Copying pages out of PDF files to make mini books.

I had been struggling trying to find content in some of the IBM pdf files (the same keyword is used in many places); and the online documentation is not very helpful in finding content.

I’ve found a brilliant way of cutting out the pages I need from a .pdf file.

I wanted to copy a pages 930-946 from a pdf file and create a new file. I used the pdftk package on Linux. PDF ToolKit = PDFK.

pdftk ~/apdf/TCP/IP_reference24.pdf cat 930-946 output tls.pdf


Merging and extracting

You can do

pdftk R=IP_reference24.pdf C=IP_configguide2.4.pdf U=IP_usersGuide.pdf cat R1253-1295 C1309-1327 U325-338 output cssmtp.pdf

I can now merge bits of the reference book with bits of the configuration guide and bits of the usage guide to produce a pdf on one particular topic.

You can create a handle so the handle R is for the book IP_reference24.pdf. I use it in R1253-1295 which says copy pages 1253 to 1295 of the book handle “R”. Note this is the page number in the PDF – not the book’s page number. The book’s page number 1 is page 47 in the PDF, after the table of contents, list of figures, list of tables etc..

The description of pdftk is

If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a simple tool for doing everyday things with
PDF documents. Use it to:

  • Merge PDF Documents or Collate PDF Page Scans
  • Split PDF Pages into a New Document
  • Rotate PDF Documents or Pages
  • Decrypt Input as Necessary (Password Required)
  • Encrypt Output as Desired
  • Fill PDF Forms with X/FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
  • Generate FDF Data Stencils from PDF Forms
  • Apply a Background Watermark or a Foreground Stamp
  • Report PDF Metrics, Bookmarks and Metadata
  • Add/Update PDF Bookmarks or Metadata
  • Attach Files to PDF Pages or the PDF Document
  • Unpack PDF Attachments
  • Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages
  • Uncompress and Re-Compress Page Streams
  • Repair Corrupted PDF (Where Possible)

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