I want scan a bunch of papers (let's say 50 pages, some double sided, some not) with my single side batch scanner and profit from a software that would (after scanning the front side batch and then (after notificating the software) the back side batch)

  • at least reorder the pages automatically (front side of 1st page before back side of 1st page before front side of 2nd page, ...)
  • allow multiple page scans to be saved as one (PDF, dejavu) document (basically every scan software does that)
  • allow bad scans to be replaced with better scans before documents are saved without the need to rescan the whole batch
  • optional auto detection of white pages and a function to remove them (best with a review function such as "jump to next blank", maybe even with learning function similar to a spam mail filter, e.g. "(un)mark page as white")
  • optional auto detection of sites belonging together and function to save them as a (PDF, dejavu) document

The program should work on Linux 3.x and doesn't need to have a GUI.

2 Answers 2


If you're looking for an OpenSource alternative, PDFsam software might be your product of choice. It can merge, split and "alternate mix" PDF files to achieve the result you're looking for.

It also has an unique Alternate Mix feature, which you can use to "emulate" front-back scanning with a single-side home scanner such as the one I have: you can also read this post for a guide explaining how to use it.


pdftk can do just this sort of thing nicely, including the free edition.

  • Both GUI & command line available
  • Free & Paid editions
  • Cross Platform

Quoting from the blog:

PDFtk has a special feature that we added specifically to solve this problem of arranging scanned pages: shuffle. Say you have two PDFs: even_pages.pdf and odd_pages.pdf. Then you can collate them into a single document like this:

pdftk A=odd_pages.pdf B=even_pages.pdf shuffle A B output collated_pages.pdf

If your even pages are in reverse order, you can reverse its page range:

pdftk A=odd_pages.pdf B=even_pages.pdf shuffle A Bend-1 output collated_pages.pdf

Depending on your Linux something like:

sudo apt-get install pdftk

should install it for you. And if you have scanned the lot into a single file it can also handle splitting the file for you.

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