Here, we demonstrate, for the first time: the self-digitization, i.e. spontaneous formation, of microdroplets during the imbibition of paper; the on-demand merging of individual microdroplets in paper; and the on-demand ejection of individual microdroplets from the paper. Two technical novelties underlie these novel functions: the formation of free-standing synthetic microfluidic paper, i.e. a porous matrix of slanted and interconnected micropillars without bottom layer; and the hydrophobic surface modification of the paper. The ease of manipulation and the direct access to the microdroplets from the environment makes this an extremely versatile tool, with potential applications in liquid sample digitisation and microparticle generation.