Personal computing discussed

Moderator: Dposcorp

 
anotherengineer
Graphmaster Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 1468
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:53 pm
Location: Northern, ON Canada, Yes I know, Up in the sticks

Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:20 pm

As per the title I am looking for a PDF editing program. I have used Acrobat Pro XI at work and it's good for what I use it for. I want something at home for personal use, but I don't want a monthly subscription, but am willing to pay for a decent program.

Mainly looking for something that can combine individual pdf's into a single pdf. Some sort of built in compression would be good so the file size doesn't get outa hand.

Any recommendations?

Thanks
Life doesn't change after marriage, it changes after children!
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 49429
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:51 pm

I've been using the CLI version of this on Linux for years. I see they now have a GUI version for Windows too (free version with limited functionality, or a "Pro" version for the whopping price of $3.99). Aside from the compression, it looks like the free version does what you need.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
chuckula
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1566
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:18 pm
Location: Probably where I don't belong.

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:51 pm

pdfsam is what I use regularly for working with pdfs to do things like splitting & merging.

http://www.pdfsam.org
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-1080; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.
 
Flying Fox
Gerbil God
Posts: 25414
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Contact:

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:19 pm

For me the free version of Adolix is enough, even working around the merge limit I just do multiple passes. :P

However, these days, my needs are somewhat satisfied by just using one of the many online PDF editors:
- Split/Merge/touchup: www.pdfescape.com
- Compress: smallpdf.com
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.

Gerbils unite! Fold for UnitedGerbilNation, team 2630.
 
meerkt
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 802
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:55 am

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:48 pm

Why's PDF always such a pain? :) I dislike big bloated software, which I assume Acrobat is. So my occasional PDF tweak needs are satisfied (barely) by a multitude of esoteric tools, since there isn't a single one that does everything. Any nice light single tool to do everything?

Split/merge, and maybe compress some: jPDF Tweak (beware: Java)
Crop-related: pdfBriss (also Java)
TOC editing: JPdfBookmarks (Java...)
Edit meta info: BeCyPDFMetaEdit (not Java!)
Remove junk from inside a PDF: qpdf to convert to semi-text > text editor > qpdf.
Images to PDF: XnView
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 49429
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:45 pm

meerkt wrote:
Why's PDF always such a pain? :)

Skrewy proprietary formats FTL. My simple needs are met by PDFtk, which I linked above. If you want full functionality, you need to pay for an Adobe license.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
arunphilip
Gold subscriber
Gerbil First Class
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:46 am
Location: India

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:22 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I've been using the CLI version of this on Linux for years. I see they now have a GUI version for Windows too (free version with limited functionality, or a "Pro" version for the whopping price of $3.99). Aside from the compression, it looks like the free version does what you need.


User of the CLI version of PDFtk on Windows here, it gets my upvote too. Does everything needed in a tidy little ~7 MB package.

@OP - Slightly confusingly, the CLI version is called PDFtk Server, presumably reflecting its origins. But that's the one you'd need if you don't want the GUI. The man page for the CLI has an example of combining PDFs into one.
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 49429
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:31 pm

arunphilip wrote:
@OP - Slightly confusingly, the CLI version is called PDFtk Server, presumably reflecting its origins. But that's the one you'd need if you don't want the GUI. The man page for the CLI has an example of combining PDFs into one.

I suspect (but have no evidence to support, other than gut feel) that the current naming scheme was part of a rebranding effort when they released the paid "Pro" Windows version.

I've never paid much attention to their web site, since the package for the free CLI version is in the Ubuntu repository.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Scrotos
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1096
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: Denver, CO.

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:50 pm

Nuance PDF Converter is pretty solid. If you don't need to use forms, you can get a cheaper version. Looks like the cheaper version edits forms and here is what it is called now.

https://www.nuance.com/print-capture-an ... ndard.html
https://www.nuance.com/content/dam/nuan ... 031870.pdf

We use this in business and are moving to adobe subscriptions just because the boss wants to keep track of licensing easier. Otherwise I prefer the nuance product over acrobat dc standard which is what we are deploying as a replacement.
 
meerkt
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 802
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:55 am

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:36 am

just brew it! wrote:
meerkt wrote:
Why's PDF always such a pain? :)
Skrewy proprietary formats FTL.

The specs are published, and there are plenty of tools. Just not a nice all-in-one that isn't bloatware, AFAIK.
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 49429
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:49 am

meerkt wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
meerkt wrote:
Why's PDF always such a pain? :)
Skrewy proprietary formats FTL.

The specs are published, and there are plenty of tools. Just not a nice all-in-one that isn't bloatware, AFAIK.

Ever tried to deal with PDF forms on a Linux system? It seems the only viable solutions are a Windows VM, or figure out how to get a years-old (and no longer maintained) version of Acrobat Reader for Linux to run on a modern distro.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
meerkt
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 802
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:55 am

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:54 am

No, never dealt with PDF forms, on Linux or Windows. :)
 
chuckula
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1566
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:18 pm
Location: Probably where I don't belong.

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:55 am

just brew it! wrote:
meerkt wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Skrewy proprietary formats FTL.

The specs are published, and there are plenty of tools. Just not a nice all-in-one that isn't bloatware, AFAIK.

Ever tried to deal with PDF forms on a Linux system? It seems the only viable solutions are a Windows VM, or figure out how to get a years-old (and no longer maintained) version of Acrobat Reader for Linux to run on a modern distro.


The XFA forms are a giant PITA. My Linux solution is to run a recent version of Acrobat via Wine which works fine for my uses. Regular PDF forms that aren't using the proprietary XFA crap do work pretty well using standard open-source programs like Okular, however.

[Edit: Achieved Jedi status with this post I did]
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-1080; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.
 
Glorious
Gold subscriber
Grand Admiral Gerbil
Posts: 10155
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:15 am

meerkt wrote:
The specs are published, and there are plenty of tools. Just not a nice all-in-one that isn't bloatware, AFAIK.


The last time I messed with pdftk (At least four years ago) it was to do something to a pdf that had like embedded buttons in it that did something with Adobe. (I second JBI et al's recommendation of it by the way, it's great).

I don't think that's part of the spec, it certainly isn't well-supported by anything on linux. pdftk worked fine for what I was doing to the files, but the end-user still needed to read/use the result on windows because otherwise those buttons didn't work or work correctly.

And, man OH MAN, if you have a pdf without embedded fonts I can't reliably tell you how that PDF is going look other than make a prediction that it probably won't look good. Admittedly this has gotten better on linux over the years as better default fonts have been made available, but it's still a real problem. I remember quickly printing something on on Ubuntu 16.04 a ~year ago and it just looked terrible.
 
DPete27
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3127
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 am

I use PDFTK Builder. Easy to use, and free. I mostly find myself combining pdfs.
http://www.angusj.com/pdftkb/#pdftkbuilder
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod
 
The Egg
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2221
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:46 pm

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:33 am

I had them go with Foxit PhantomPDF Business at work, and there's no difference in functionality for what we do. It's $129/license, whereas Adobe was $300+ last time I checked.
 
Mr Bill
Gold subscriber
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1441
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Colorado Western Slope
Contact:

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:56 am

The Egg wrote:
I had them go with Foxit PhantomPDF Business at work, and there's no difference in functionality for what we do. It's $129/license, whereas Adobe was $300+ last time I checked.
I've been using 'Adobe Acrobat X Standard'. When making a single PDF from a list of spreadsheets, is it possible to do in the background instead of stealing the focus for 5-10 minutes?
Last edited by Mr Bill on Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
X6 1100T BE | Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ | XFX HD 7870 | 16 GB DDR3 | Samsung 830/850 Pro SSD's | Logitech cherry MX-brown G710+ | Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex mouse | SeaSonic SS-660XP 80+ Pt | BenQ 24' 1900x1200 IPS | APC Back-UPS NS-1350 | WinXP64 Pro
 
The Egg
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2221
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:46 pm

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:05 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
The Egg wrote:
I had them go with Foxit PhantomPDF Business at work, and there's no difference in functionality for what we do. It's $129/license, whereas Adobe was $300+ last time I checked.
I've been using Adobe X Standard. When making a single PDF from a list of spreadsheets, is it possible to do in the background instead of stealing the focus for 5-10 minutes?

Hmm.......I typically don't combine/convert from Excel spreadsheets, but I just ran a small test, and it seemed to behave itself for the most part. A little bit of strangeness going on down on the taskbar, but it didn't steal focus back after switching away (Win 7).

They did recently make a change with their combine operation which I didn't care for, though. When arranging the order of selected files before hitting Convert, you're no longer able to select multiples at the same time using Ctrl (for instance, if you wanted to move 5 files to the top of the arrangement, you'd now have to move them individually, or after the conversion).
 
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3893
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:10 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
I've been using Adobe X Standard.


*twitch*

Do you refer to Microsoft Office as "Microsoft 2013"?
Hakkaa päälle!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|SanDisk Ultra II 480GB|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45|Logitech MX 518 & F310|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
 
ChicagoDave
Gerbil
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:15 pm

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:38 pm

My company uses NitroPDF and I use the free version at home. It's lightweight, fast and very intuitive. Very good for extracting and combining sheets.

https://www.gonitro.com/
 
Mr Bill
Gold subscriber
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1441
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Colorado Western Slope
Contact:

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:10 pm

bthylafh wrote:
Mr Bill wrote:
I've been using Adobe X Standard.


*twitch*

Do you refer to Microsoft Office as "Microsoft 2013"?
Oops, 'Adobe Acrobat X Standard' :D
X6 1100T BE | Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ | XFX HD 7870 | 16 GB DDR3 | Samsung 830/850 Pro SSD's | Logitech cherry MX-brown G710+ | Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex mouse | SeaSonic SS-660XP 80+ Pt | BenQ 24' 1900x1200 IPS | APC Back-UPS NS-1350 | WinXP64 Pro
 
anotherengineer
Graphmaster Gerbil
Topic Author
Posts: 1468
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:53 pm
Location: Northern, ON Canada, Yes I know, Up in the sticks

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:49 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. I will take a look at some of them this weekend. I guess I should have mentioned Win 8.1 pro x64 as the OS, ooops.
Life doesn't change after marriage, it changes after children!
 
meerkt
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 802
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:55 am

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:14 pm

On the topic of PDF tools...

Anyone knows a small Windows tool or viewer that can show and verify PDF signatures?
SumatraPDF doesn't, nor PDFXchangeViewer (wonderful name). I haven't checked yet to see if old Foxit Reader versions do it, and no luck so far finding a commandline tool.
 
NovusBogus
Silver subscriber
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:37 am

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:48 pm

The Egg wrote:
I had them go with Foxit PhantomPDF Business at work, and there's no difference in functionality for what we do. It's $129/license, whereas Adobe was $300+ last time I checked.

I've used Foxit's reader ever since telling Adobe to [puerile insult redacted], and can vouch for that. Haven't done much in the way of PDF creation or editing but their software seems to be pretty good at what it does.
 
BIF
Gold subscriber
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2247
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:41 pm

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:31 pm

I recommend PDF Fusion by Corel. Currently, the store says it's $99 but I don't remember it being THAT expensive. I'm sure there are deals available. I bought it in 2014, so If I did pay that amount, it has averaged to $33 annually for me by now. In the first year I used it about a dozen times. Now, not so much because I don't have that kind of need right now.

Best of all, there's no subscription and I don't get nagged for constant updates or upgrades. It's the perfect relationship!

I don't use it often these days, but it's great at splitting and combining, inserting pages, and much more.

EDIT: I do everything I can to avoid Adobe's software rental scams. And the best way to do that is to avoid using any Adobe products, even if they are not subscription. Even if they are free.

No $60 monthly payments from me!
 
derFunkenstein
Gold subscriber
Gerbil God
Posts: 23774
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:13 pm
Location: Comin' to you directly from the Mothership

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:29 pm

chuckula wrote:
The XFA forms are a giant PITA. My Linux solution is to run a recent version of Acrobat via Wine which works fine for my uses. Regular PDF forms that aren't using the proprietary XFA crap do work pretty well using standard open-source programs like Okular, however.

The powers that be had decided that a form-based module in our web app should use XFA forms, so that printed forms always looked like what you were filling out. That was seen as a bonus by users, because this area of the K-12 education world was (and to an extent, still is) very dead-tree oriented.

Eventually Adobe Reader DC started to break XFA compatibility and I was tasked with figuring out what Adobe's plans were so we could make an educated decision on what to do. I was on a conference call with Adobe where they told us that LiveCycle ES4 was going to go the way of the dodo (EoS is March of next year, btw) and we were supposed to move these forms to some sort of HTML-based document server. Not long after all that, Google dropped NPAPI support anyway, so suddenly you couldn't edit these forms in anything but IE11 or Safari.

It was easier to just rewrite the front-end with HTML and JavaScript, and the same XML-formatted data that populated the XFA forms now populates these HTML ones. Everyone's happy.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
 
chuckula
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1566
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:18 pm
Location: Probably where I don't belong.

Re: Good PDF Splitter/Combiner Software??

Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:44 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
chuckula wrote:
The XFA forms are a giant PITA. My Linux solution is to run a recent version of Acrobat via Wine which works fine for my uses. Regular PDF forms that aren't using the proprietary XFA crap do work pretty well using standard open-source programs like Okular, however.

The powers that be had decided that a form-based module in our web app should use XFA forms, so that printed forms always looked like what you were filling out. That was seen as a bonus by users, because this area of the K-12 education world was (and to an extent, still is) very dead-tree oriented.

Eventually Adobe Reader DC started to break XFA compatibility and I was tasked with figuring out what Adobe's plans were so we could make an educated decision on what to do. I was on a conference call with Adobe where they told us that LiveCycle ES4 was going to go the way of the dodo (EoS is March of next year, btw) and we were supposed to move these forms to some sort of HTML-based document server. Not long after all that, Google dropped NPAPI support anyway, so suddenly you couldn't edit these forms in anything but IE11 or Safari.

It was easier to just rewrite the front-end with HTML and JavaScript, and the same XML-formatted data that populated the XFA forms now populates these HTML ones. Everyone's happy.


My use is more in the filing-in category vs. programmatic processing, but I have definitely used the "export" and "import" from XML features from time to time and I can see how processing quasi-standardized XML into HTML is easier than messing with deprecating interfaces from Adobe.
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-1080; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests