Built in PDF Magic in Debian

Debian has some awesome PDF tools built right in via the poppler-utils package that I never knew about. In my previous post I talked about how to make beautiful documents with code snippets using various Sublime Text extensions to convert markdown into PDF. One issue that I ran into was getting a cover page created. As far as I know There is really no easy way to make a nice cover page in markdown. Specifically in Github Flavored Markdown (which is what I am using) there is not a good way to make a page break.

The easy solution would be to simple write up your entire document in Markdown, and then make a separate cover page. The problem is how to merge these two files together to make one document.

Thanks to the built in PDF tools in debian this becomes very simple! The poppler-utils package has the following utilities built in:

  • pdfdetach — lists or extracts embedded files (attachments)
  • pdffonts — font analyzer
  • pdfimages — image extractor
  • pdfinfo — document information
  • pdfseparate — page extraction tool
  • pdftocairo — PDF to PNG/JPEG/PDF/PS/EPS/SVG converter using Cairo
  • pdftohtml — PDF to HTML converter
  • pdftoppm — PDF to PPM/PNG/JPEG image converter
  • pdftops — PDF to PostScript (PS) converter
  • pdftotext — text extraction
  • pdfunite — document merging tool

In order to combine a coverpage with another document we can simple run the following command inside a terminal.

pdfunite coverpage.pdf content.pdf final.pdf

This will create a document called final.pdf (of course you should change coverpage.pdf and content.pdf to match your actual files).

Warning: be sure to include the final output file or pdfunite will replace the last file that you type will all over the previous files!

If you made it this far, you should probably follow me on twitter. 🙂

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