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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

2 Answers 2

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

You are looking for Ricoh Print&Share, this single application does even more then what you asked for. (commercial solution)

As I understand correctly, you just want to print a large spool and split it per page or per customer and email it directly as attachment to the customer.

This could be done in one step with Print&Share. This would create a channel that splits your document and emails each document automatically. (note: if you don't want to email directly you can just create a File Printer channel instead of an Email channel and just generate PDF files)

  1. Open Print&Share and create a new profile with an email channel
  2. In the profile dialog set the Output to: "Every page in the document is a separate transmission"
  3. Click the Options next to it to change the Transmission creation options
  4. "Create per number of pages a new transmission" and set it to 1. Or if you want to split on a barcode or text add a Parameter Recognition.
  5. Set the To: email to Parameter Recognition for automatic mailing.

    Just takes 1 minute to configure and all you need to do is print to Print&Share and let the problem do its job.

(I use it myself to split reports based on barcode and archive them, instead of emailing them).

In case you want extra training, there are manuals, practical guide available from the website and also lots of videos (channel).

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