I have googled this extensively, but not had any luck. I have a large selection of .pdf files, some of which default to displaying discrete pages or facing pages, and some of which default to displaying continuous pages. I would like a Linux CLI tool that can batch process my PDF files, leaving them unchanged except for the information on how I'd like them to display by default.

And to disarm some obvious suggestions, NO my pdf viewer does NOT have an option to set the default output on viewing. It always does what the PDF has encoded, and I have to change modes manually. Besides, I want to change the PDFs, not my viewer.

  • You can't define that. It's a user pref. i.sstatic.net/hI5LN.jpg Depending again on the reader, individual changes to a file's presentation will be remembered for that file, for next time.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 18:50
  • I have successfully done it using ps2pdf but the processing is SLOOOOW and I end up with files 10x the size I started with.
    – swestrup
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 18:51
  • Well, my reader would just ignore you.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 18:52
  • Which is fine. All I want is to change the default view. Of course I want individuals to be able to override that in their viewers.
    – swestrup
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Section 11.4 of the cpdf manual covers commands for this purpose:


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