The easiest way to split and merge pdf files in Ubuntu

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The easiest way to split, merge or edit pdf files in Ubuntu is to use pdftk utility. This rather old (latest version was released in 2006) but still simple and powerful program can be installed in Ubuntu (Debian or any deb-family Linux distribution) by the following command in terminal:

sudo aptitude install pdftk
(if you run Fedora, RedHat or CentOS use this one: sudo yum install pdftk)

Split large pdf into many one-page files:

pdftk largepdfile.pdf burst

(as the result you will get many small files like pg_0001.pdf, pg_0002.pdf and so on).

Merge files into one PDF file:

pdftk *.pdf cat output onelargepdfile.pdf

pdftk is extremely powerful and makes it possible to do almost anything with input pdf files. Thus above two commands are just examples showing how to split and merge pdf files in Ubuntu easily.


Stefan Durand

My name is Stefan, I'm the admin of LinuxScrew. I am a full-time Linux/Unix sysadmin, a hobby Python programmer, and a part-time blogger. I post useful guides, tips, and tutorials on common Linux and Programming issues. Feel free to reach out in the comment section.

4 thoughts on “The easiest way to split and merge pdf files in Ubuntu”

  1. Excellent – thanks for the guidance. I needed to combine monthly new sheets for 6 years into 6 pdf files rather than 72 – done quickly using this page and pdftk.

    pdftk *.pdf cat output onelargepdfile.pdf

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