[lug] Combining pdf documents

J. Wayde Allen wallen at lug.boulder.co.us
Mon Jan 13 11:17:05 MST 2003

On Mon, 13 Jan 2003 rm at fabula.de wrote:

> I assume your question implies that you don't want/can't use
> Acrobat for that task (not the reader - inserting documents is
> only available in the full version).

No, I needed to explore the range of possibilities.  We do have the option
of using Acrobat for this task.  The actual question is how to take papers
submitted to the ISART conference
<http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/meetings/art/paper_instructions.html> and
combine them to create the proceedings.

> In theory it should be possible to combine pdf documents by
> reading their dictionaries (the last object in a file - the
> toplevel/root object so to say) and adding all object trees
> to a newly created root object (but you would need to renumber
> all objects to avoid duplicated object IDs). Doable, but most
> likely not fun ....

Actually, it turns out that there is indeed a provision in the Acrobat
system for combining multiple pdf's into a single pdf.  For information on
that see <http://adobedoc.kanisasolution.com/Acrobat5/Help.htm>.  The real
catch seems to be how to renumber pages.  We are still tinkering with
making this work right but the information I've found is:


Our manuscript editor has been playing with the technique in the second
URL here and has had some success.

In any case, our fall back position is simply to create whatever front and
back material we want.  Print everything to paper, stack it all in the
order desired.  Use a bit of white out if necessary and one of those old
fashioned things called a typewriter to renumber the pages if necessary,
and submit this stack to the printer.  That is the format the printer
wants anyway.

The reason for not wanting to work with source material is that technical
papers tend to contain a good number of equations.  The variation in
possible document creation systems as well as the danger of accidental
font substitution is a problem we have to deal with all too often.  The
hope is that pdf's with embedded fonts will minimize this.

- Wayde
  (wallen at lug.boulder.co.us)

                            ISART 2003
       International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies

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