Joining and splitting PDFs

2021-10-16 |

[1] Leia este post em português

If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. ― man pages

Today I stumbled across a nice command-line utility available for Linux, Mac and Windows, namely PDF Tool Kit, packaged under codename pdftk for doing everyday things with PDF documents, two of which I experimented with: removing pages and merging files. Easy-peasy!

So, grab pdftk from your favorite package manager, or directly from one of the references noted bellow [2] [3], and let's get hands on by organizing those precious PDFs you have lying around :D

Removing Pages

…by selecting the pages you want to keep!

pdftk original.pdf cat 5 output result.pdf
pdftk original.pdf cat 6 3 4 output result.pdf
pdftk original.pdf cat 1-5 output result.pdf
pdftk original.pdf cat 2-end output result.pdf
pdftk original.pdf cat 1-6 even output result.pdf
pdftk original.pdf cat 1-6 odd output result.pdf

Merging Files

…by labeling like A B C
pdftk A='file1.pdf' B='file2.pdf' C='file3.pdf' cat A B C output result.pdf
You get the idea!

Power Hacks

It's a swiss army knife and can do a lot more, so maybe you want to check the man pdftk to unveil it's full powers.


[2] Original pdftk under GPL
[3] Java port of pdftk under GPL

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