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This is for a friend (lol) they have proprietary software that prints things in batches. They have a choice of printing one thing at a time but in batches of 1 to n customers. So rather than printing things for each customer individually (tedious and very very time consuming) they print item X for all customers, or item Y for all customers.

Since these printouts are delivered to customers individually they cannot be printed to one PDF file, so my friend has to print to paper. What we'd like it to run a print batch, but have each page sent out as one PDF file. Then they can be emailed to customers. Automating that will be a later consideration.

This is not just a cost savng measure, but also an environmental consideration, as these printouts are read usually only once.

This is small business with 10s of customers so cost is a very strong consideration. However I'm prepared to customise an existing open source package if this someone can give me some pointers as to the once to choose.


Sorry forgot to mention this is windows

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not a direct solution but you could use PDF Split and Merge to split the PDF once its set up –  Journeyman Geek Sep 30 '10 at 9:20
cheers. I'll check it out. I notice that it has has a command line option - might be just what I need. Please put that in the answers. It's a pertinent answer in my opinion. –  Preet Sangha Sep 30 '10 at 9:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There's PDFCreator that is a virtual PDF printer. It allows for a command to be run after the print is completed.

Pdftk is a command line based program to perform basic operations on PDF files, including splitting a PDF file. From the man page, this is the part you probably want: burst

Splits a single, input PDF document into individual pages. Also creates a report named doc_data.txt which is the same as the output from dump_data. If the output section is omitted, then PDF pages arenamed: pg_%04d.pdf, e.g.: pg_0001.pdf, pg_0002.pdf, etc. To name these pages yourself, supply a printf-styled format string in the output section. For example, if you want pages named: page_01.pdf, page_02.pdf, etc.,pass output page_%02d.pdf to pdftk.

Encryption can be applied to the output by appending output options such as owner_pw, e.g.:

pdftk in.pdf burst owner_pw foopass

These two programs combined should allow you to do what you're looking for.

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chrrrrr. Sounds just about right! Can you tell me where in PDF creator I can set the option to run a command please? I cannot seem to find it. –  Preet Sangha Sep 30 '10 at 10:13
+1 for pdftk, really nifty –  sleske Sep 30 '10 at 10:15
Ok done it now. THank you for this. Its 100% solved my problems. –  Preet Sangha Sep 30 '10 at 11:10
@PreetSangha Glad it worked out for you! –  BloodPhilia Sep 30 '10 at 12:19

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