PDFTK Builder


PDFTK Builder (a GUI for PDFTK) can merge, split, decrypt, encrypt and insert a watermark image into PDF documents.

This is a small, simple to use program that does performs the above-mentioned PDF editing operations really well.

  • Merging PDF documents: you can add PDF’s singly or in batches. For each document you can specify exactly which pages you want to include (e.g. “1,3,5-10” will include pages 1,3 and 5 through 10). You can merge landscape and portrait formatted pages within the same document. Note that you can use this same command to split a PDF into distinct chunks; for example, to split a 10-page PDF into 2 parts, select the document , choose page range 1-5, and run. Repeat for pages 6-10 and you’re done.
  • Splitting a PDF document: this create a single PDF file for each page in the original document. Simply Point PDFTK Builder to your document, press ’Save’; note that all the new documents will be automatically placed in the same directory as the original file, so you might want to place the original file in the appropriate directory before you run.
  • Watermarking/Inserting an image into the background: strangely, this will require a PDF as input for the image that you would want to use rather than an image file. Also, it does not offer any manipulation options for your image such as control over its transparency, size, or color. You will need to (a) manipulate your image outside of PDFTK Builder so its just the way you want it, and (b) convert it to PDF (this you can do easily using virtual PDF printer programs like PrimoPDF or PDFCreator).
  • Decrypt a PDF: unfortunately, this requires that you have the original password for opening before it decrypts, which as far as I am concerned makes it completely useless. If you need this function I recommend you use other freeware programs that can decrypt a PDF without the need for a password (Freeware PDF Unlocker, GUI for PDFTK the latter being faster and more powerful).
  • Encrypt a PDF: quite a number of options here, including allowing/disallowing printing, degraded printing, password for opening the PDF, and other options (see screenshot). You can also set an owner and user passwords. I tested a document encrypted with PDFTK Builder to see if any of the decrypting programs mentioned above can remove the encryption; they did not.

Although for this kind of program PDFTK Builder is a bit bare bones, that’s almost a strength not a weakness. The main function of merging/extracting pages from PDF documents is very nicely implemented and intuitive. I will say that the watermarking function could have been better implemented though with more options. There is another similar program out there (the aforementioned GUI for PDFTK) that has a larger range of functions but a confusing interface; I chose to review PDFTK Builder instead because (a) it does the job really well, even when it doesn’t have too many esoteric functions, and (b) it has a nice, user-friendly interface design. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars is the way decryption is implemented.

Version tested: 2.3.5

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program page to get the latest version (Full installtion approx 1.88 megs; includes the necessary PDFTK as well). Scroll down to the bottom of the page.