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4 June 2005
Several years ago I had a guide on my website about how to create PDF files for free. Fortunately that guide is not really needed anymore as it is not possible to convert office type documents to PDF using OpenOffice.org. However recently I've been asked to take a group of PDF documents and merge them into a single PDF document so that all the relevant information is in one place. These documents were password protected and he didn't hav ethe password (although this is a legitimate use within the organisation that owns the copyright). So first it needed a revisit of the Ghostscript(GPL version) and GSview programs that I used to use to create PDF files many years ago.
I also discovered a new tool also released under the GPL called PDF toolkit (pdftk). This is a useful command line utility that allows you to perform all manner of operations on PDF files including merging documents.
The website states: "If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a command-line tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents."