How to Scan Several Documents Into One File

By Louise Balle

Say you are putting together a series of photos, news clippings or documents that are all in hard copy form. You can scan each file individually and then combine them into one convenient PDF file. Of course, you can also combine them into other file types, like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, but the process is a lot messier and difficult to format. Besides, most scanners allow you to scan in a document or picture as a PDF file automatically, so PDF is more convenient.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat

Step 1

Open your scanner software program.

Step 2

Open Adobe Acrobat. Click on "File," then "Create PDF From Scanner" (or, in newer versions, click on "Document," then "Scan to PDF"). Select your scanner's name from the drop-down menu. The Acrobat program syncs up with your scanner's software to save your files as PDFs. Keep Acrobat up on screen.

Step 3

Scan your first document into the computer. When it finishes loading, a dialog box from your scanner program will pop up to confirm your scan settings. Press "OK" to continue.

Step 4

Repeat Step 3 for each of the pages that you need to scan. Save each page as an individual file that can be identified easily in a new folder (preferably page1.pdf, page2.pdf and so on). Close all of the files once they are saved and remember the location.

Step 5

Click "File," then "Combine Files" on your Acrobat menu. Select the option to merge a group of files into one PDF file.

Step 6

Click "Add Files" and find the file folder where you saved all your individual PDF files. Select the folder and click "OK." You can also select each PDF file individually. Organize the individual files into the correct order by pressing the "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons. You can also remove files that you don't need any longer.

Step 7

Click "Combine Files" when you have everything assembled and ordered. Your multiple scanned PDFs will convert into one PDF file.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want the pages that you scan to be editable, select "OCR Text Recognition" or "Run OCR" under the "Scan to PDF" menu. This will recognize the words and characters that appear on the page as they are scanned in and allow you to search and edit the document.
  • Buy a document feeder scanner if you plan to compile large files from scanned documents. Most document feeders also allow you to scan double-sided pages automatically.
  • You can also scan your documents as JPG files and then use "Insert" and "Picture" to place each page into a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint file. You will not be able to edit these types of files.

References & Resources