Friday, 27 June 2008

PDF manipulation

Some journal publishers (e.g. Science) put a really ugly and uninformative cover page on downloaded PDFs. I have been looking at writing a script to either delete the first page of a PDF or to shuffle the first page to the end. I particularly wanted to do this because I use the excellent application Papers to manage my PDF collection. This gives a preview of the PDF by showing the first page- fine unless that is the cover sheet. There are a couple of command line options to manipulate PDFs including pdftk. I was thinking to turn the script into a droppable application and then I could keep it on my desktop and just drop PDFs onto it to convert.

Now just this morning I have realised that this is really easy to do in Preview, Apple's integrated PDF viewer. Just view the thumbnails of the pages and drag the first page to the last. Or select it and delete. I guess it would be good to have a script to batch process lots of PDFs, but this is very straightforward indeed.

I can't believe I didn't realise this before. This is especially useful since Papers has an "open in Preview" command.

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