Showing posts with label pdf merge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pdf merge. Show all posts

Sunday 15 January 2012

Merge/Combine PDF Documents In Linux From Terminal

Hi everybody, I was inactive for a while due to some health problems(chronic sinusitis, to be specific) and would like to apologize for not writing. This time, I am writing about how you can easily combine pdf files into a single pdf file using a linux terminal.

pdftk is a small but powerful handy PDF manipulation tool with many useful features to work with PDF files. The MAN page for pdftk says, "If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a simple tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents."
You can use it to:

* Merge PDF Documents or Collate PDF Page Scans
* Split PDF Pages into a New Document
* Rotate PDF Documents or Pages
* Decrypt Input as Necessary (Password Required)
* Encrypt Output as Desired
* Fill PDF Forms with X/FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
* Generate FDF Data Stencils from PDF Forms
* Apply a Background Watermark or a Foreground Stamp
* Report PDF Metrics such as Metadata and Bookmarks
* Update PDF Metadata
* Attach Files to PDF Pages or the PDF Document
* Unpack PDF Attachments
* Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages
* Uncompress and Re-Compress Page Streams
* Repair Corrupted PDF (Where Possible)

Today I'll show you how to combine or merge two or more pdf documents to a single PDF document using this tool. Navigate to the folder containing the PDFs you want to merge and then type the following command:

pdftk *.pdf cat output outputfile.pdf

The above command will take the PDF files in the alphabetical order and if you want to have your own order of the PDFs, say for an example, I have two PDFs a.pdf and b.pdf and I want pages from b.pdf to appear before a.pdf then I would simply do:

pdftk b.pdf a.pdf cat output outputfile.pdf

The pdftk is not limited to this simple merging method only, it has very powerful capabilities for merging documents. Below is an example of how I merged page 1-5 of first pdf and 10-15 of another pdf.

pdftk A=a.pdf B=b.pdf cat A1-5 B10-15 output outputfile.pdf

Below example shows how I can merge even pages from first pdf and odd pages from second pdf.

pdftk A=a.pdf B=b.pdf cat Aeven Bodd output outputfile.pdf

You can make numerous other variations and looking the MAN page for pdftk would be a good idea to explore more options. So why would we need heavy graphics based PDF editor when things can be done by a small commandline utility like pdftk.

I hope this post is useful to you. :)