I want to find out the easiest way to replace a single page in a multiple page PDF with another single page PDF in Linux. What tool is best for this?

Currently I do it like this:

  1. split pdf to single pages using pdfsam
  2. replace the pages that I want to replace
  3. merge them using pdfsam
  4. use ghostscript to force the page size as same

Any better way?

5 Answers 5


You could use the PDF Toolkit PDFtk:


pdftk A=inA.pdf B=inB.pdf cat A1-12 B3 A14-end output out1.pdf

The output consists of the first 12 pages of inA.pdf, followed by page 3 of inB.pdf and then pages 14 until end of inA.pdf.

Many Linux distributions provide a PDFtk package you can download and install using their package manager.

  • 7
    Thanks! Note, A= and B= must be uppercase. When I tried lowercase pdftk though a= was part of the filename.
    – biscuit314
    Oct 9, 2017 at 13:23
  • Didn't work for me: ` pdftk A=./inA.pdf B=./inB.pdf A1-4 B1 A6-end output out.pdf Error: Unable to find file. Error: Failed to open PDF file: A1-4 Error: Unable to find file. Error: Failed to open PDF file: B1 Error: Unable to find file. Error: Failed to open PDF file: A6-end Errors encountered. No output created. Done. Input errors, so no output created. ` - I used qpdf and worked.
    – azbarcea
    May 22, 2020 at 19:18
  • 3
    @azbarcea: the cat is missing. The complete command: pdftk A=./inA.pdf B=./inB.pdf cat A1-4 B1 A6-end output out.pdf. While qpdf certainly has its merits, pdftk allows additional rotation parameters for the cat operation. Try pdftk --help May 22, 2020 at 19:40
  • Note that pdftk is hasn't been updated since 2013
    – Charles L.
    Nov 11, 2021 at 18:57
  • This will not preserve bookmarks. As a workaround, you can use dump_data (check the docs) to dump bookmarks into a text file, and update_info to push those bookmarks to your output pdf file. The pdftk data dump only preserves page numbers, not offsets within the page. So a bookmark links to something at the bottom of the page after going through dump data and update info, the link will go to the top of the page.
    – Charles L.
    Nov 11, 2021 at 19:02

You could also use qpdf which is open source:

Same example as the one in the other response:

qpdf --empty --pages inA.pdf 1-12 inB.pdf 3 inA.pdf 14-z -- out1.pdf
  • 1
    You probably mean inB.pdf instead of B.pdf. This should probably be the accepted answer as pdftk is discontinued as far as I know. Apr 9, 2019 at 10:40
  • 1
    I don't know if you can change the accepted answer after it is already set. However, I agree this is the better option as it is still very actively maintained. I also really like the fact that it offers an AppImage so you can use it without installing. :D May 13, 2019 at 15:42

Another very nice GUI alternative is PDF Arranger.

Just load both PDF files, move the page where you want it, delete the page you don't want, and save.


If you just wanted to replace the last page of a two-page pdf with another pdf (one-page), like me, but not trying to insert a page in between pages, it can be done like so:

sudo pdftk A=Doc1.pdf B=Doc2.pdf cat A1 B output DocEdited.pdf


  • This will replace the last page in Doc1 with the page from Doc2;
  • B is like B1-end; since Doc2 is a PDF of one page so B1 or B is the same;
  • cat A1: Taking the first page from A (or Doc1).
  • 7
    There is no need to run pdftk as root. Please edit your answer to drop "sudo" from the command.
    – Ruben
    Dec 7, 2020 at 15:27

You could use PDF Chain.

PDF Chain is a graphical user interface for the PDF Toolkit (PDFtk). The GUI supports all common features of the command line tool in a comfortable way.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .