Riffle Shuffling Two PDFs
April 30, 2018 10:51 PM   Subscribe

I've got Adobe Acrobat X Pro. I've also got two PDFs: one has all of the even-numbered pages (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.) of a document, and the other has all of the odd-numbered pages (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) of the same document. Is there a way to combine these two files such that the pages will automatically be in the proper order (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)?

I know I could manually rearrange all of the pages, but I'd rather not have to as I've got several unruly documents like this. They were scanned in on a non-duplex copy machine, first one side and then the other, hence the format.

The ordering doesn't have to be the same step as the combining, obviously, if there's a way to order them afterward.
posted by Karlos the Jackal to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The magic word for this is "interleave," and if you do a websearch for "interleave two pdfs" you'll see a bunch of solutions of varying vintage for your exact need. What operating system are you using? Are you looking for a standalone app or is a command line utility OK?
posted by rhizome at 11:05 PM on April 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

I feel like pdfsam does this (but can't check at the moment). It is free and works very well.
posted by deadwax at 12:19 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hi Karlos! If you're comfortable with adding some javascript to your Acrobat installation, here's a relevant thread on Adobe forums. Direct link to a message in that thread for a script for Acrobat X -- from there, scroll up one message for some guidance on where to add it in Windows, and scroll down a couple of messages for help on where to add it for Mac. Hope this helps.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 12:41 AM on May 1, 2018

I should have said -- I'm on Windows 8. I'm not particularly competent with javascript or programming and the like, but I'll try out these solutions and see what I can handle.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:27 AM on May 1, 2018

pdftk supports this and has a (free) Windows GUI. I can't tell if the free Windows version support interleaving, but the command line ("pdftk server") does and this is the first example so it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. (I say that... it's been a decade since I've used Windows.)
posted by hoyland at 3:04 AM on May 1, 2018

If you can get your hands on a Mac you can drag and drop them into place with Preview.
posted by COD at 5:04 AM on May 1, 2018

If you aren't opposed to uploading them to the internet to do it on sejda.com. You can even reverse order on one which means you can just scan one side, flip the whole stack and scan it again, which is what I do on my non-duplexing scanner. They also have a manual combiner/reordering tool as well. You are limited on the number of pages/size of files you can do per day though.
posted by Medw at 6:08 AM on May 1, 2018

This seems to be your problem, and supposedly if you put the JavaScript attached to the 10/30/09 7:52 pm post by jbaitis into your C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Acrobat\Javascripts directory, it works. Multiple respondents seem happy with it, so I'm assuming it's not evil.
posted by WCityMike at 12:39 PM on May 1, 2018

I downloaded PDFsam and it seems to work perfectly.

I wouldn't mind it being integrated with Acrobat so I may take a look at some of the other suggestions later, but PDFsam was quick and easy.

posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:19 PM on May 1, 2018

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