PDFjam 2.00 Ushers in New Options

Apr 09, 2010

Shell scripts are now bourne-compatible

PDFjam, a collection of shell scripts for processing PDF documents, is available in version 2.00 with new functions and options.

More than a simple update, author David Firth fundamentally modified the tools for version 2.00. The main PDFjam script now takes over merging, rotating and reflecting PDF pages, with all other scripts simply wrappers for it. The shell scripts now call a bourne-compatible shell instead of the bash shell.

PDFjam uses pdfLaTex from the PDFpages package by Andreas Matthias. The new release provides easy access to all its functions.

Version 2.00 works with stdin and stdout, which allows it to be used in a pipeline. It also interprets relative paths to the current working directory, behavior common to UNIX utilities. Another new function not found in previous releases is that multiple input files now have two methods of processing: the default being combining pages into a single document, or using the batch option to produce one output file per input file.

Other new features: the --keepinfo option preserves PDF metadata, and many additional output page sizes (such as a4paper and b3paper) can be specified. Many more details (and bug fixes) are in the release notes.

Despite these changes, PDFjam's strength continues to lie in the excellent graphic quality, with the downside that hyperlinks in the source original are lost.

PDFjam is under GPLv2 licensing. A tarball of version 2.00 for Linux/UNIX is available for download, along with packages for Debian, Ubuntu and openSUSE (that are unfortunately not yet updated). The Mac OS X version includes droplets as .dmg files that allow PDF conversion via drag-and-drop, although using the older PDFjam 1.21 version.

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