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UPDATE 1/8/2009: The method I originally documented below still works really well, but most people would prefer a GUI version to the command line (me too!). I just found a project on SourceForge that is also totally free and open source that includes a GUI. The only requirement is that you have Java installed (most people do). The tool is called PDFsam for PDF split and merge. I haven’t used it extensively, but my basic tests were successful and it was very simple. Try it out at PDFsam.
Have you ever had a situation where you needed to join or concatenate 2 or more PDF documents into a single document? Or maybe you want to manipulate pages of a PDF to extract a single page or even reorder the pages? Today I had someone email me about 20 different documents in 3 different formats that they expected me to join into 3 different PDF documents. Each document was a section or page to be contained in a final document. This didn’t appear at first glance to be anything more than annoying, but when I started searching for a tool to use I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels. I found MAC tools, Linux tools, and tons of the typical non-free tools. Then I found http://www.pdfhacks.com/pdftk/ This is an open source application that does NOT have a GUI. I’ve never been a big command line tool fan, but they certainly have their place. Anyway, when I found this tool it was after searching for about 30 minutes so I was more open minded than usual.
This is what I did:
pdftk.exe *.pdf cat output Outputfile.pdf
pdftk.exe infile1.pdf infile2.pdf infile3.pdf cat output outputfile.pdf
If you run the command
pdftk --help it will give you a VERY long list of options. My example above doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what this tool can do. For example, it will allow you to specify more than one PDF document and then further specify only a subset of pages to output! This is a very powerful tool!
I know all this can be done using Adobe PDF tools, but I don’t own them so they don’t count!
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