24

A few months ago I had several PDFs (lease documents, renter's insurance forms, etc.) from which I needed to combine select pages into a single document before sending to a property management company. Surprisingly, I couldn't find a (free) program to do this! I ended up copying pages into Microsoft Word and exporting as PDF from Word, but Word isn't free, and I feel there has to be an easier way.

I imagine a program where you'd Shift- or Ctrl-select (or better yet, drag-and-drop) all the relevant PDF files, specify page numbers (page previews would be nice, but maybe that's asking too much), and click "Go!" and you'd have your single PDF.

Is there such a thing? I'm comfortable with a command line solution, but a GUI app would be preferred.

12 Answers 12

11

I've used pdftk for that from command line on Linux but as far as I see it also has a Windows version. The screenshot looks promising.

screenshot

  • 2
    Note the greyed out options beside the "Enable These Extra Features by Upgrading to PDFtk Pro for only $3.95!" notice. These are all available in the free PDFTK Builder noted elsewhere in this Q&A. – Dɑvïd Feb 5 '15 at 12:57
14

I have found your free program, it is PDFsam. Please tell me if this works for you.

PDFsam is a free, open source, platform independent tool released under GPLv2 license and designed to perform split, merge and other manipulations on PDF document. It’s released in 2 versions, basic and enhanced.

A Screenshot of PDFSam

Requirements: Java Runtime Environment 1.6 or higher

PDFsam basic:

A simple tool designed to split and merge PDF files. With it’s simple and intuitive interface you can:

  • split your PDF documents (into chapters, single pages, etc.)
  • merge many PDF documents or subsections of them.
  • extract sections of your document into a single PDF document.
  • mix alternate pages taken from two PDF documents in straight or reverse order into a single document.
  • rotate pages of the selected PDF documents.
  • visually reorder pages of a selected PDF document.
  • visually compose a document dragging pages from selected PDF documents.
  • save and load your workspace to automate your recurrent jobs.
  • manage PDFsam settings and set a workspace to load at start up.

PDFsam enhanced:

This is the enhanced version of PDFsam. In this version you’ll find all the basic features plus:

  • encrypt your PDF files (RC40 bits, RC128 bits, AES128 bits) and set permissions on them.
  • add a PDF front-page or an addendum (or both) to your PDF documents. decrypt PDF documents.
  • extract attachments from your PDF documents.
  • set viewer options to a document to tell the viewer application how should open the document.
  • set the metadata of a document (author, title, subject and keywords).
  • PDFSam is very good tool to split, merge and work with PDF files. You can remove pages and created new documents with selected files. @ThomasH your answer is not that way as it should be. Read: meta.softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/86/… – Irgendw Pointer Feb 15 '14 at 15:19
  • This has also worked well for me most of my PDF related things. It's got a fair amount of useful functionality and since it's free, it's perfect for those occasional times that I need to manipulate a PDF to remove pages, reorder pages that I scanned into one page, etc. – MarkS Feb 1 '15 at 2:33
12

Although PDFTK was mentioned above, what is really needed here is PDFTK Builder, a free Windows GUI for the PDFTK "engine":

PDFTK Builder Screenshot

As of version 3.5 "drag/drop" facility (mentioned by OP) has been added. Other features include:

  • adding PDFs is a simple matter;
  • page ranges can be specified, even repeating pages;
  • same PDFs can be "added" multiple times, interspersed;
  • unicode filenames possible as of v. 3.9.

It does much, much more besides. I last used this on Windows 7, and it continues to work flawlessly. It meets OP's needs beautifully.


(An analogous program for Linux type systems is PDF Chain, in case that is of any interest.)

  • The join (previously known as collate) feature of PDFTK Builder is buggy. I tried to join pages 1-2,3 of PDF1 followed by pages 3,2,1 of PDF2 and it ended up saving pages 1,2,3 of PDF1 followed by page 3 of PDF2 followed by pages 2,1 of PDF1. – pacoverflow Mar 1 '16 at 3:59
  • 1
    I like the portable version, PDFTK Builder Portable, available at portableapps.com. – browly Jul 19 '16 at 15:39
4

PDFArchitect or PDFCreator->print specific pages and wait and combine. Both work well, although usually I prefer PDFCreator because it is slightly faster I've found, but that may depend on you workflow, specs and preferences. (PDFArchitect is an optional installation with PDFCreator - you may also be able to download it sepeartely.

  • I should probably mention it uses GhostScript as it's underlying heavy lifter. – Nick Wilde Feb 4 '14 at 23:00
3

I use PdFill Free PDF Tools:

You must install GhostScript to be able to use these tools.

You will be able to:

  1. Merge or Combine two or more PDF files into a single PDF file.
  2. Split, Extract, Reorder or Delete PDF pages from a PDF file into a new file.
  3. Encrypt or Decrypt PDF documents (Master Password or User Password may be required). Protect PDF files with passwords and prevent PDF files from being printed, copied, changed, filled, extracted, signed, assembled or merged. Supports Adobe® Standard 40-bit Encryption and Adobe® Advanced 128-bit Encryption
  4. Rotate a PDF page by 0, 90, 180 and 270 degree. Crop a page to modify its layout of Print or View by specifying its margins.
  5. Put multiple pages into one page to save paper and inks when printing hard copies. Add note lines for handout.
  6. Add Headers and Footers to present information, such as date, time, page numbers, or the title of the document, in the top or bottom margins of a document.
  7. Add Stylized Text Stamp.
  8. Add Stamp using image file (bmp, jpg, gif, png, tiff, and wmf).
  9. Convert images (bmp, jpg, gif, png, tiff, and wmf) into a PDF file with layout options.
  10. Save PDF pages into images (png, jpg, bmp and tiff) with DPI options.
  11. Delete, Flatten, List Delete, Flatten or List the PDF Form Fields inside a PDF file.
  12. Convert PS files into PDF files so Adobe Reader can read them.
  13. Add information (title, author, subject, keywords, created, creator, producer, version) to PDF documents.
  14. Scan your paper form or photo as an image file (PNG, JPG, BMP, TIF, GIF) or a PDF file.
  15. Create a transparent image with options to adjust transparency options.
2

podofo can be fairly easily compiled for your desired platform (or you can look for builds online). It comes with several tools -- podofomerge, podofoextract, etc. -- which are designed specifically for this purpose. It's a command line tool, which can be either a benefit or a drawback depending on whether you need to do things in batch (if you need to do this extremely often and with A LOT of PDFs, it can be faster to write a .bat file).

It's not as easy to use as some of the other recommended solutions, though, chiefly because there are no official binary builds available on the website.

2

For drag-and-drop editing have at look at PDF24 PDF Creator.

Form the website: "The editor contains an explorer to choose documents and to drag and drop them into the editing area. You can also drag and drop documents from windows explorer. If you drag documents other than PDF files, these documents will be converted to PDF automatically. If a document is loaded you can delete and rearrange pages, move pages from one document to another, merge documents, change properties like author and title, secure a PDF with a password, sign a PDF document"

Screenshot with file explorer and editing pane

Other features:

» Printer:

  • Create a PDF file out of any application which provides a print option
  • Creation of other file types: PDF/A, PDF/X, PS, EPS, PCL, PNG, JPEG, BMP, PCX, TIFF, PSD

Screenshot with PDF24 Assistant for Printing, etc.

» PDF Screen Capture

» Supports Twain: Can import images from scanners, digicams, webcams if they support twain

2

You might be interested to use Dysprosium Software Suite, freely available. Its interface is similar to Adobe Acrobat merge feature.

  1. You can brows to directory of saved PDF files or drag and drop your files.
  2. You can merge parts of the same document, together with parts or all of other documents.
  3. Right click on the name of the file and enter required range of pages.
  4. Save a name for the merged document or allow the default name.
  5. Click on merge.
  6. There is no limitation of the number and sizes of files.
  7. It is free.

Software is portable.

Please, have a look at its interface.

enter image description here

1

An open source alternative is qpdf. Using that tool, the syntax to merge two files is:

qpdf --empty --pages file1.pdf file2.pdf -- output.pdf
1

1. Summary

If your PDF files numbered in numerical sorting:

    Weeny icon Weenysoft Free PDF Merger — simply solution

Weeny Free PDF Merger


2. Argumentation

I scan the book → I process scans → I get in output files: 1.pdf, 2.pdf, 3.pdf, …, 4147.pdf. I need preserve the order: 1.pdf — page 1 of merged PDF, 2.pdf — page 2 and so on.

But use tools from section «Not helped» I can't do it simply. They use lexicographic (classic literal filename) sorting:

1.pdf
10.pdf
11.pdf
2.pdf

In my case, I need another sorting — numerical:

1.pdf
2.pdf
10.pdf
11.pdf

3. Alternative methods

  1. Use software, that named your PDF files for merging with leading zeros, e. g. 004.pdf, 014.pdf.
  2. Add leading zeros to your filenames before merging; see, how you can do it in Advanced Renamer.
  3. Write custom scripts; see example for pdfunite and Linux shell in Stack Overflow answer to question «Merge PDF files with numerical sort».

4. Disclaimer

Data from this answer is relevant for August 2019. In the future, for new programs releases, it may be obsolete.


5. Not helped

All tools from this section have lexicographic order. I can't find in settings of this program, how I can apply numerical.

5.1. PDFSam

@Tom's answer

4.0.3

PDFSam

5.2. pdftk

palacsint answer

2.02

Command:

pdftk *.pdf cat output KiraSuperhero.pdf

5.3. pdfunite

jbrock answer

From Poppler for Windows, 0.68.0_x86

Command:

pdfunite *.pdf KiraSuperhero.pdf

5.4. PDFTK Builder

Dɑvïd's answer

3.9.4

PDFTK Builder

5.5. PDFill PDF Free Tools

csk's answer

15.0 (Build 1)

PDFill

5.6. qpdf

assylias answer

8.4.2

Command:

pdftk *.pdf cat output KiraSuperhero.pdf

5.7. Sejda Console

Open source SDK, that used for PDFSam and http://sejda.com.

3.2.83

Command:

sejda-console merge -f *.pdf -o KiraSuperhero.pdf

See also my issue for Sejda repository.


6. Note

Free PDF Merger is GUI. Note about CLI version on official site:

We can also build SDK or DLL file to implement merging PDF files easily in programs. The command-line program, SDK or DLL file is for software developers use only. Contact us for more information.

0

There are several online tools that do exactly what you want and without any install. One of the tools I use frequently is PDFalpha - it provides the drag and drop functionality right in your browser and is also cross-platform.

The interface is also very simple and intuitive and allows reordering of uploaded files before merging:

PDFalpha interface

0

PDFtk for Windows has paid features in the frontend(UI), but its console version has all features free for use. It resides in the same installation directory. So, if you are familiar with Linux, use it the same way.

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