bigbrovar

April 17, 2009

An easy way to Spilt or Merge PDF Files in Linux

Filed under: Education,Gnome,Guides,Ubuntu — Bigbrovar @ 1:05 pm

I work as  the IT guy of a school that runs free software on all our computers. So far majority of our computing needs has been  met by free software. ( all of them if we exclude matlab and some freedom hating multimedia  codecs.) One area that has been quite shaky is a good tool that can be used for merging different pdf files into one. There is a tool called pdftk but its command-line and while i don’t have a problem using it,  its hardly the tool i want to recommend for our  staffs and students,  so when this morning i saw a dent on identi.ca about a tool called PDF-Shuffler which among other things provide an easy way to merge PDF files i decided to to Investigate.

PDF-Shuffler is a small python-gtk application, which helps the user to merge or split PDF documents. You can also rotate, crop and rearrange their pages using an interactive and intuitive graphical interface.

Source: Softpedia

I tested  it and found pdfshuffler so easy to use that it might amount to waste of space writing about how to use it. Once you import pdf(s) its splits it into pages which can be rearrange by dragging them with your mouse, you can also delete any page you don’t want.

pdf-shuffler

Here is a Screencast

Installation

Debian/Ubuntu users can download a Deb here which can be installed by double clicking on it (the installer might download other dependencies from the Debian/Ubuntu repositories which the application needs to install but it does this automatically)

Edit: I tried installing this on Ubuntu 8.04 (hardy heron) but its threw up some dependencies errors. which i got round by installing the following packages from the ubuntu 9.04 repositories

http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/p/python-pypdf/python-pypdf_1.12-1_all.deb

http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/p/python-pdftools/python-pdftools_0.37-1_all.deb

Everything went fine from then on.

Once installed you can launch it from Application/Graphic/Pdf-Shuffler

Other Linux Distributions

I can either download the source package and compile it from source, or search Google for a package compiled for their distribution for their distribution Thanks to pete who pointed out that

Since it is a python application people do not need a distribution specific package. They can just download the source package, unpackage it and run the file “pdfshuffler” ($python pdfshuffler) assuming that all required additional packages (http://pybrary.net/pyPdf/) are installed on the system. Maybe it’s worth to tell a little about that. Advantage is here that even a user without root privileges can run it.

here are the dependencies that pdf-shuffler needs to run

· pyPdf 1.10 or later
· Python
· PyGTK


( I found an rpm for fedora 11 here and one for suse 11 here )

Hope this helps somebody

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22 Comments »

  1. [...] via bigbrovar. [...]

    Pingback by An easy way to Spilt or Merge PDF Files in Linux | blog.q8lug.org — April 17, 2009 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  2. Just a note: You’ve got a weird “Other Linux Distribution ” interpolated into the first sentence after ‘Debian/Ubuntu’ :)

    Otherwise, this is a very cool program :D

    Comment by Porges — April 17, 2009 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  3. you can do the same with OpenOffice Draw 3.0. Import the PDF into Draw, move the pages or copy and paste from another PDF opened similarly. Plus you have all the Draw functionality available.

    Comment by Andrew Miller — April 17, 2009 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

    • I used pdf-shuffler to insert some requisite electronic forms into my thesis when I submitted it to the graduate school. It worked beautifully!

      I was curious whether I could do the same with OOo 3.0, but when I tried opening my thesis pdf from Draw, it launched an instance of Writer instead, filled with page upon page of junk characters.

      Comment by Karl Ostmo — May 6, 2009 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  4. You might also want to try PDF Split and Merge..runs on java so no installation, and pretty light for a java app..

    http://www.pdfsam.org/

    Comment by Navir — April 18, 2009 @ 12:43 am | Reply

  5. @Navir @Andrew Miller Thanks for poing that out .. its always a good thing to have choices

    @Porges thanks for pointing that out

    Comment by Bigbrovar — April 18, 2009 @ 2:08 am | Reply

  6. As for MATLAB, GNU Octave with the QtOctave frontend might be a good alternative.

    Comment by HK-47 — April 18, 2009 @ 5:34 am | Reply

  7. @HK-47 thanks but we already have octave and qtoctave installed just that matlab is such a standard that most of our faculties always request for it :(

    Comment by Bigbrovar — April 18, 2009 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  8. There is a tool called pdftk but its command-line and while i don’t have a problem using it, its hardly the tool i want to recommend for our staffs and students

    That means you’re contributing to the computing ignorance of your staff and students. No wonder they complain about Ubuntu so much, when you’re not encouraging their need to learn. All this GUI mentality makes for a lazy mind, and that is so sad.

    Comment by dayo — April 18, 2009 @ 10:59 am | Reply

    • some people have computers to use them, other have it to learn them, as a sysad its my job to implement what works best for both camps, pdftk is available on all our computers, pdfshuffler is an alternative for people who don’t care about command-line and just want to get their job done, Linux is about choice and alternatives, leave the tools on the table and let the user decide what is best for their job… my job is to provide a service and not to experiment with technology.

      Comment by Bigbrovar — April 18, 2009 @ 11:36 am | Reply

      • Looks like all you’re providing is gui and eyecandy. You don’t even respect your users enough to trust them with the commmand-line. Truly sad.

        Comment by Dayo — April 18, 2009 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

        • Dayo – You aren’t obviously in his shoes so to speak. While advocating for the command line can be worthwhile, it’s not the battle he’s chosen to start with. Getting them using FOSS software is a big enough chore without demanding they learn the command line simultaneously. If you want to accomplish something, it’s got to be in doable size chunks

          Comment by furicle — April 20, 2009 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

    • I personally don’t care about learning every single thing about linux. Thanks to the help of the amazing community in the open-source movement- those like Bigbrovar here- I can do my job and do it well. If everyone was a programmer, we’d have few doctors, biologists or even the guys on the assembly line building your hardware. Speaking of lazy minds, I’d like to see you match my rotting noggin on pretty much any subject in the fundamental sciences.

      Comment by Ajita — May 2, 2009 @ 4:23 am | Reply

  9. Great tip. Great tool. Just a small comment. Since it is a python application people do not need a distribution specific package. They can just download the source package, unpackage it and run the file “pdfshuffler” ($python pdfshuffler) assuming that all required additional packages (http://pybrary.net/pyPdf/) are installed on the system. Maybe it’s worth to tell a little about that. Advantage is here that even a user without root privileges can run it.

    Comment by Pete D. — April 18, 2009 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

    • thanks pete .. i will update the post with your suggestion asap

      Comment by Bigbrovar — April 18, 2009 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

    • Well, it appears that bigbrovar likes to avoid the command-line ;-)

      Comment by Dayo — April 18, 2009 @ 11:54 pm | Reply

      • I believe you are complete and utter tool yourself, Dayo. And not one of any use. Your commentary is in no way helpful and just pure derogatory. I use the cli all the time, but gui’s have their place for people, as Bigbrover pointed out, who want to get work done with the minimal amount of training. And in this day and age training user’s in even the basics can take an extraordinary amount of time. Give them the gui-app, let them do what they need to do, and then go home. Logging jobs, making calendar appointments, creating photo’s etc are not feasible in day-to-day work, most especially on cli.

        So pull your head in, wanker.

        Comment by stiiixy — April 19, 2009 @ 1:56 am | Reply

  10. My apologies, I meant to say “Logging jobs, making calendar appointments, creating photo’s etc in day-to-day work are not feasible on cli.”

    Comment by stiiixy — April 19, 2009 @ 1:58 am | Reply

  11. [...] Read more at bigbrovar [...]

    Pingback by HowtoMatrix » An easy way to Spilt or Merge PDF Files in Linux — April 19, 2009 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  12. i have not tried this.im luking for a software that could split and merge pdf files but here merging and splitting should be performed not based on page numbers but based on heading or other key words within documents.the software should also be a free software under gpl licence written in c or python so that i could get the source code and study it.its a part of my project.so if any one can help me then plz mail me at

    mdileep1989@gmail.com

    Comment by dileep — May 8, 2010 @ 8:24 am | Reply

  13. Thanks! Great help,straight to the point!

    Comment by publicservant — October 20, 2011 @ 3:23 pm | Reply


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