Plenty of people don't want or need a big PDF app just to do something fairly simple, such as split or merge a handful of PDFs. Those people have many choices. For example, there's 7-PDF Split and Merge, a freeware version of the German software developer's premium tool. It has all the features of the Pro tool, but it will split only the first 50 pages and merge only five PDFs. We tried a fully portable version of the software, 7-PDF Split and Merge Portable.
As with similar tools, Split and Merge has a compact, all-in-one style user interface in which nearly all of the controls and options you'll need are right there; most of them are self-explanatory, too. The interface has tabs for its main functions, Split and Merge, plus Info and Extra tabs related to the developer's premium software. Each tool's tab is similar to the others in function but with controls and options specific for the task, such as a field where you can specify page ranges for splitting PDFs.
We started with the large Add and Delete buttons on the splitting tool, adding a multipage document from our stash of test files. The program displays common data such as filename, path, and page numbers, but it also indicates whether a file is encrypted with a green or red box. Clicking the red box let us enter a password to unlock protected files. When we'd made our selections, we pressed a button labeled Split This PDF. The operation took mere seconds, and the destination folder opened with our split files when the task finished. Our new PDFs opened normally in our default app. Same with the merge feature: We quickly added our files, arranged them with up-down arrows, and started the tool. We tried adding six PDFs, but the freeware wouldn't let us. But merging our five PDFs took but a second, and the final product's quality was excellent, with all documents crisp and clear in the merged version.
Despite its limitations, 7-PDF Split and Merge Portable is sufficient for most home users' needs, and the portable version is even more versatile.