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Re: Assembling PDFs into a PDF document?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg121197] Re: Assembling PDFs into a PDF document?
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2011 17:55:50 -0400 (EDT)
  • Delivered-to:
  • References: <j3q0ql$6fn$> <j3t5h8$58o$>

Original query:

> Given a large number of single-page PDF image files, all in a single
> folder (on a Mac), write a notebook that will build a single multipage
> document containing some or all of these files, in accordance with
> (and with page order determined by) a list of some or all of these
> image file names.
> For extra credit:  Have each page in the final document bookmarked by
> the name of the corresponding file.

In article <j3t5h8$58o$1 at>,
 dr DanW <dmaxwarren at> wrote:

> This is one of those rare circumstances where I don't think Mathematica is 
> your best solution.  Preview exports actions to Automator for compiling pages 
> into a PDF and for watermarking.

I guess I'm surprised at the answers I've gotten to this query -- thus 
far, anyway -- which basically say, "You gotta do this by hand".  All 
I want to do is, in essence, import a bunch of files; concatenate 'em 
(without in any way opening, "reading" or in any way processing them); 
and re-export the concatenated file.  

What I failed to understand, I suppose, is that one doesn't just 
"concatenate" PDF files in this fashion.  Text files, yes; image 
files, probably; but PDF files, no. (Or can one, in fact, do this with 
PDF files, without converting each PDF file to a .jpg or .png file? --  
maybe at the cost of a bulkier final document?)

The Automator suggestion is interesting.  I've played with it a bit; 
found it powerful but quirky; and not a particularly fun language to 
program in -- partly because it's hard to follow just what it's doing, 
step by step, partly because it's not well documented.

But suppose your workflow involves generating and saving a large 
number of one-page PDF files -- each file a spec sheets or catalog 
page for one of the products or commercial items that you sell, for 

Every so often you edit a master list of the PDF files for those 
products that you currently sell (a list of the file names, that is), 
removing obsolete items, adding new ones.  Then you hand this list to 
a Mathematica notebook, which builds an updated multipage catalog of 
all your current products.  This can't be done . . . ???

As I'm typing, I thinking:  Hey, I'm quite sure I can do this in TeX, 
and quite easily in fact.  I'll give that a try.

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