pdftk Command: Tutorial & Examples

Manipulate PDF files

pdftk (PDF Toolkit) is a command-line utility for manipulating PDF files. It allows you to perform various tasks such as merging, splitting, rotating, and modifying PDF documents.

To use pdftk, you need to have the utility installed on your system. Here is an overview of some common tasks you can perform with pdftk:

Merge multiple PDF files into a single document:

pdftk file1.pdf file2.pdf cat output merged.pdf

This merges the contents of "file1.pdf" and "file2.pdf" into a new PDF file called "merged.pdf".

Combine even and odd pages into one document

pdftk A=even.pdf B=odd.pdf shuffle A B output combined.pdf

Split a PDF file into multiple documents:

pdftk input.pdf cat 1 output page1.pdf
pdftk input.pdf cat 2-end output pages2-end.pdf

This splits "input.pdf" into two separate PDF files: "page1.pdf" contains the first page, and "pages2-end.pdf" contains the remaining pages.

Rotate the pages of a PDF file:

pdftk input.pdf cat 1east 2east 3-endwest output output.pdf

This rotates the first and second pages of "input.pdf" 90 degrees clockwise and the remaining pages 90 degrees counterclockwise, and saves the result in "output.pdf".

Rotate all pages by 180 degrees

pdftk inputfile.pdf cat 1-endS output outputfile.pdf

Fill out a PDF form:

pdftk form.pdf fill_form data.fdf output filled.pdf

This fills out the form fields in "form.pdf" using the data in the "data.fdf" file and saves the result in "filled.pdf".

pdftk has many other options and features that allow you to manipulate PDF files in various ways. You can use the pdftk --help command to view the available options and the man pdftk command to view the manual pages.