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This article was published on August 9, 2019

How to merge several PDFs or images into a single file… on iOS

How to merge several PDFs or images into a single file… on iOS
Ravie Lakshmanan

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

Shortcuts for iOS is a useful app for automating actions on your iPhone or iPad. In this series, we’ve been looking at a variety of workflows to make your Apple device a lot more powerful to accomplish specific tasks.

Today, we’ll take a look at another simple automation to combine multiple PDF documents or image files into a single PDF document. While there are lots of websites and apps that offer this functionality, Shortcuts makes it dead simple and doesn’t require you to upload files. Here’s how you do it:

Step #1: Download the Shortcuts app from the App Store, if you haven’t done so already. (Note: It comes pre-installed on your device if you’re already running iOS 13 developer or public beta.)

Step #2: Open the app, and in the “My Shortcuts” tab, hit “+” on top to create a new shortcut.

Step #3: Tap the “Settings” icon on top right, and give the shortcut a name, like “Merge PDF.” You can also tap the “Icon” to change it to something that matches your shortcut’s function better.

Step #4: The first step to fetch the PDF files or images that you would want to merge. To do this, add the “Get File” action. You can choose between different cloud services like iCloud Drive and Dropbox.

Also, ensure that you enable the option “Select Multiple.” This allows you to select multiple files when you run the shortcut.

Step #5: Next, add the action “Make PDF” to make a combined PDF from the documents selected in the previous step. You can also turn the setting “Include Margin” on, or select specific pages using the “Include” option.

Step #6: A convenient method to view the merged PDF is to add a “Quick Look” action. This allows you to preview the the combined document and share it.

Step #7: And, you’re done! When you run the shortcut, you’ll be prompted to select the files. And once done, a combined PDF will be generated.

We’ve already covered how to create a simple RSS feed reader, share your Wi-Fi password as a QR code, and get the size of any file on your iOS device. But, this is just the start of what you can accomplish with Shortcuts.

If you’re new to the whole Shortcuts thing, Apple has put together a handy user guide to get you started. Have any interesting idea for a shortcut? Tweet at us.

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