Help me read everything on the internet.
July 19, 2018 2:01 PM   Subscribe

I have two situations for which I am looking for solutions. Both involved reading a large number of articles on the internet. I have a Kindle Paperwhite, an iPad and a Pocket account.

Situation 1: A group I am a member of has uploaded a number of news articles to a shared Google Drive folder. The articles are saved as PDFs. Ideally, I'd like to combine these into one single document with each PDF as a "chapter" and power through it in one go. I'd prefer NOT to read them using Google Drive. I use Pocket2Kindle to read html articles pretty often, and I know I can send individual PDFs to Kindle, but I'd prefer not to have a huge amount of single documents on my Kindle, and also PDF formatting is often wonky on the Kindle.

Situation 2: I often save links as I'm scrolling through Facebook, using FB's "save" feature. Is there a way I can send these saved articles directly to Pocket? Facebook's retired Paper app used to let you send articles to various reading apps (such as Pocket), but currently, Facebook doesn't allow this any more. I'd be willing to use something like iFTTT to mae this happen.
posted by Brittanie to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, this is a long shot, but I think your Situation 1 can be handled in the Linux command line. The following command will combine all PDF files in a directory into a single PDF file named "output.pdf":
pdfunite *.pdf output.pdf
However this requires that your Linux system have available the poppler utilities, which are readily available from my Ubuntu standard repository, but that may vary depending on the Linux distribution. The command to install it is as follows (of course this only gets done once):
sudo apt-get install poppler-utils
I tested this by downloading 23 PDFs of widely varying sizes from my Google Drive to a work folder (available in both Windows & Linux). The output.pdf ended up having 1836 pages and seemed to be formatted fine.

As for your Situation 2, I have no knowledge of Facebook whatsoever, but I find it easy to add things to Pocket using the Share button on my phone, or the Pocket icon now built into Firefox on my PC. So if it's not working for you with Facebook it's probably some FB specific thing of which I am ignorant.

And yes, I realize a Linux solution may not be a solution to you, but I didn't see any other replies so I thought I would give you this info just in case.
posted by forthright at 6:29 PM on July 19, 2018

I did a quick search for "combine pdfs" and got a list of many websites and downloadable (Windows in my case) apps that will do this. I would stay away from online apps because they encourage you (usually in a misleading way) to download other useless things you don't want. I tried the downloadable program called "Soda", and got it to work, but the "free" version seems to be a 14 day trial. I'm sure there must be a simple, free program/app to do this.
posted by rickjh at 6:45 PM on July 20, 2018

Calibre allows you to combine multiple documents into ebooks in the format of your choice. (Use Zapier to create a rss feed that captures new documents added to G Drive or to your FB favorites page and send them to be ebooked in Calibre.)
posted by Kalatraz at 10:28 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

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