Apr 14, 2016

A Couple of Home-grown Free PDF Utilities


So, I've been busy lately doing lots of fun things, both at home, work, and on the side. I'm working hard to get my new font site up and running, but a couple of things in particular I completed recently are two free PDF utilities that are currently being hosted by Philip Rothman of NYC Music Services: PDF-BatchScale and PDF-BatchBooklet. The are available for both Windows and Mac. I'm going to borrow some of the text/images from the download site (thanks, Philip!). If either of these sound interesting/useful to you, read on!


PDF-BatchScale



PDF-BatchScale PDF scales the original PDF to the specified size of the output PDF by the largest percentage possible while still fitting within the dimensions of the output PDF. The aspect ratio of the original PDF doesn’t change, so if the output page size is different than the original PDF, Batch Scale PDF will automatically add margins to the output PDF as needed.


Simply drag-and-drop the files into the window's file list box (or click the Add button),


select any pre-configured output paper size (including a handful of common sizes used for music) or pick your own custom size,



adjust any other output settings and click the Process Files button. Blink and you might miss how quickly it can churn through the files.


PDF-BatchBooklet


This handy app creates booklets by imposing the pages for printing. The original image size is retained. For instance, it will take letter-size pages (8.5”x11”) and impose them on 17”x11” paper. It can impose the pages to make a traditional booklet to be printed double-sided, or it can also make an accordion-style booklet to be printed on single-sided paper. An option to allow half-sheets is also available.


Again, drag-and-drop the files you'd like to turn into booklets into the window's list box (or click on the Add button),



Choose Folded Booklet Order to create a traditional booklet for double-sided printing.


Choose Allow half sheets to create a double-sided insert on the same size page as the original PDF.


Choose Straight Page Order to create an accordion-style book for single-sided printing.


Choose Allow half sheets for the last page in an odd-numbered PDF to be created on the same size page as the original PDF.


Finally, adjust any other output settings and click the Process Files button to see how quickly this app can get through any number of files.


(Pssst! Read this section before using the apps...)

Now, there's one important thing to remember when using either of these two apps: they aren't bullet proof. Due to a lack of capability with the PDF library I'm using to do all this cool functionality, be aware that if any of a file's contents are encrypted and/or compressed, then you will likely get an error and the file will fail to be processed and will get skipped over. Sometimes, however, a file with encrypted/compressed contents will still get "processed" and even have an output file created, but these will also be bad files. Sometimes they are empty, sometimes they won't render correctly.

So, the take-away? Decompress and decrypt your files before trying to process them. This can be done quite easily with numerous free apps out there like PDFTK, QPDF, Ghostscript, or even your OS's "Save to PDF" print option.

That's it for today! 

Give the apps a try! They're free, so why not? If either is useful, let me know in the comments below!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. Wonderful work and I wish all the very best to you. And always waiting for new work updates. Keep doing things better.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Oliver! I hope they can be useful for you.

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