Sumatra PDF is a PDF, ePub, MOBI, CHM, XPS, DjVu, CBZ, CBR reader for Windows

Split / Merge PDFs using Sumatra

Hello! I am researching affordable, aka free pdf software for my coworkers that could really use a program that allows them to import and extract pages in a document.
Can anyone confirm that the free downloadable Sumatra PDF program would actually include this feature?

Sumatra PDF is a reader and is not designed to allow document editing. If there are no PDF restrictions imposed by the author then it will allow copying of text and images, but that’s about it.

Whilst there are ways to script the current page location to a backend editor application, a feature used with LaTeX editors that can add or remove PDF contents on the fly, that is unlikely to suite your intended usage.
SumatraPDF can be used in a commercial setting as a frontend to any enhanced virtual printer, which in turn can add or remove pages as required.

Several virtual printers are available, and I am not endorsing these two, simply offering their features page as possibly meeting some requirements

One is http://www.pdfill.com/freewriter.html

The other is https://www.win2pdf.com/features.html#merge-pdf-files
There is NO connection with the recommendation on that site to combine with SumatraPDF

Since split and merge is a highly popular topic I am updating the information to show what can be achieved with SumatraPDF Pre-Release i.e. not the standard release. These extra features may not always be available, so back up any working copy of the pre-release.exe

In any PDF right click will allow you to combine (a.k.a. merge) multiple PDF files with some limitations via the New Bookmarks options.
image
You can use 3 methods to ADD other PDF files either drag and drop one PDF at a time or use the bottom left button or the context entry
image
Then save the files as a new MERGED PDF without Bookmarks even though you are using the ToC editor to achieve this. Searchable pages will still be searchable, unlike printing a combination of files to an image based virtual pdf printer.
image
If you also want to save as a “Virtual PDF” with bookmarks then use “Save as Virtual PDF” to save a .vbkm file.

Splitting pages only to image based files can be done most easily by using command line instructions to the Microsoft PDF printer, as discussed in other topics.
in short -print-to "Microsoft Print to PDF" -print-settings %p "%1"
but you will still need to provide a named output file or filename port, for automation you will find a programmable Print Driver as included in some of the above mentioned products is better.

Alternatively if non comercial users wish to extract just the current page we can combine with cpdf https://community.coherentpdf.com/ (other products are available) using SumatraPDF settings by adding to ExternalViewers
CommandLine = "path to\cpdf.exe" "%1" %p "%1-page-%p"

There are many Open Source applications that can
Split (Burst or Extract) Merge (Combine or Mix) and Rotate PDF pages

PDFSAM a simple portable GUI driven java app (from the same stable as the more extensive sejda* version) is one that has a Free Open Source basic version that can easily be called from SumatraPDF. There are limitations to this simplicity, since without adding a more complex page handling mechanism, we are initially constrained to only passing one filename. Expanding to include multiple files in preset workspaces is possible but goes well beyond the scope of this post.

Get the “Official Latest” (currently 4.1.4) Portable archive.zip from

For this example we will unzip to say D:\port apps\pdfsam-4.1.4-windows\, so in that folder we should see pdfsam.exe

It is worth running that once to choose your prefered choices for updates, news, donations, premium and other setting preferences.

Clearly SumatraPDF passing only one file to be merged/combined will require others to be selected later within PDFSAM, thus it will not offer to merge on the opening screen !

However for Extract, Rotate or Spliting in 3 modes this is less of a limitation, and the following external viewers entry,

ExternalViewers [
	[
		CommandLine = "D:\port apps\pdfsam-4.1.4-windows\PDFsam.exe" "%1"
		Name = PDFSAM &1 to extract, split or rotate
		Filter = *.pdf
	]
]

allows for ALT F 1 +see footnote (or file > open with) to initiate the start up screen for the 1 current file
image

For Merging you will need to dismiss that screen and use the Merge option in the dashboard to find and select the current file along with other(s).
We could work around the limitation by adding a dummy pdf (e.g. cover.pdf)
then delete or use the entry (note the dummy file must exist)
so adding to the above,

ExternalViewers [
	[
		CommandLine = "D:\port apps\pdfsam-4.1.4-windows\PDFsam.exe" "%1"
		Name = PDFSAM &1 to extract, split or rotate
		Filter = *.pdf
	]
	[
		CommandLine = "D:\port apps\pdfsam-4.1.4-windows\PDFsam.exe" "F:\Data\Samples\cover.pdf" "%1"
		Name = PDFSAM &2 to mix, extract, merge, or rotate
		Filter = *.pdf
	]
]

allows for ALT F2 +see footnote (or file > open with) to initiate the start up screen for the 1 current file
image

If you dont want that cover simply discard it, and add the extra entries as required.

There are many nice features in PDFSAM for merging such as add a contents page and merge bookmarks etc. but I will let you find those for yourself

+ footnotes

  • Sejda has has many more features and my first all round goto option however it is capped for free daily usage. There are Portable and online choices too. (Please, simply avoid using PDF compressor options)
  • Using &1 or &2 when files are listed in history (using same numeric shortcuts) will require you to hit enter. You could replace with other keys such as &- &= so that enter is not required as shown here

image