Person relaxes with feet up on hammock as a result of using PDF automation

How To Automate PDF Actions in PDFpen

(An updated version of this article is available. Check out: How To Automate PDF Actions in PDFpen using AppleScripts)

When wrangling your PDFs, some tasks are better when automated. You can easily put a big red DRAFT stamp on each page, if a document is 3 pages long, but you don’t want to do that by hand on a 100 page document. Here’s where the automation comes in. PDFpen supports AppleScripts, a selection of which are available to you from the Scripts menu.

(If you know how to use AppleScript, great, let us know what cool scripts you’re making, we’d love to hear it. In fact, we’ve even included a script—Open Scripts Folder—to help you add your scripts to PDFpen.)

For those of you who don’t know anything about AppleScript, PDFpen has a few built in and they are as easy to use as clicking a button. Here are a few examples:

Merge Every Other
Sometimes scanning a book leads to two PDFs, one with all the left-hand pages and one of all the right-hand pages. Combine all the odd and even numbered pages from the two PDFs into one properly ordered PDF.

Imprint all Pages as First
The fastest way to add a Draft or Confidential stamp to every page before sending the PDF out to the office. There are also scripts specifically for text, or for an image.

Open Scripts Folder
For the scripters in the audience, this is a fast way to add a script you have written into the PDFpen script folder to that is appears in the Scripts menu.

Combine PDFs
Join multiple PDFs together at once. You can also drag and drop files from Finder into the sidebar of an open PDF.

Cover Fax Header
Cover up the unwanted header of a fax. This could also be accomplished by adding a rectangle to a document with a white fill color.

Export Form Data…
Export the data generated from a filled out form in CSV (comma separated value) format. Scripters can edit this to export into another format.

Imprint all Pages as First
Copy an imprint, such as added comments, images, and other objects you have added to a PDF, to all pages exactly as they are on the first page. For example this is a way to quickly add the word DRAFT to every page of a document.

Imprint all Pages with Image
Place an image on every page.

Imprint all Pages with Text
Place a selection of text in the center of each page of a document. Another way to quickly add the word DRAFT to every page of a document.

Merge Every Other
This will properly merge two scanned documents, one being a scan of all odd numbered pages, the other a scan of all the even numbered pages. Start with the odd numbered pages open in PDFpen.

Number Pages using Bates Numbering & Numbering Pages
Both additions are from before the Edit > Insert Page Numbers dialogue was added with it’s greater flexibility in options.

Remove All Imprints
Remove all imprints, such as added comments, images, and other objects you have added to a PDF.

Reverse Pages
Reverse document page order, so the last page is viewed first, and the first page is viewed last.

Split PDF
Turn each page of a PDF into a separate document.

Open Scripts Folder
The fasted way to open the scripts folder to add a new script.

Get started with PDF automation

To find the scripts, look in the menu at at the top of your screen—the right-most item is the Script icon. Click it to choose from the list of options. Have any scripts of your own? Let us know.