PDF Split and Merge

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Developer(s) Andrea Vacondio
Initial release August 9, 2007 (2007-08-09)
Stable release 2.2.2 / November 5, 2012; 16 months ago (2012-11-05)
Development status Active
Written in Java, Java Swing
Operating system Cross-platform
Platform Java
Type PDF utility
License GPLv2
Website www.pdfsam.org

PDFSaM or PDF Split and Merge software is a free and open source cross-platform set of tools for manipulating PDF documents. PDFSaM basically provides a command-line and graphical user interfaces to the iText library. The command-line interface is written in Java and dual-licensed under the GPLv2 and LGPLv2. In graphical mode there is a separate utility for each kind of task; these utilities serve as plugins to the main GUI and call the command-line tool for doing the actual work. The main GUI and its plugins are written in Java Swing and licensed solely under the GPLv2.

Thus PDFSaM needs just a working Java Virtual Machine installed in the operating system in order to run.

The distribution system[edit]

PDFSaM comes in two different versions, both open sourced.

The basic version is a simple desktop utility for the most common PDF manipulating tasks. It is freely accessible from the project's page both as source and compiled code. There are MSI packages for 32-bit and 64-bit MS Windows, .dmg for Mac OS X and ZIP bundle for the power users' convenience. ZIP bundle comes especially handy for use on the GNU/Linux platform: only a few GNU/Linux distributions have a PDFSaM package in their repositories, namely Debian,[1] Ubuntu[2] and Arch Linux[3] (as for April 2013).

The enhanced version is actually the full version of the program, including some experimental features. While its source code is available from the project's SourceForge page under the GPL, the author of the software do not openly distribute the enhanced version's ready-made packages. In order to set up a working environment one have to either compile this version from source, or make a donation to the project (thus gaining access to the support forum and the compiled packages of the enhanced version).


PDFSaM have no capabilities of editing the PDF document content. It just manipulates the pages, and the whole document's attributes. It can also extract attachments from a PDF file.

The output PDF files produced by the PDFSaM 2.2.2 may be in the PDF versions 1.5 through 1.7.

Basic version[edit]

PDFSaM 2.2.2 basic version in visual reorder mode running on ALT Linux, with the PDF file of the Open Sources: Voices from the Revolution book opened

The basic version provides a subset of the program's functionality. It can:

  • split PDF documents (into chapters, single pages, etc.),
  • extract particular pages and sections of PDF documents into a single new PDF,
  • merge several PDF documents or their selected subsections,
  • mix alternate pages taken from different PDF documents in straight or reverse order into a single PDF,
  • rotate pages of PDF documents,
  • visually reorder pages of PDF documents,
  • visually compose new PDF by dragging pages from several PDF documents,
  • save and load environment to automatize recurrent jobs,
  • set an environment to load at start up.

Enhanced version[edit]

Compared to the basic version, it provides additional features that allow to:

  • encrypt PDF documents (with Rivest Cipher and AES algorithms),
    • and set permissions on them,
  • decrypt PDF documents,
  • add a front or back cover to PDF documents,
  • extract attachments from PDF documents,
  • set viewer options to PDF documents,
  • set the metadata of PDF documents (author, title, subject and keywords).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Debian repository PDFSaM package.
  2. ^ Ubuntu repository PDFSaM package.
  3. ^ Arch Linux repository PDFSaM package.

External links[edit]