (as of this writing), and get the unlimited version, but I only have this challenge occasionally – and most of the time with smaller files.

Anyway, back to the task at hand…download and install “Split and Merge”.

When you open it, there is a simple (and relatively intuitive) interface:

Adolix Split and Merge Menu

Click on the correct tab to take the action that you want – split or merge – and away you go. We’ll start with ‘split’. Simply click on the + sign on the right side to add a file to be split:

Once you have the file(s) selected, use the middle section to say HOW you want the file(s) split (first 3 pages, one page each, pages 6-9 and 11, etc.)

Click the ‘Split’ button and voila! Multiple PDF’s:

If you exceed the ‘freebie’ length (as I did here), you’ll get this message:

No big deal…simply split your first (large) pdf into two smaller PDFs (or more, depending upon size), then continue to split until you have all the ‘smaller’ PDF’s that you’d like to have.

Next, if you want to COMBINE PDFs, click on the ‘Merge’ tab:

Just as you selected the PDF(s) that you wanted to split on the first step, this time you select the PDF’s that you want to merge. If you want to change the order, use the up/down arrows to move the pages around:

Once you’re satisfied that you have all the PDF files in the merge list (and in the correct order), press the ‘Merge Files!’ button and you’ll have one, larger PDF file…AND, the pages will be in the order your specified.

Hint: If you need to combine more than a few PDF’s into one larger PDF, and it exceeds the ‘freebie’ limitations, then combine a few PDFs, and just keep repeating the process until they are all combined into one big file. Splitting larger files works the same way – first break it down into two files, then break those two files down again, etc. It’s a bit more work, but it’s still free!

Happy PDF managing!!!


  1. Chris
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi, just saw this article from a few years ago and wanted to add some my penny to it. In the last few years a lot of online pdf editors have launched. Most of them are cloudbased services and can give quite impressive results.
    The best ones are, which has a freemium model, which is new and completely free, which is also free and of course the old

    They all offer separate functions to edit pdfs, merge and combine or split pdf documents and other stuff to do online.

    Concerning to privacy, the european based services like smallpdf and pdf2go are quite restrictive with data protection and ensure that all is done securely and files are deleted after download. With the US-based services I am not sure of this.

    Hey, hope this helps anyone out,

    • Posted January 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the great comment, Chris! You’re right…one thing we can count on with technology is that it will change – and quickly. Appreciate the good (and updated) suggestions.

  2. Handy Carry
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Try any latest third party PDF file Splitter tool to split large PDF file into smaller segments or combine multiple PDFs into one, for example Kernel for PDF Split and Merge it good choice for every users.

  3. Cynthia
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent – glad to read this. I went the “old fashioned” route – copied the text and then pasted to Word Document then did what I needed… works, but I’ll surely give this a try.

    • Posted March 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I hope it helps, Cynthia!! I use it ALL the time…must easier than copying/pasting because the formatting stays put :-). Sandy

  4. Pam Wenner
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you so much Sandy. This program is magic. We recently purchased new computers and they didn’t come with the standard version of adobe that would allow you to split and merge. It would have cost $299 for a single license and so I was trying different work arounds, but was finding it a major pain. I just installed Adolix and it was amazingly easy. Love your tips!!

    • Posted February 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi, Pam!

      I am so thrilled that you found this helpful. Isn’t it exciting to find these gems? CutePDF is one of my other faves (for creating PDF’s in the first place). I’m just NOT going to pay Adobe for something that I don’t use every day – and would NEVER use all of the features. Happy splitting and merging!


  5. Mark Skorcz
    Posted February 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Sandy. I have wanted/needed the merge feature for a while.

  6. Kathy Testa
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is awesome and very timely! I may have a need to split up a PDF report into multiple pages. Our vendor couldn’t do it in the system, but I bet I can use this tool. Thanks, Sandy!!

    • Posted February 15, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      YEAH!!! So glad that it’s going to come in handy. I use it a bunch…and when you need it you NEED it!!! Let me know how you make out.

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