Is there a software that can generate outline in existing pdf files? From the style/level of the headers, for example?

The OS can be Windows or Linux. I prefer the free solution, but if that is not possible, I'm willing to consider some commercial software. GUI program would be nice, but I can handle a command line application, even some source code that can do the task would be helpful.

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    PDF files, unlike say a Word document, have no explicit style markup. In a typical PDF file there is no such thing as a word, sentence or paragraph, and definitely nothing like headings. Even bold/italic is often not clearly indicated in the font information. If you can, you want to do this at the time the PDF is generated. Analyzing a PDF afterwards is quite difficult in the general. – Ryan Oct 16 '18 at 4:58

Those headings you see in a PDF file are called "Bookmarks." As far as formatting, you'll have to settle for indentation. That's the only thing you can do with them.

Foxit Professional, PDFElement, and Acrobat Pro are three widely used tools for adding bookmarks to an existing PDF. If you're generating PDFs from scratch, look for some setting in your file editor that suggest creating bookmarks from headings.

Acrobat has gone to a subscription model, which for me is a deal breaker. Foxit and and PDFElement still sell you a piece of software that's yours to keep and use forever.

Acrobat may be the original tool, but Adobe still manages to put out buggy software.

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