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Pdftk – Features, Tutorial, Examples, Download and Alternatives

Written By Abhinab| 15 December 2012| No Comment

Pdftk is an acronym for PDF Toolkit, a popular free and open source application to modify and edit PDF files. Unless you are the original creator of a PDF file and have all the rights to modify or edit it, it can be very tiresome to edit one belonging to someone else. In such situations, Pdftk can help you out and the front end GUI easily give you full access to do whatever you want with a PDF document.

Although Pdf reader is provided free from Adobe, PDF writer is not. It comes at quite an expensive price. Pdftk is simply a better alternative for Adobe PDF writer.

Pdftk Features

Some of the most favorite features of this program include:pdftk image

  • Extract, Split or Merge PDF docs
  • Decompile PDF file to individual number of pages
  • Rotate, Crop or caoncatenate PDF layout as required
  • Embed background watermark/Foregroun Stamp
  • Encrypt or Decrypt PDF files
  • Extract and edit images
  • Compress or Decompress Page streams
  • flatten and remove individual pdf pages
  • Automatically fill blank form spaces
  • Attach or Unpack PDF docs
  • Repair and recover PDF files
  • Multiple platform Support

Pdftk Examples

The following are some of the commonly used command line examples to show you how you can edit files using Pdftk.

Merge Two or More PDF file into a single PDF document

pdftk exampleA.pdf exampleB.pdf 3.pdf cat output ExampleAB.pdf

Easily Split individual Pages from Multiple PDF document

pdftk A=one.pdf B=two.pdf cat A1-7 B1-5 A8 output combined.pdf

Rotate 1st Page of a PDF document to 90 degree

pdftk exampleA.pdf cat 1E 2-end output new_exampleA.pdf

Encrypt PDF file using 128-Bit encryption and block all permissions

pdftk example1.pdf output example1.128.pdf owner_pw foopass

Encrypt PDF file using 128-Bit encryption with password (pass123)

pdftk example1.pdf output example1.128.pdf owner_pw foo user_pw pass123

Encrypt PDF file using 128-Bit encryption but allow priniting

pdftk example1.pdf output example1.128.pdf owner_pw user_pw pass123 allow printing

Decrypt a PDF document

pdftk lockeddocument.pdf input_pw foopass output lockeddocument.pdf

Join Two or more PDF Files (1 of the pdf is encrypted here)

pdftk A=Encrpteddoc.pdf normaldoc.pdf input_pw A=foopass cat output resultant_new.pdf

Uncompress PDF file page streams (for editing with Text editor)

pdftk exampledoc.pdf output exampledoc.clear.pdf uncompress

Repair PDF file (Whenever possible)

pdftk broken_original.pdf output repaired_new.pdf

Burst PDF Docs to Single Pages

pdftk original_multiplefile.pdf burst

Report on PDF Document Metadata, Bookmarks and Page Labels

pdftk example_old.pdf dump_data output report_generate.txt

Download pdftk

You can use the official Page to download this program directly. Do not use any third party links which might carry a patched code or Malware associated with it. We have added the official download links for your ease.

The best thing about this program is that is free to use and download. If you like the program, you can donate it to the developer.

Pdftk builder – Portable Version

Pdftk builder is a portable version of this program and comes with almost all the necessary features. Although you can use it to do all common PDF editing, it sure lacks some advanced feature of the core program.

Pdftk Alternatives

Although pdftk seems to provide all common controls and editing options, here are some alternative applications that we are pretty sure that you might want to try out:

  • PDFCreator
  • PDFsam
  • PDFill
  • PDF24 PDF Creator
  • qvPDF
  • jPdf Tweak
  • Ultra PDF Merger
  • Junko
  • PDF Rider
  • PDF Chain
  • iPDF2Split
  • iPDF2Merge
  • PDF/Mergician
  • PDF Toolbox
  • Hexonic PDF Split and Merge
  • Advanced PDF Utilities Free
  • Adolix Split & Merge PDF
  • PDFHammer

Pdftk is undoubtedly the best free program which can help you edit PDF files. If you have any problems using this program, you can ask for help using the comment section or refer to the program manual.



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