PDF Split and Merge 2.0: a PDF editor with a visual interface


PDF Split and Merge 2.0 is a powerful free PDF editing program that can split, merge, and extract PDF documents. It employs a visual editing interface that allows users to drag and drop thumbnails of pages to arrange or combine them, and to edit pages (rotate, delete, etc) by right clicking on them.

If you work with PDFs then you’re likely to have found yourself in a situation where, say, you need to extract individual pages or sections from a PDF document, merge pages from one PDF with another, or split your document into pages or sections, etc.

There are a number of freeware programs that help you perform these and other functions (e.g. PDFTK Builder, PDF Tools), but this version of PDF Split and Merge (ver. 2) is different from ver 1.x and unique amongst the free PDF editors that I have seen in that it adds a “visual” component where individual pages are represented as thumbnails that you can interact with (so, for example, drag and drop to reorder, or right click to rotate or delete etc).

This software is in alpha: please note that this version of PDF Split and Merge 2 is still in alpha stage and therefore may not be 100% reliable. I will say that in my testing so far it has run flawlessly.

Here’s a summary of supported functions:

  • Visual reorder: this function allows you to load a PDF document and then reorder the pages by manually dragging and dropping them in the order that you want. You could also right click to rotate pages or otherwise delete them.
  • PDFSam screenshot - merge and extractMerge/extract: a single interface to do both extracting and merging. Allows you to specify which pages from which document should appear in the output file; use page ranges (e.g. 5-10) or pages separated by commas (e.g. 1,5,9), or both.
  • Visual document composer: the “visual” version of merge/extract above. It is similar to visual reorder, except you can drag and drop individual pages from many documents that are open simultaneously and use those to create an output document (see first screenshot above). You can also right click to rotate or delete.
  • Alternate mix: this function takes 2 PDF documents (and only two) and merges them such that a page from the first will alternate with one from the second. It will allow you reverse the order of either of the two documents if you need to.
  • Split: rules-based splitting for a single document. Split into single pages, odd, even, after a certain page, after every nth page, by bookmarks leve, or by size on disk.
  • Global options: for all saved documents with PDF Split and Merge it allows you to specify which PDF version to save with (the version of the original document, ver. 1.5, ver. 1.6, or ver. 1.7). It also allows you to specify whether or not you would like output to a compressed PDF document.
  • Source code: is available for download.

But is it free? I am not sure if the final (compiled) version of this program will be free, although the source code is freely downloadable. For ver. 1.x the author maintains two versions, basic and enhanced. And while the former is completely free you can obtain the latter in exchange for a donation of any amount, even $1. I am assuming the same will be true for ver. 2.x (and is definitely worth the small donation).

The verdict: a terrific product that works really well. Two things impress; (1) the visual component of dragging and dropping page thumbnails and editing using right-click, and (2) the “page selection” aspect of the “Merge/Extract” function which allows you to extract pages from PDFs and re-combine them in a single operation.

This product lacks some functions which are sometimes found in free PDF editors such as watermarking, adding page numbers, permissions, metadata and bookmark management, and decrypting/encrypting. Keeping my fingers crossed that at least a couple of these will find their way into the final version, yet nonetheless as it is this program still manages in my view to be in a league of its own. Highly recommended!

Version Tested: 2.0.0 Alpha

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, Mac. Requires Java Virtual Machine 1.6

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 5.07 megs).