PDFsam Reviewed – open source utilities for PDF manipulation

PDFsam (PDF split and merge) is an open source tool (under GPL license) designed to allow the alteration of Acrobat documents (*.pdf files) through several different utilities.  PDFsam is available in two versions:
  • PDFsam basic
  • PDFsam enhanced
PDFsam is an open source tool, but its enhanced version is available for a small donation of 1 €. PDFsam enhanced version has extended functionality like encrypting and decrypting the pdf files (with encryption standards like RC40 bits, RC128 bits, AES128 bits) and setting permissions on them. Not only this, one can add metadata (author, title, subject and keywords) to the document in the enhanced version. Why PDFSAM: PDFsam incorporates a number of utilities including:
  • Splitting a particular document,
  • Merging two documents in alternate fashion i.e reverse the flow of document known as ‘Alternate Mix’,
  • Merge several existing documents into one, and
  • Visual editing and reordering of different pages from several documents into one document.
Superb performance and commitment of founders to open source gives it a huge edge to people who want to save on their IT budget by not investing in expensive tools like Adobe Acrobat. Moreover the ability to be able to run on the command line makes it suitable to be used on the backend of a web application. Who Will Use pdfsam: PDFsam functionalities can be exploited by:
  • Those who wants to integrate document editing features in his/her web development project, because it can be well operated through command line.
  • Firm why heavily rely on document editing process.
As whole, it is not as targeted for a particular set of people, anyone can use this application and can rejoice with its outcomes. WHAT DOES IT OFFER (FEATURE SET): From first glance at the software one can easily predict that this software is meant to cater some serious PDF manipulations like – document merging/extracting, Page Rotation, document splitting and visual document composing and reorder. Software provides easy to use interface for each of these actions as depicted below: Alternate Mix:

The utility allows you to mix alternate pages taken from two pdf documents in straight or reverse order into a single document. Merge/Extract  :

As the name suggest here we can merge two or more documents together into one document. A great utility if a report has several aspects and different people cover different aspects of a report. Rotate :

The utility allows you to rotate or orient the document as desired. Split :

Split option splits the document into pages or can even split the pages (either all or even or odd too). Visual Document Composer or reorder :

This is the best part of PDFsam where one can visually orient his/her document or can commit changes in it without have to predict what the results will be likely, as it works as WYSIWYG. How much does it cost: PDFsam is open source and free above which makes this software stand apart from others. To get an enhanced version you would need to spend a small sum of 1 euros. How to remain updated about pdfsam: You can visit the pdfsam homepage for download and to review latest versions and bug fix reports. Also the founders are pretty active on the community pages/forums of pdfsam.