Making digital content in which photographs or images are indispensable needs dedicated tools for editing in many cases. Among the various variations that can be made to an image certainly includes merging it with another graphic. Merging two photos, however, is not as trivial as it might seem; in fact, we often fall into the mistake of evaluating parameters and formats incorrectly.
In the next few lines we will see how to merge two photos, either using online platforms or software that can be installed directly on your smartphone or personal computer.
How to merge two photos: why to do it
The reasons for placing two photos side by side are truly endless, each person may have different needs and not necessarily related to simple personal enjoyment, but also to work operations. Let’s look at the most recurrent ones.
Combine multiple files
As you can easily imagine, one of the most obvious reasons lies in combining multiple photos to make one file. People often underestimate the importance of making a single solution in order to have an easy-to-view graphical reference on the screen.
Understanding how to join two photos can also be useful for those who want to make collages, whether these are intended for personal or business use. Not all the software we will analyze is suitable for this purpose, but by relying on the program best suited to your needs you will be able to create interesting collages from scratch.
People often tend to think that a collage necessarily has to be made with lots of photos, but actually placing two images side by side can be just as useful if the right originality is used.
Speeding up the search
Many companies employ dedicated software to merge two photos, with the aim of speeding up the file search. Two photographs need not be aimed at depicting people, but can also be used to capture text or a building for photogrammetry.
Having two photos side by side in the same file allows you to compare them quickly and minimize search time, especially if you had a need for a graphic presentation.
The desire to create a completely new piece of content in which two photos are joined together can be just as good a motivation to use software or a platform dedicated to this function.
Certainly photographers and drawing enthusiasts could use this feature to get immediate visual feedback that is functional to their creative activity. As it is easy to deduce, some software is better suited than others to perform this task; in the following paragraphs we will try to highlight the best ones.
Particularly valued motivation for taking advantage of such a program lies in making a digital gift. Placing two photos side by side, whether they are of a loved one or your pet, allows you to set up a cute, fun and if done well, even touching graphic.
Gifting a picture frame with a merged image can mean many things, a message that will depend on who makes the content.
It is not difficult to imagine how software for merging two photos can be indispensable in the work environment. Managing scanned documents and comparing those that need to be edited can provide increased productivity and, of course, time optimization that is essential for those doing specific jobs.
How to merge two photos: websites
After a quick review of what may be the main reasons for merging two photos, it is appropriate to look in more detail at what are the online platforms that allow this to be done quickly.
When one needs to place two images side by side, in most cases one relies on Files Merge as an online solution. As much as the platform also allows you to merge PDF files, Word documents, Excel audio MP3s, and many other formats, those who need to merge two photos can rely on two dedicated sections: Merge to JPG and Merge Images.
The section on merging JPG files allows two photographs in this specific format to be placed side by side horizontally or vertically. While those who want to merge photos with different formats should aim for the Merge Images section. Specifically, the latter is compatible with the formats: JPG, BMP, GIF and PNG.
Simply click on Merge Images, found in the upper right-hand corner, and upload or drag the photo within the Drag the file here section. Immediately after that, upload the second photo as well and click Merge. You can also enter URLs of the file if you prefer.
Quick Picture Tools
This online platform certainly does not stand out for an attractive interface; in fact, there is only a file merge tool and no colors. Besides the purely aesthetic aspects, Quick Picture Tools is an excellent digital software for joining two photos, especially for those who need to proportion the resolution.
Up to nine images can be inserted at one time and their height and width can be changed, in addition to drawing and adding text functions. The ability to change the resolution percentage as well makes this platform suitable for anyone who wants to quickly merge their photos and have good customization.
The only flaw lies in the fact that the export formats are constrained to JPEG and PNG.
Free website that guarantees excellent photo merging is Canva, definitely known for its original graphics and drawing applications. In this case, however, you do not directly access the tool to edit the images, but must necessarily register with the platform and choose a plan.
The Free plan, which grants access to several options in addition to the one for transforming images, will also suffice for the operation of merging two photos. Those who do not wish to register with a new account can log in directly with a verified Facebook or Google profile, speeding up access within the editor.
More than Canva, users like to rely on FotoEffects to merge their photos. The digital software is very easy to use, just go to the official website and select the type of collage you want to make.
The platform allows you to create a collage either horizontally or vertically with the two photographs, placing them with borders or within a chosen background. The website is very famous because it also allows for modifications, such as the background or the inclusion of special frames and graphics.
We will not dwell on how to use the platform, as there is a tutorial on the home page of the site devoted to this very aspect.
Users who need a much more advanced software for photo editing in many cases choose Pixlr as their website. Specifically, this platform offers two versions of its software: Pixlr X and Pixlr Editor. The latter is still tied to Flash technology, so unless you have a very old PC you should rely on Pixlr X.
Going to the official page of Pixlr X will give direct access to the panel for editing photos. The functions are different, the one to merge two photos is just one of many for those who make graphic content.
Since the editor is more advanced than the software just listed, we will quickly see how to use it to merge photos.
First you have to click on Open Image, which is present right in the middle of the web page. From here select the photo on your hard disk and it will be directed into the editor, the latter will ask whether to create a new document or not.
On the left side there are several icons, these allow you to interact with the image and functions. To merge two photos you have to click on the dotted square icon, right at the middle of the bar, called Add Item/Image. Now you have to select the second image by clicking on Add resource, top left.
The software will insert the layer on top of the other image, left-clicking in the middle of the editor will move the image placed on top. At this point, just as in PhotoShop, you can crop the desired image and place it side by side with the previous one. When the changes are complete, simply click Save, located in the lower right corner.
A lesser-known website, but one that offers a great feature for merging two photos is IMOnline. The platform is completely in English, but the ease of use is disarming.
Going to the official page will bring up an interface that explains how to perform image tiling. Simply choose the two files by clicking, at the bottom left, on Choose File. The software will process both images simultaneously, and collages can also be created.
The formats that you will be able to use are: BMP, PNG, JPEG, GIF and the much sought-after TIFF. In the same editor you can also change other parameters, such as size, compression and add effects.
An alternative to seriously consider is PhotoFunny, again an English-only platform that allows you to figure out how to merge two photos in a matter of seconds.
Opening the official page of PhotoFunny, to access the graphics editor, you will need to click on Start, located in the center of the page. At this point the software will prompt for the change you want to make to the images, just choose the first one called Make collage of two photos in one.
Selecting the Create my collage option will allow you to proceed to merge the two desired photos. This website is not only limited to this functionality, but also extends to making small collages in which you can choose background and some outline elements.
Equally valuable solution, aimed, however, only at those who are proficient in English, is PineTools. The website is a mix between a graphic editor for beginners and professional software. The interface consists of several sections, which are very useful for those who want more than just joining two photos together.
For quick side-by-side de images, it is recommended to click directly here, so as to enter the dedicated area. By selecting the Choose File item, located under First Image, you will need to upload the first image. This will be returned to the center of the editor.
From here click on Choose File, under Second Image and select the desired photo from your PC. Once you have selected the position of the images, horizontal or vertical, in the bar called Option, you must click on the Merge option, located at the bottom in green.
Make Photo Gallery
Online image editor, really very interesting, is Make Photo Gallery, this platform guarantees good features and all very fast in being executed.
Opening the official page will take you directly to the editor. To merge two photos you will need to enter the file to be placed next to the other in the Input section. The second section, called Options, allows you to choose the background, number of images to merge, size, margins, and marker at the end of the page.
The third section, named Action, is used to start the process of merging photos. Clicking on Combine Photos will start rendering the created file.
As the name of the platform suggests, this online editor is developed precisely to ensure the conversion and editing of images. In addition to being able to merge multiple photos, OnlineConvertFree also allows you to: convert, scale, compress, enlarge, mirror, rotate, and edit.
The section on merging two photos should be accessed by clicking here. Just enter the first image and the second in the section, located on the right, called Schoose images. In addition to the position of the images, you will also be able to define the margins. Once you have determined the best parameters for your needs, to save the new file, you must click Save & Download Image.
Last website for joining two photos, but certainly not least, is Photo Joiner. Technically it is among the most comprehensive as it offers features closer to professional software than to a free platform.
Once logged in to the main page you will have to click on Select Photos in the center. Selecting the image from your computer will take you directly to the graphic editor, which will look very intuitive.
To add a second picture you must click, on the right below the first picture, on the pencil icon and select Add Photo. At this point you will have both files aligned and can make changes with the toolbar on the left. You can choose the placement, the number of grids, and several interesting options. The website also allows for backgrounds, text and stickers.
How to merge two photos: windows – macOS programs
Using an online platform to merge two photos obviously requires an Internet connection. In addition to this aspect, an unexpected variable such as the collection of personal data can also be added. To get around this, one can opt to use software that can be installed directly on one’s computer, whether that computer has a macOS or Windows operating system.
The programs we are going to list are not all on the same level; some allow advanced functions, others only that of merging images. Paid solutions are suitable for anyone who also has business needs; it is advisable to opt for a free system if only superficial aspects need to be changed.
PhotoShop – Windows and macOS
When you need excellent software for editing photos, it is hard not to mention PhotoShop. This program, though paid, provides everything you need to transform and merge photographs.
Launching the program you will find yourself with a ready-made interface for editing images, the support for formats is particularly wide and the management of layers very simple. For those who have never used PhotoShop before, the dashboard may be unintuitive, but within the software itself, clicking on the different icons will provide access to real-time tutorials, assuming you have a version later than 19.0.
The cost is certainly high, but professionals will find one of the best solutions currently on the market.
GIMP – Windows and macOS
Outstanding software for those who want to understand how to merge two photos is GIMP, which is completely free and packed with great features for those who want to edit personal photos or those for small professional jobs.
In order for you to install GIMP you need to download the version, Windows, GNU/Linux or macOS from the official website. Once downloaded you can go directly to the editor and start editing and merging your photographs.
Those who have used PhotoShop before will find themselves with a very similar screen full of features and interactions for editing photos.
Paint – Windows
Not everyone knows that the application installed by default on Windows, Paint, also makes it very easy to merge two or more photos. In addition to being free software, it is extremely easy to use.
To merge two photos with this program, just start it, either by searching for it in the bottom bar of Windows or in installed programs and click on File, top left. By choosing an image, it will be inserted into the editor. Now you need to open the folder where the second photograph is located, right-click on it, and select Open with Paint.
At this point there will be two different Paint pages open on the screen, with two photos. Click on one of the two open windows and select the Select option. Capture the entire photo and type the command Ctrl+C on the keyboard. Now clicking on the other window with the first image will suffice to type the command Ctrl+V and the two images will be overlaid.
To place them side by side, simply select the move function and place the images in the desired position.
Word – Windows
Using Word could be a viable alternative for those who already have an Office package.
Starting the program will allow you to insert an image by selecting the Insert option, from there select Shapes and create a new drawing area. You must now create a sheet in which there are two areas in which to insert images. Once this is done, simply right-click on the image and copy it, then paste it into the previously created box.
Repeating the operation for the other image as well will result in a single file, which you can export in the desired format, including PDF.
Collagerator – Windows and macOS
For those who are looking for free portable software that may just be useful for joining two photos together, they will find in Collagerator a little gem. The GUI is really at an all-time low, but you will be able to count on excellent speed.
Once you have downloaded and installed Collagerator, you will be able to start and use the editor right away. To merge two images you must click on New Collage and choose the orientation of the photographs. Once you have chosen the location and confirmed by pressing OK, you will have to click on the (+) button, located in the upper right part.
Click on Theme and then on Fit to make minor changes. When you have finished the image transformation process, you will proceed to export the image by clicking first on File and then on Export.
Pictures Merge Genius – Windows
Paid software that can help those who need to merge two photos is Pictures Merge Genius. The program is available only for Windows operating systems and currently requires purchase to use.
Costing a one-time fee of 29.95 and a 5-day free trial, you will be able to use several useful functions to transform images.
In addition to the Merge function, designed to merge photos, you can also create photo collages and add effects. Although it is distributed only in English, it turns out to be very easy to use anyway, thanks in part to an intuitive interface without too many hidden sections.
Shape Collage – Windows and macOS
Those with Windows, macOS, or Linux operating systems can opt for Shape Collage, lightweight and easy-to-use software that offers very good graphic resolution of side-by-side photos.
The purpose of this program is mainly to create collages from scratch, but it adds functions such as changing some parameters.
The free version is more than enough to take advantage of the photo-joining function, but to benefit from the other more advanced ones, it is necessary to purchase the official license, usually costing about $40.
Paintbrush – macOS
In the previous lines we highlighted how Microsoft Windows offered dedicated software for image editing: Paint. Instead, Apple ‘s counterpart offers Paintbruch, which shares not only part of the name but also functionality.
Within the editor you will be able to merge, edit and convert images, without, of course, overdoing the difficulty. The program was created as a free solution for anyone who wants to merge two photos quickly and maybe add some extra graphics to them, without too much complication.
However, compatibility with GIF, TIFF, BMP, JPEG and PNG formats demonstrates good versatility, at least for most users.
How to merge two photos: app
Not everyone likes to move their photographs or images from their smartphone to their PC for editing, which makes using offline software slightly more difficult. In order to merge two photos without having to perform such an operation, one can consider performing it directly from the smartphone, whether it is based on an iOS or Android operating system. Let’s look at the best applications to perform this function.
Photo On Photo Editor – iOS
Let’s start with one of the most well-known and popular applications for placing one photo on top of another or side by side. Downloading the app from the Google Play Store will install Photo On Photo Editor in seconds.
The editing process is very simple, just start the application and choose what are the photos you want to merge or overlap. After a few seconds of changing all the parameters you will get the desired image in the compatible formats.
It is currently available only for Apple-made devices, but given its great success, an Android version is also expected.
Combine images & share – iOS
Another application available only for iOS is Combine images & share, which is particularly interesting for those looking for a quick, no-frills tool.
Unlike other software, Combine requires a dedicated configuration with your smartphone, which can be obtained by going to the official page and pressing Get Quick Commands. Having set the commands you can then synchronize with iOS and interact directly with the app, as if it were an extension and not a dedicated program.
Certainly this solution is the most attractive for those who want an instrument that can always be found while they are observing images, but it should be noted that in some cases, especially after a misconfiguration, technical problems may arise.
Trying it costs nothing, but it is included in this list more for utility than for actual practicality.
Image Combiner – Android
There is no doubt that Android smartphone owners should try Image Combiner if they wish to merge two photos.
Merging operations between two photos can be done in two modes: Collage and Combine. In both cases, however, it is essential to add pictures to the editor; to do so, one must press Add picture and choose from photographs or images in the smartphone’s internal or external memory.
Then selecting the button with the three overlapping horizontal lines will allow you to choose the Merge Images item, located at the bottom, and start editing. The application allows you to place photos horizontally or vertically and nothing more. Once you have chosen a location just press Save and choose the folder where you will extract the new file.
Layout from Instagram – Android and iOS
This app, developed for iOS and Android, is designed to integrate seamlessly with Instagram. Specifically, the software does nothing more than create a collage, of two or more images and insert them directly into the Instagram platform.
To download the Layout from Instagram app, simply go to the Play Store or the App Store, or here and here, respectively. After installation you have to press Start and tap on the Gallery icon, in the latest version it is located in the lower left corner. Pressing on Preview Photos will allow you to start making the collage.
Once you have chosen the photos you wish to merge, simply place them in the way you prefer and immediately save them by pressing the Save icon, located in the upper right corner. The dedicated feature for direct sharing on Instagram can be found within the Feed section, under the name Post Collage on Instagram.
Pic Stitch – Android and iOS
Understanding how to join two photos with Pic Stitch is really very simple, although the application is Free-mium, that is, free for some functions and paid for others, it is still a viable solution. You will be able to use the photo merging function totally free of charge, while for those who are looking for software capable of applying many other changes as well will necessarily have to purchase them.
In-app purchases are variable, as the cost of unlockable features is different depending on the one chosen. In general, however, it is definitely not cheap software, with paid features that have an initial cost of 3.99 euros.
Choosing this platform, whether for Android or iOS, means needing specific features; also because the one for merging images is currently still free.
Picsew – iOS
Up to this point, we have analyzed what are the actual applications to merge two photos, but what if you need to put two screenshots side by side? In this case, the most suitable software is Picsew, which can not only merge screen-captured images but also clean up their status bar.
These functions are also complemented by the ability to censor elements that might be present within the screenshots. As is easy to deduce, a program of this type is rarely found free; in fact, even Picsew has in-app purchases starting at 0.99 euros. It is currently available only on iOS devices, but there are several similar apps on the Google Store, including free ones.
PicCollage – Android and iOS
Solution to try without a shadow of a doubt, both for iOS and Android, is PicCollage. At present there are few rivals that can guarantee such quality in exported files. Merging photos is done quickly and with a very simple interface. Unfortunately, the watermark and brand market is present on the edited image.
In-app purchases are also required to remove the marker, starting at 1.99 euros.
How to merge two photos: the importance of format
The many software programs reviewed so far, in addition to having in common the ability to merge two photos, highlight one consistent feature to think well about: format.
In addition to checking the format that you can extract from such software, such as JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, and so on, you need to pay even more attention to the format that you will be able to upload.
The programs listed in the preceding paragraphs are in most cases capable of adding formats such as JPEG, JPEG, and PNG, but not all of them have that quality. Trying to upload a file with a format that does not conform to the platform will result in either an error or the file not being displayed when it is uploaded.
In case you encounter such problems, it is advisable to opt for another software, among the many available there will surely be a compatible one. This could be remedied by using software capable of format conversion, but it should be noted that some features of the original file, such as graphic quality and resolution, may be lost.
TIFF is definitely the least suitable format for online platforms, while JPEG and PNG are ideal. This is due to the amount of information in the file and the size of the file; a TIFF file can reach a really large size.
How to merge two photos: the ideal features to look for
Every online platform, PC software and application has its strengths and weaknesses, of course it is impossible to imagine the perfect program for merging photos. However, one can identify the features best suited for one’s needs. Let’s see which ones to look for before downloading or using an application to merge two photos.
Ease of use
Those who are not particularly familiar with using graphics programs may have a few extra headaches by downloading advanced software such as PhotoShop. Being able to decide on the best platform for your needs is essential so that you do not end up in wasting hours figuring out how to perform the task of merging two photos.
A one-size-fits-all solution does not exist, but smartphone apps and online platforms are definitely more user-friendly than PC software. Those, on the other hand, who already have a good knowledge of graphics software can rely on the more complex PC programs, perhaps implementing them with online platforms to speed up operations.
People often tend to think that software installed on their device, whether fixed or mobile, is better than using a portable program.
While in principle this reasoning may have merit, especially for those who have to work many hours on photographs, for those with no specific needs an application without installation is more than sufficient.
As is easy to deduce, online platforms are the ideal solution for those who hate installing programs on their device, but in this case you need to have an active network connection. Installing the program on the internal memory has as its main advantage that it can also be used offline, a condition not to be underestimated especially if you work with your notebook on the move in areas without internet connections and phone line forhotspot.
The convenience of using software capable of merging photos quickly is certainly not measurable, but owning one that can also perform other functions besides that could make everything even easier.
The choice of software for merging photos certainly does not go by the number of features present, but it can still be useful for several people who do not want to limit themselves. Most online digital platforms are free, while applications and software to implement additional functions almost always require an additional cost.
Determining which one is best would be wrong; it is smarter to search for the function best suited to your needs.
An ideal software manages to merge two photos in no time and without the need for massive system resources. This condition is only hypothetical, however, since most of the programs that perform this task are particularly incident to the system being used.
Certainly using smartphone Apps can ease the task of those who need to merge two photos and do not own a personal computer, but those who do and want to work on them in an advanced way will have to rely on a high-performance machine.
Excluding PhotoShop, which of course is an extremely isolated case in terms of system resources needed, online platforms are also no different. People often tend to think that a Web site does not require significant hardware, but for operations of this kind, it is a good idea to make sure that there is a good amount of RAM.
Web browsers, especially Google Chrome, needs at least 8GB of RAM so as not to cause freezes or technical problems, at least while more than two web windows are open and the platform for merging photos in action.
A theme that photographers and graphic designers hold very dear is the RAW format. As common as this file type is for professional photographs and images, it is difficult to find a smartphone application or software that can enable the merging of two such files.
Besides PhotoShop, it is very complicated to find programs that support this format, which is virtually impossible for online platforms. The file sizes are significant and the resolution in many cases too high to handle the transformation.
Those who want to merge two photos in this format should tack on a professional solution, or convert the files to a less data-rich format.
Formats and conversions
The choice of a program developed to merge two photos cannot ignore the format and the conversions it can provide. Not being able to load the desired image because of a format incompatibility is really frustrating, especially if you try several conversions.
Opting for an application that has so many formats will make it easier for those new to editing, making everything more straightforward.
Just as crucial as the upload format is the one in export. Uploading a file with excellent resolution and quality technical characteristics, and then exporting it in low resolution and in a format that is incompatible with your needs, is not smart.
Before choosing software, one must check what are all exportable formats, assessing whether they are suitable for the projects and platforms where they will be uploaded.
How to merge two photos: mistakes to avoid
If the choice of the ideal software goes through its characteristics and the needs of those who use it, at the time of installation it is wise to know what are the mistakes to avoid. Let’s look at the ones you are most likely to fall into.
One of the most annoying problems with software or a website developed to merge two photos lies in the resolution of the images.
There are few programs that allow you to upload two photos at different resolutions, in many cases not even offering the same quality of the export file.
Those who need to place two images side by side, in order not to encounter artifacts and grooves in the exported file, should import photos of the same resolution, preferably also of the same format. Obviously, a professional program allows you to change these parameters, but online it is really very difficult to be able to do this while getting satisfactory results.
As anticipated, the resolution is a parameter to be well evaluated, but even more so is the image format. Merging an A4 photo with an A2 photo is definitely not the best solution, especially since some software does not allow single resizing of images.
Before inserting the two photos within the editor, it is a good idea to convert the two images to the same format. When we highlight the format, we are not only referring to the layout of the photo, but also to the type of file. Merging a PNG photo with one saved in PDF is not impossible, but it is definitely not advisable.
Free programs do not allow such projects, while paid ones might even provide good results.
Choosing a website to merge two photos is the fastest and most practical way to accomplish this action, but in many cases the export quality aspect is underestimated. As much as the best platforms offer good quality, they do not compare with dedicated, perhaps paid-for software.
Connecting to the website and thinking you can make a perfect collage without smearing is wrong; you need to know its limitations and potential.
Slow internet connection
Accessing a website and uploading a file in TIFF format could mean hours of uploading. Those with a slow connection, or at least not a fiber connection, should upload photos in the lighter formats, such as JPEG, PNG and GIF.
RAW, TIFF and PDF formats need good speed, both upload and download, to upload and download the file to your PC or smartphone.
Outdated operating system
Not everyone has a state-of-the-art computer or a smartphone that has just come onto the market, this also affects the use of software to merge photos.
Prominent among them all is PhotoShop, which cannot be used on systems that are too old. As for online platforms, on the other hand, you only need to equip yourself with a machine with enough RAM to support the needs of the web browser, preferably not Google Chrome.
Best format export
When exporting a photo collage you are bound to the format chosen by the platform or software of choice. In addition to first evaluating which file types are exportable, it is also smart to choose the best one.
An information-rich format allows less data to be lost and consequently ensures excellent quality. Software that can convert files to RAW or TIFF is definitely aimed at quality rather than processing speed.
Marker at the bottom of the page
Another mistake that occurs when merging two photos is not verifying that there is marker on the image. A lot of software, especially free software, transcribes a watermark with their brand name to advertise themselves.
As trivial as it may seem, it is certainly not pleasant to find yourself writing in a collage to give as a gift or to hand over to employers. Checking whether it is removable, automatically or for a fee, is a smart move.
Having completed editing the photos and made the desired design, you may encounter printing problems. In case the software has a dedicated function for printing, it should be used, as it will facilitate the procedure. Otherwise, it will be necessary to adapt the image-collage to the new dimensions, which are usually difficult to fit on an A4, A3 or A2 sheet.
In case you do not have the right skills and tools, it would be advisable to rely on a photographer or a professional to print the project.
Understanding how to combine two photos can be very useful for making collages, projects, and decorations for a special gift. Being able to find the right software, however, is not a given. Inexperienced users can approach online sites and smartphone applications without too much fear, while those looking for advanced software should veer toward a PC solution.