Not many apps to cut and join PDF files come in such an intuitive interface and with such flexible functionality as those that Icecream PDF Split and Merge offers. This attractive little app provides you with four options to split a PDF file and a straightforward merging functionality. The app supports any PDF file, regardless of how big or how long it is. It can also work with any password-protected PDF, provided that you know the password that unlocks it.
This program lets you split a PDF file in three different ways – into individual pages (producing as many single-page files as pages in the document), in groups of an equal number of pages that you determine starting from the page of your choice, and by page ranges. There is a fourth option, designed to delete from the selected PDF file those pages you want to get rid of. Though labeled as such, I find it hard to consider this a fourth split method – it simply extracts from the source PDF whatever pages you select and makes them disappear, so technically, it does not really split it into smaller PDF files. The trial version limits to 40 the number of pages to be extracted per document.
It is a pity that this app doesn’t support splitting PDFs in batches. Clearly, not all split methods would benefit from that batch split support (such as the page range method), but others could easily be used in more than one file at a time, such as the split to individual pages and split by groups of pages methods.
The merge function is even more straightforward. You can drag and drop into the program’s interface all the PDFs you want to join (limited to a maximum of three in the trial version). By default, the program will select the entire documents, but you can change that by clicking on the figure in the Pages column. When it comes to file protection, the program allows you to add a password to the merged file, as well as to define if the new file will offer any editing, printing, and copying permissions. Both the split and the merge functions come with a preview button that opens the file in a new window. This feature comes in really handy to check that we’ve selected the right file and, even more important, the right page or page range.
I must confess I’m not very fond of one-function tools (especially if they come with a price tag attached). I find it hard to picture a user whose PDF manipulation needs will never go beyond cutting and joining PDF files. And when they do, I find it also hard to picture a desktop with 50 icons for 50 individual PDF tools instead of purchasing any of the various full-featured PDF editors available. Having said that, I find Icecream PDF Split and Merge a nice little two-function tool that is easy to use, flexible, and reliable, which is more than one can say of some of its competitors.