• Freeware for PDF work

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    I’m looking for advice. If not allowed, please delete. I occasionally have to manipulate PDF files for family and friends. This can involve deleting pages, inserting pages and reordering pages. It is something that only happens 6 or 7 times a year. Some of the information can be quite sensitive so online applications are not really viable.

    I’ve done the usual Google search, but all I come up with, given my needs is the full Adobe Acrobat package, which is too expensive for me.

    Can anyone offer any software that is free to use?

    Viewing 14 reply threads
    • #2421784
      * get out of the poisoned Metaverse *
    • #2421785

      I’ve just installed NAPS2 (Not Another PDF Scanner) to crop the top third of a PDF page and save this as a JPEG, for subsequent insertion into a table cell of a Word document, and printing.

      My use is pretty esoteric, but it may perhaps do what you want…

      I found it not entirely intuitive, but the younger and more intelligent may find it straightforward.


      Plethora means a lot to me.

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      • #2421802

        Hi Phil. Thanks for your suggestion

        I’ve been using NAPS2 for sometime, but only as a scanner. Doesn’t seem to be able to do what I need.

    • #2421789

      @Tony-h, You may be interested to try out pdfarranger (free) based on your description. Linked 1/3 down the page is ‘Microsoft Windows version’ click to be given options of msi or my preferred as a portable program. Lots of work and versions behind this from the developer.

      did I mention it’s also open source..


      "-rw-rw-rw-" extreme computing
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      • #2421809

        Hi. thanks for the suggestion. Now on my test list.

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        • #2421817

          let us know how you get on 🙂

          "-rw-rw-rw-" extreme computing
    • #2421783

      For many years I have been using the freeware program PDFtools.

      You can download it from:

      Using this program you can delete pages, insert pages and reorder pages.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2421797

      I use PDFsam Basic for PDF file splitting , merging, and extracting.

      It is free and open source.

      PDFsam Basic

      HTH, Dana:))

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      • #2421806

        I think I tried this a few years ago. Will give it another try. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • #2421798

      I can recommend PDFill FREE PDF Tools. I learned of it several years ago on the Gizmo’s Freeware site. Search for pdfill.com. They offer free and paid PDF tools. I have used PDF Tools and PDF Writer. PDF Editor may allow one to completely avoid Adobe Acrobat.

      Another useful PDF utility is NAPS2 (available from oldergeeks.com).


      Regards, Phil

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      • #2421803

        Hi. A good choice. Used before, but seems a little slow. Thanks

    • #2421824

      You could try PDF Shaper – see https://www.downloadcrew.com/article/29899/pdf_shaper_free . I mainly use this for deleting pages in documents, but it does other things as well – the above link includes a short review.


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    • #2421833

      This can involve deleting pages, inserting pages and reordering pages.

      Deleting and reordering is part of the Print function within Reader.
      On the Print page: check mark the Pages button, and specify the desired page sequences.

      If by ‘inserting’ you need to include page(s) from another PDF, try this work-around:
      – Pre-plan pagination
      – Do the ‘page selections’ as above
      – As necessary, flip a/the sheet(s) to the ‘back-side’ for an inserted page.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2421836

      A nice feature our Canon printer/scanner has after scanning to a PDF is the ability to delete pages, merge files, etc. in the web interface/portal.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2421856
      PDFtk - The PDF Toolkit can do everything you listed. I have successfully used it for many years.
      HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFF PC / Windows 10 Pro / 21H2
      Intel®Core™2 “Wolfdale” E8400 3.0 GHz / 8.00 GB
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    • #2421870

      I use PDF Xchange Editor. Free program. I have not tried to create PDF’s with it, but I have been able to edit them.


      It works for me. When I need to create a PDF, I use word, then use the Microsoft “Print to PDF” function.

      • #2421965

        When I need to create a PDF, I use word, then use the Microsoft “Print to PDF” function.

        Word will save the document in PDF format.  You don’t need to use the Print to PDF function.

        You can use Word to edit a PDF like adding text or graphics, but it is not so easy to merge and split PDFs with Word.  I use PDFsam basic for those PDF tasks.

        HTH, Dana:))

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    • #2422001

      Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Like the OP Tony H, I don’t like using online tools for merging bank statements and other PDFs that might contain sensitive information and thought I’d try a few programs listed in this thread.

      I tested pdfarranger v1.8.2 (a Python-gtk application) and PDFsam Basic v4.2.12 (a JavaFX application; GitHub project page <here>) since they both offered a portable (.zip) version. Both worked well, although I found the user interface of pdfarranger was a bit outdated.

      I used Tracker Software’s PDF-XChange Editor Free mentioned in post # 2421870 for several years and it’s an excellent PDF reader that comes with lots of extra features, but the product comparison chart <here> shows you need to purchase a paid product like PDF-XChange Editor Plus or PDF-XChange Pro to merge PDFs and access other advanced tools. I switched to the built-in PDF viewer of my Firefox browser for basic PDF viewing after they added AccoForm support in Firefox v83 (rel. Nov 2020) that allows users to fill in, print and save supported PDF forms.

      Just an aside, but first time I launched PDFsam Basic I saw a pop-up warning about a possible security issue, and the link directed me to the PDFsam blog PDFsam and Log4j2 Vulnerability. That blog entry noted that earlier versions of PDFsam used a vulnerable version of Logback for message logging (see Stackify’s Java Logging Frameworks: Log4j vs Logback vs Log4j2 that explains the differences in these Java logging frameworks). The Logback vulnerability in PDFsam is patched in the latest PDFsam Basic v4.2.12 but it’s a good reminder if you are using any Java-based utility that it could be vulnerable to exploits like the Log4j2 vulnerability described in Alex5723’s 10-Dec-2021 CVE-2021-44228 Zero-day in Java library Apache Log4j and Susan Bradley’s 09-Jan-2022 Tip for the Weekend – Scanning for Log4j Vulnerabilities. Kudos to Andreo Vacondio (a.k.a. torakiki) for his transparency by blogging about PDFsam’s Logback vulnerability and ensuring it was patched in Dec 2021.
      Dell Inspiron 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H2 build 19044.1466 * Firefox v96.0.3 * Microsoft Defender v.4.18.2111.5-1.1.18800.4 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.2.157-1.0.1562

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    • #2422018

      Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. After testing I’ve decided to go with PDFarranger. It seems simple to use and covers all that I need.

    • #2422116

      One key point to consider when using PDF editors is to block them in your firewall after installation.  I’ve been using PDF Sam for several years and I keep it blocked in my firewall.  No phoning home, no updates no nothing. It’s the only way I’m comfortable editing PDF docs.


      After you block it, try to check for updates within the software.  It should fail.

    • #2422149

      And then just when I’ve decided, along comes Giveaway Of The Day with:  <b>PDF Mixer Pro 1.4.1</b>. You couldn’t write it 🤣

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