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  1. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    Freeware PDF Editors?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by SapereAude, May 3, 2021.

    Since submitting a manuscript for print-on-demand usually requires a PDF, and I'm working on a project that's going to involve merging multiple PDFs into a single file for publication, I can't put page numbers into a header or footer within my base manuscript in Word. So I'm looking for a freeware (preferably) or at least reasonably-priced PDF editor that allows creating, editing, formatting, and deleting headers and footers. I know all this can be done with Acrobat, but that's comparatively expensive, and available only by subscription.

    Is there anything else out there that can handle this task? I would prefer freeware, but I'll also look at programs that are available as a one-time, lifetime purchase -- under $100.

    Thanks.
     
  2. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    I've never used a free PDF editor I liked the results from, but if the only issue is the page numbers then you can tell Word to start at whatever the first number of that section is rather than 1. Then you've just got to combine the PDFs, which is a rather easier problem. If you've got a Mac, you can do that in Preview.
     
  3. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    No, that won't work. The other PDFs I need to "splice" in are not documents I'll be writing, they are PDFs of documents from various U.S. government web sites. Maintaining their formatting and pagination is critical, so I can't transcribe them into Word and repaginate them. I have to be able to manipulate the headers and footers (especially the footer, which is where the page numbers are to be located) with a PDF editor after collecting all the PDFs into s single master file.

    I know it can be done in Acrobat -- I've done it -- but Acrobat has switched to a subscription-only basis and priced itself beyond my reach, so I'm looking for affordable alternates that can do what I need to do.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I've never come across a completely free PDF program which has the functions of acrobat... i used to use Cute PDF back in the day but that was just to make word docs into pdfs before word brought in the ability to do it itself

    you'll probably find your best bet is going to be one of the paid PDF alternatives like Nitro pro or Kodax power PDF (used to be nuance)... which are both about $180 still a lot, but a lot less than acrobat was before they went to subscription... i think they both offer free downloads or trial periods so you can check them out
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    PDFSam should do the trick as far as merging, splitting documents etc.

    https://pdfsam.org/

    It may take more than one tool to do everything you want.

    An inelegant solution for the editing is GIMP (https://www.gimp.org/). You can import PDFs as image files and then export/print them back to PDFs when you are done with whatever edits you want to make. I used that solution a lot when I was on Linux. Combine that with PDFSam and you can merge, split, or move around PDF files as well as edit them all you want.
     
  6. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    Thanks, but I already have multiple freeware programs that can handle the merging. To reiterate the question, "So I'm looking for a freeware (preferably) or at least reasonably-priced PDF editor that allows creating, editing, formatting, and deleting headers and footers."

    GIMP (or any image editing program) is not the answer. Some of the documents I need to import are 150 to 200 pages each -- the overall book is going to be slightly over 1,000 pages. I am NOT going to manually put headers, footers and page numbers on 1,000+ pages. I need to duplicate Acrobat's ability to work with headers and footers in the PDF.
     
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    as i said there are many other choices than acrobat... most of which are around the $180 dollar mark... i think you need to accept that you arent going to get the moon on a stick... if you want what acrobat does then you need to pay for a decent PDF editor
     
    Steerpike likes this.
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yes. There are other free tools I’ve found that have some editing capabilities but none are as robust as Acrobat or the alternatives that you have to pay for. Which makes sense.
     
  9. Amontillado

    Amontillado Active Member

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    It's not quite what you're looking for, but you can combine PDFs with Apple Preview. I defined a service to combine multiple PDFs at a time - just select the PDF's in the Finder, then use the Combine PDF service I added. There are simple recipes to do that on the 'net.

    Affinity Publisher, one of my new favorite toys, will open a PDF. At that point you've got a Publisher version of the PDF. Any text objects in the PDF are separate text objects in the Affinity document.

    You can also open a PDF in Affinity, then use the "add pages from file" feature to append subsequent PDFs.

    Depending on your use, applying a master page (template) might add the needed headers and footers.

    Publisher is pretty cool, in my view. $25 one-time, and it's not a bad replacement for InDesign - although I rely on others for that opinion. I was never well-heeled enough to afford Adobe products.
     

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