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I am a general contractor and while working with Architects, I receive large PDF files containing construction plans and specifications, usually lumped together in a single large multiple page PDF. When bidding out to subcontractors, I use Adobe acrobat to bookmark the pages with the individual file names I would like, and then a plugin for acrobat, AutoSplit by Evermap, to extract the pages by bookmark with the bookmarks used as the file names. This is the best solution I have found to date, but with one major drawback:If I receive a revision to the plans, I have to start from scratch to split the documents again. Is there a tool that would allow me to accomplish the same task, but that would be able to accept new versions of the original PDF and quickly apply the previous split (with maybe some insertions or deletions) to the new version?

  • What do you mean by "Revision"? New/Modified Annotations? Or is the actual page content (drawing) modified? – Ryan Jun 15 '16 at 23:26
  • @Ryan, what "revision" means varies. Sometimes new pages are added or pages are deleted. But more often, text or drawings on the pages are modified by deleting, modifying, or adding content (drawings and text). Also depending on the architect, the content can entirely be rasterized, or entirely vector, depending on what software was used to create the content in the first place, and how it is being exported, or whether hand drawn notes are being scanned. – Kent Jun 16 '16 at 15:58
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I would suggest using the pdftk command line server cat command to split the pages of interest into new named files from a batch script, (.bat file), then providing new pages haven't been inserted or pages reordered you can just re-run that script. You can even extract just the pages that you are interested in to a new multi-page pdf.

  • Free or very reasonably priced $0-$3.99
  • Primarily Windows but sever available on Red Hat or CentOS.
  • Fast
  • I have never had it fail me
  • You could also apply a stamp or watermark, e.g. to mark the generated pages uncontrolled.
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Based on Steve Barnes' answer, I came up with this batch script using pdftk server to split the pdf according to a list of file names for each page (in a text file called pages.meta.txt).

set ORIGINAL="[INSERT ORIGINAL PDF NAME HERE]"
set /a CUR=1

setlocal ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSION

for /F "tokens=*" %%A in (pages.meta.txt) do (
    If !CUR! LSS 100 (
        IF !CUR! LSS 10 (
            set number="00!CUR!"
        ) ELSE (
            set number="0!CUR!"
        )       
    ) else (
        set number="!CUR!"
    )
    echo %number%
    pdftk %ORIGINAL% cat !CUR!-!CUR! output "!number! - %%A%.pdf"
    set /a CUR=CUR+1
) %%A

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