pdf-Tricks in Linux with pdftk

pdftk is a very useful and powerful pdf-toolkit. It is available for Ubuntu with the package pdftk. Here are some practical example if its usage.

  • Merge Two or More PDFs into a New Document:

    pdftk 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf cat output 123.pdf 
  • or (Using Handles):

    pdftk A=1.pdf B=2.pdf cat A B output 12.pdf 
  • or (Using Wildcards):

    pdftk *.pdf cat output combined.pdf 
  • Split Select Pages from Multiple PDFs into a New Document:

    pdftk A=one.pdf B=two.pdf cat A1-7 B1-5 A8 output combined.pdf 
  • Rotate the First Page of a PDF to 90 Degrees Clockwise:

    pdftk in.pdf cat 1E 2-end output out.pdf 
  • Rotate an Entire PDF Document's Pages to 180 Degrees:

    pdftk in.pdf cat 1-endS output out.pdf 
  • Encrypt a PDF using 128-Bit Strength (the Default) and Withhold All Permissions (the Default):

    pdftk mydoc.pdf output mydoc.128.pdf owner_pw foopass 
  • Same as Above, Except a Password is Required to Open the PDF:

    pdftk mydoc.pdf output mydoc.128.pdf owner_pw foo user_pw baz 
  • Same as Above, Except Printing is Allowed (after the PDF is Open):

    pdftk mydoc.pdf output mydoc.128.pdf owner_pw foo user_pw baz allow printing 
  • Decrypt a PDF:

    pdftk secured.pdf input_pw foopass output unsecured.pdf 
  • Join Two Files, One of Which is Encrypted (the Output is Not Encrypted):

    pdftk A=secured.pdf mydoc.pdf input_pw A=foopass cat output combined.pdf 
  • Uncompress PDF Page Streams for Editing the PDF Code in a Text Editor:

    pdftk mydoc.pdf output mydoc.clear.pdf uncompress 
  • Repair a PDF's Corrupted XREF Table and Stream Lengths (If Possible):

    pdftk broken.pdf output fixed.pdf 
  • Burst a Single PDF Document into Single Pages and Report its Data to doc_data.txt:

    pdftk mydoc.pdf burst 
  • Report on PDF Document Metadata, Bookmarks and Page Labels:

    pdftk mydoc.pdf dump_data output report.txt 

Leave a Comment