PDF Labs


Guide to PDFtk Pro

PDFtk Pro is a friendly GUI tool for working with PDF documents. Use it to easily merge, split, rotate, watermark, stamp or secure your PDFs. This guide shows you how to use its various features.

Select and Arrange PDF Documents and Pages

Add one or more PDFs to the workspace by clicking the Add PDF button. If a PDF is secured, then you will be prompted for its password:

Add PDF Documents


Order these PDFs using drag-and-drop. Their pages will be copied and merged in this order to create your new PDF:

Arrange Documents using Drag and Drop


Remove PDFs from the workspace by selecting them and then clicking the Remove Selection button:

Remove Selected Documents


Double-click a PDF's Pages to Copy field to enter the specific pages you want to keep. Their order in this field is the order they will have in the final PDF. You can enter the same page or page ranges multiple times:

Double-Click to Edit


Page ranges can be ascending (e.g. 5-12) or descending (e.g. 12-5). Append the word even or odd to a page range to include just those pages. Another word you can use is end, which means the last page of the PDF:

Examples of Document Page Ranges

You can referene pages in reverse order by putting an r in front of a page number. For example, r1 is the last page of the PDF, r2 is the page before r1, etc. The range r3-r1 is the last three pages of a PDF.

Do More to the Output PDF

Use these next four options to rotate pages, watermark or stamp pages, or secure your PDF. These operations are performed on the single, merged PDF created above. When applying more than one of these options, they will be applied in the top-to-bottom order shown: rotate, watermark/stamp, 'advanced' and then secure.


To rotate PDF pages, click the Rotate Pages button. Select the direction to rotate the pages and the pages you want rotated. You can use the same notation for page numbers and page ranges as described above. The range 1-end will rotate all of the PDF's pages. If you list a page more than once, it will be rotated more than once. For example, if you select a Clockwise 90 direction and list page 1 twice, then page 1 will be rotated 180 degrees:

Rotate PDF Pages Option


To watermark or stamp PDF pages with another PDF page, click the Watermark button. The watermark is placed 'behind' the PDF page content. To place it in front of the PDF page content, click the Stamp check box. Choose the PDF file that will supply the watermark/stamp content. Only the first page of this PDF will be used, and it will be applied to every page of the output:

Watermark PDF Option

Some PDFs, like scans, don't let watermarks show through from behind. When this happens, try using the stamp check box.


The advanced check box gives you full access to PDFtk's command-line options described here. The placeholder %%PDFTK%% will be replaced by the pdftk command. The placeholder %%PDFIN%% will be replaced by the merged PDF from the workspace above. The placeholder %%PDFOUT%% will be replaced by the output PDF filename:

Advanced Processing Option


To apply security passwords to your PDF, click the Secure button. There are two passwords you can enter, and you can supply one or both of these. If you enter a Password Required to Open the PDF, then the PDF can't be opened unless the user has this password. If you enter a Password Required to Remove Security, then many PDF operations will be prohibited, including: printing, assembly, copying or changing the document.

For maximum security, enter a password for both of these, but note that these two passwords must be different to provide maximum security:

Secure PDF Option

Create Your New PDF

Before creating your PDF, you can choose to do something after it's created: open it in your PDF viewer or show its location on your computer:

Action to Perform after Creating Your PDF


Click the Create PDF... button to merge the PDF pages into a new document:

Create PDF Document


Please contact us with any questions, comments or bug reports. Thank you!


About PDF Labs

Our mission is to make PDF easier to use.

PDF Labs is operated by Sid Steward, author of PDF Hacks (O’Reilly) and the popular PDF Toolkit.

Please contact Sid Steward by email. Include PDF Labs in the subject to ensure prompt delivery:


About PDF Hacks

PDF Hacks Cover

"If you like pdftk, then you’ll appreciate the other 25 programs and scripts I created for my book, PDF Hacks." –Sid


About PDFtk

For ten years, power users have relied on PDFtk for server-side processing of PDF documents. Our command-line PDFtk has been — and always will be — free (as in freedom) software.

Today we also offer a convenient graphical application: PDFtk Pro. Your purchase of PDFtk Pro will help fund the continued development of our GPL PDFtk.

Thank you for your support!