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PDF manipluation and creation software

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Please note that this is not intended as a tutorial or howto on any of these programs. It's just a list of packages and some notes on them.

All packages are availiable in the fedora package repositories. Most likely also availiable in Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Guix etc, but that is not tested by me.

I'll keep adding stuff and more information about each program.

I have deliberately neglected to add links to each project. A websearch for each name should find the project with no issues and that way there will be no dead links.

Command line PDF merging

Basic high quality merging of pdf files using ghostscript. This is my go-to way to paste a few pdf's together. Seems to have little to no quality loss and is the KISS way. Note that you can also use wildcard inputs like input*.pdf. Also very useful for scripting. Ghostscript and other deps should be there already on most GNU/Linux and possibly other UNIX systems. Basic usage;

shell:
gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress \
   -sOutputFile=output.pdf \
   input1.pdf input2.pdf inputn.pdf

Might be worth creating a function or alias in your favorite shell config file if you use this often:

shell:
function mergepdf () {
    outfile=$1
    shift
    gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress \
       -sOutputFile=$outfile $@
}

#usage:
mergepdf output.pdf in1.pdf in2.pdf
# Merge all in my_doc.
# Read your shell's manual and get creative with loops and globbing!
mergepdf output.pdf ~/my_doc/*.pdf

PDF-Shuffler

Graphical merging, splitting, rotating, cropping and rearranging of pages. Use if you want a graphical interface for merging or need more features.

Uses python-pyPdf backend, GTK frontend.

Okular

Powerful reader with basic annotations. Note that this requries KDE dependencies. If you're not already using KDE, this means installing quite a few packages. Otherwise, this is the most full-featured FOSS pdf reader.

LibreOffice Draw

Editing text-based pdf files

Inksape

Editing image-based pdf files

GNU Image Manipulation Program

Editing PDF pages as images

PDFMod

Seems to be discontinued. At the time of writing (early 2019) the latest release is 0.9.1 (release notes) released March 3, 2011. Other users claim that it has uses when pdf-shuffler fails. As long as it remains in the fedora repositories i'll list it here. Written in C#, uses poppler for rendering, pdfsharp for manipluating/saving. GTK frontend.