I frequently need to combine several PDF files into one large PDF so I don’t have to send a mess of small files via email. Though I have accomplished this task before without much of a problem by issuing the following command to Ghostscript, I decided that my usual method is inefficient:
gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOUTPUTFILE=combinedpdf.pdf -dBATCH 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf
Later on I found a terminal-based application called PDFtk that allowed for a more easily remembered command:
pdftk PART1.pdf PART2.pdf PART3.pdf cat output COMBINED.pdf
where one simply replaces the capitalised portions with the appropriate names of the input and output PDF files. However, to use that utility within Gentoo, one has to compile sys-devel/gcc with the gcj USE flag enabled. That USE flag builds GCC with support for the Java Programming Language. While this was not necessarily a big dependency, I didn’t feel like recompiling GCC with support for Java in order to use a terminal utility. Instead, I wanted to use a lightweight GTK GUI application that would allow me to do some basic PDF tasks, and I did so with PDFshuffler.
This application is incredibly minimalistic, easy to use, and it accomplishes a few PDF tasks very nicely. Lifted directly from the project’s SF page, “PDF-Shuffler is a small python-gtk application, which helps the user to merge or split pdf documents and rotate, crop and rearrange their pages using an interactive and intuitive graphical interface. It is a frontend for python-pyPdf.” I have not used it to rotate any documents, but I have found that it allows me to take care of the other tasks quite effectively and efficiently. Even better, it really doesn’t have many dependencies not already on my system.
I have filed a stablisation request (STABLEREQ) for this application as well as its two explicitly-listed dependencies (python-poppler and pyPDF) in the Gentoo bugzilla. If you use this application or either of its dependencies, please comment on your experiences, especially regarding runtime stability.
I hope that some of you find this application to be as helpful as I have. 🙂
Take care for now,