I unsuccessfully used the "pages" feature in Windows Explorer, as well as in Directory Opus 10 and Free Commander XT (which I installed just for that reason, to try it out) to display the page count of multiple PDFs in a folder.

All my PDF's are free to edit, i.e. not write-protected. I don't understand why any PDF reader can display the (correct) page number, but none of the file explorers can? (In the "details" view of course.)

The only documents whose page count is displayed are MS Word documents.

As you know for such information a Shell Extension Handler for PDF should be installed, but is there any?

On a side-note: Did that change in Windows 8?

Initial research: Google search was unsuccessful, the only slightly related SE topic I found was "How to count pages in multiple PDF files?".

Windows 7 Home Professional 64b

  • Karan, sorry but you didn't read my question properly. Do you know how "file explorers" work? I did NOT ask about PDF readers, rather I wrote "any PDF reader can display the (correct) page number, but none of the file explorers can". I want to see the page count of MULTIPLE PDF files (that are unopened) under Windows - and then sort after the page volume - that is it. Oct 27, 2012 at 11:09
  • Well, I can only say that I have installed: Adobe Reader XI, Adobe Acrobat 9, Bluebeam Revu 10, Foxit 5.4.3, PDF Creator, PrimoPDF and Copernic Desktop Search Professional. (CDS also doesn't display the page count.) I think that answers your question. If the iFilters should be used by any of those programs, they sure should be installed. Lastly, you don't know if "iFilter" will expose the page count, but I can tell you that I checked the page count property with the config given above, that is the sole reason that I ask this question on SE. Oct 28, 2012 at 4:02
  • Chrome crashed and my answer is gone...I already had one app that did the job indirectly (reference management software that I had those PDF's put into) as well as "Rapid PDFCount". I am frank, I don't understand "iFilters", to me it seems they are deprecated or only of use for Microsoft Sharepoint (Server) products. (msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms691105(v=vs.85).aspx ; foxitsoftware.com/products/ifilter/feature.php) Oct 28, 2012 at 6:01
  • I read both, but I don't understand, sorry. IMHO it is not my job to figure out nerds (I mean the guys who built iFilter and the website) and technicalities. If you think iFilters are the solution, which file should I download? The plugin from Foxit costs $20, so Microsoft has an issue in their OS and now I should pay 50% of what an Windows 8 update costs to fix that? Again, I solved the problem already, but I at least want to understand what you try to sell me. Oct 29, 2012 at 3:05
  • 1
    I am not trying to sell you anything. If you had read my comments carefully, I had said that while an iFilter most likely will fix this (only way I know of to expose the PDF content/properties to Windows Explorer/Indexer), I do not know which iFilter will fix it, or even whether any iFilters available can fix it. Presumably if you buy a license to a commercial iFilter, you can ask the developers to add the feature if it's missing. Beyond this I have no idea.
    – Karan
    Oct 29, 2012 at 3:17

7 Answers 7


For non-natively supported file types the Windows Shell needs shell extension handlers (sort of a plugin) to extend some of the Shell functionality to these file types.

Under Windows XP or earlier, the Shell uses the called Column Handler extension to show files metadata in the Windows Explorer details view columns.

Since Vista, the Shell uses the more versatile Property (or Metadata) Handler. This extension is also used to show and edit the files metadata on the Windows Explorer details pane and file properties details tab, and to show metadata on many other file dialogs (file delete confirmation, etc.). It's also required to have these files metadata indexed by the Windows Search indexer. The indexer may also use a IFilter extension to index the files text content.

The PDF file type is not natively supported by the Windows Shell (this has not changed in Windows 8.x, nor Windows 10), so you will need to install a PDF Property Handler in order to access the PDFs metadata.

I develop a commercial tool, the PDF-ShellTools, that provides the Windows Shell with a PDF Property Handler.


The free utility PDF Property Extension! by CoolSoft provides those columns, and also shows the information in the file properties dialog.

This utility appears to be quite updated as required, and supports e.g. Windows 10.


You can sort, filter pdf files based on title, pages etc using this shell extenion Debenu

Additionally, this portable application extracts all data from pdf files and produces a tabluar output which you can use in your workflow pdfinfogui


I know you're asking about viewing pdf page count in windows explorer, but if what you're looking for is a list of pdfs with the page number of each, Acrobat Pro does that. 1. Under the File menu select "Organizer." 2. Go to the folder with the pdfs you're interested in. 3. In the "Sort by" field, select "Number of Pages." That will display the number of pages for each pdf file. Not exactly what you want. But should do the trick.

  • Wow, sounds good! Unfortunately I can't find anything like this under "File" or in any other menu, in Acrobat XI. Could you help me out with a few screenshots? Nov 6, 2012 at 9:32
  • 1
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Acrobat says "The Organizer and Organizer-related commands are not available in Acrobat X and later." Darn.
    – burrowsrjl
    Nov 7, 2012 at 20:25
  • And though this I'm sure isn't what you want, in Acrobat X (what I also have access to) if you use "Share Files Using SendNow Online," or "Attach to Email" under the file menu, it gives you a thumbnail preview of a selected pdf file with the page count. But you have to select the files one at a time (as far as I can tell). But if you don't have a huge number you want to have a quick look at, maybe this is a solution.
    – burrowsrjl
    Nov 7, 2012 at 20:52

Everyone wants to use a tool, get the page count and then export it to Excel. Why not use Excel to do the page counting and then put it in a sheet?

Look at http://www.mrexcel.com/forum/excel-questions/347911-visual-basic-applications-page-count.html

This is the code and it works fantastic:

Sub Test()
    Dim MyPath As String, MyFile As String
    Dim i As Long
    MyPath = "C:\TestFolder"
    MyFile = Dir(MyPath & Application.PathSeparator & "*.pdf", vbDirectory)
    Range("A1") = "File Name": Range("B1") = "Pages"
    Range("A1:B1").Font.Bold = True
    i = 1
    Do While MyFile <> ""
        i = i + 1
        Cells(i, 1) = MyFile
        Cells(i, 2) = GetPageNum(MyPath & Application.PathSeparator & MyFile)
        MyFile = Dir
    MsgBox "Total of " & i - 1 & " PDF files have been found" & vbCrLf _
           & " File names and corresponding count of pages have been written on " _
           & ActiveSheet.Name, vbInformation, "Report..."
End Sub
Function GetPageNum(PDF_File As String)
    'Haluk 19/10/2008
    Dim FileNum As Long
    Dim strRetVal As String
    Dim RegExp
    Set RegExp = CreateObject("VBscript.RegExp")
    RegExp.Global = True
    RegExp.Pattern = "/Type\s*/Page[^s]"
    FileNum = FreeFile
    Open PDF_File For Binary As #FileNum
        strRetVal = Space(LOF(FileNum))
        Get #FileNum, , strRetVal
    Close #FileNum
    GetPageNum = RegExp.Execute(strRetVal).Count
End Function

I have been able to achieve the desired result with Tracker Software's PDF-XChange Viewer. It's a Freeware PDF viewer with some extras, including a Shell Extension and iFilter.

To register the shell extension you have to:

  1. Install the viewer
  2. Set it as default program for PDFs (this activates the shell extension)
  3. Reset your default for opening PDFs to the previous value (the program even has an option for it) Optional

Happy times!


I can see (and sort by) the PDF page count of PDF files in Windows 10 Explorer, when the "pages" column is activated. Not sure if this feature is provided by PDF-XChange Editor which I have installed.

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