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Combining two PDF files into a single document

Posted on 2014-01-16
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I have a PDF document and a Word document. I need to combine both these documents into a single PDF document, with the first document appearing first followed by the second document. Unfortunately, I do not have the Word version of the first document or else I could do it all in Word and then create the single PDF from it.

How could I go about accomplishing this? Would I need to use Adobe Professional? Could I line up both the documents one under the other and scan them together as a single PDF file? If I did it this way, would the hyperlinks in the PDF still work?
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Question by:geeta_m9
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by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 150 total points
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You can do it online, at http://merge.smallpdf.com/ for example, or with the trial version of Adobe Acrobat or NitroPDF.

HTH,
Dan
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 350 total points
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> How could I go about accomplishing this?

First thing to do is turn the Word doc into a PDF. If you have a recent version of Word, you can do it inside of Word via File>Save As to PDF (it may say "PDF or XPS" depending on your version of Word). If you don't have a version of Word with Save As to PDF, there are many free PDF print drivers out there. Six good ones are Bullzip, CutePDF Writer, doPDF, Nitro PDF Creator (part of the Nitro Reader install), PDFCreator, and PrimoPDF:

http://www.bullzip.com/products/pdf/info.php
http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp
http://www.dopdf.com
http://www.nitroreader.com/
http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator
http://www.primopdf.com

They have varying features and some folks prefer one over the other, so you may want to experiment to see which one you like the best. At one time CutePDF was my favorite, then it was doPDF, and my current choice is Bullzip. So I suggest trying Bullzip first to see if it works well for you; if not, try doPDF next; then the others until you find one that you like. All of them install a "printer" so that you can "print" to it from any Windows program. When you "print" to it, the print driver will create a PDF file.

OK, so now your Word file will be a PDF and all you have to do is combine the two PDFs. There are many ways to do this. One is with the PDF Toolkit (PDFtk), an excellent (free!) product that has numerous features to manipulate PDFs. It comes in both command line and GUI versions. The command line version is called PDFtk Server and may be downloaded here:

http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-server/

Don't be misled by "Server" in the name. I don't know why they called it that, but it's just an executable (pdftk.exe, with a supporting DLL, libiconv2.dll) that runs on XP, Vista, W7, and W8 (it does not have to run on a "server" OS...it also runs on Mac, but I've never used it on that).

Here's the one line solution for you using the PDFtk command line for combining two files into a third:

pdftk input1.pdf input2.pdf cat output combined.pdf

The "cat" operation "catenates" (joins/merges/combines) the input files into the output file. That should do it for you.

If you prefer a GUI (graphical) version of PDFtk to combine the files, it is here:
http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/

And this is the download link (also free):
http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/pdftk_free-2.02-win-setup.exe

> Would I need to use Adobe Professional?

As shown above, you do not need Adobe Acrobat (neither Professional nor Standard) to do it.

> Could I line up both the documents one under the other and scan them together as a single PDF file?

You could, but there's no reason to scan them.

> If I did it this way, would the hyperlinks in the PDF still work?

Yes, if they are explicit links and not underneath other text. In other words, this works:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Internet_Email/Q_28340554.html

But this does not. Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:geeta_m9
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I tried it, but it is giving me the response - cannot merge PDFs. Attached are the PDFs that I wish to merge. Can you see if it works  on your end?
xBost-Cons-App-Spain.pdf
xBoston-SAI-APP-INSTRUC-Spain-.pdf
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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PDFtk worked perfectly. Combined file is attached. Regards, Joe
combined.pdf
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by:Dan Craciun
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Here they are, joined.

//beat me by a whole min and 20 sec, Joe :)
joined.pdf
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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geeta_m9,
Btw, after copying your files into my PDFtk folder, here's the command I used:

pdftk xBost-Cons-App-Spain.pdf xBoston-SAI-APP-INSTRUC-Spain-.pdf cat output combined.pdf

Dan,
You're slowin' down! :)  Cheers, Joe
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by:Dan Craciun
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Yeah, I must be getting old.

On a side note, I stopped giving users command prompt solutions, cause 90% of the time the feedback I get is "It's not working".
I noticed the best received for one-off jobs are online services, where the user uploads the files and downloads the result.

Which, btw, is exactly what the OP did :)
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Author Comment

by:geeta_m9
Comment Utility
Hmmm, I wonder why it didn't work for me. Fortunately, I found this other site that worked for me.http://foxyutils.com/mergepdf/
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Glad to hear you found something that worked for you. Thanks for posting your result! Regards, Joe
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