Elements 18: Merging PDF Files to one PDF File

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I need to merge a few PDF files created in Photoshop elements 18 into one PDF file - The Automation tool is greyed out any other options to get this done? Why is it greyed out?
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Emily Govender

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Posted 10 months ago

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Steve Lehman

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Interesting.  There is a batch file tool in Adobe that will convert (other format files) into one format.   I have not heard of automation tool that merges files into one file, even if it's all one file format.  Could you explain what, how, and what tools, in detail?   
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Photoshop Elements is not a PDF management tool like Adobe Acrobat Pro.
The PDF format is a printing format, not an image one. So, while it can open and convert pdf files of individual pages, it can't merge them into multipage pdf documents.
On the other hand, the Automation tool is greyed out by default since it is not used for Elements commands, but only to support scripts present in third party add-ons.

The File >> Save as or File >> Process multiple files commands let you export files into the Photoshop PDF format, which is a format combining a real PDF format and a PSD format; it can be opened by either a PDF software or by Photoshop or Elements.
The pdf format is no longer supported in the organizer in recent versions, so you can't even use the command 'Export as new files'.

So, what can you do if you don't want to subscribe to the Acrobat formula (meaningless for normal Elements users) or to choose Adobe competitors?
- In its 'Share' options, you can share by email with an option to create a multipage pdf. That is intended for small size multipage files.
- You can create photo books, but I don't use this feature myself.
- My own solution with Windows 10 is to use the option to print to the virtual pdf printer driver (Microsoft Print to PDF). You select a number of files and the command File >> Print. There are many other (often free) virtual pdf printers, so that should work even with Macs or older Win versions.

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Steve Lehman

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Emily, 

I agree with Michel.   Collecting files or combining them into one file is a matter of pulling images and merging those together only artistically, but that's the only way to get them into one file.  Elements is not like Word where you can pull a collections of files into one file.  The batch file I was talking about only converts a collection of files into different formats even if they happen to be in the same folder, but it doesn't collection files and combine them into one file.   

Quick note to Michel, as for Acrobat, I have Acrobat (and Adobe Reader separately).  Acrobat is good when receiving a photo or art file from a cloud and saving it (from a customer, as it won't save sometimes on my end unless my customer gives permission for me to save it or convert it to another format like to a Word file.  In that case, I can run it through Acrobat to convert it into another file anyway, because even if permission is not registered, my Acrobat I can override that.   And this is why I made that Acrobat investment.   

Steve Lehman, mcse