PDFSsam BASIC is the world’s most comprehensive PDF editing, content extraction and merging software. It allows you to divide, merge, extract specific pages or text, mix and match, or perform automated editing on PDF documents.
When it comes to reworking your PDF files in order to extract data or to split them into separate files, PDFsam BASIC is by the far the best option out there. It’s simple, convenient and free to use.
The free cross-platform PDF editing software
There are several key ways in which PDFsam BASIC “Split and Merge” stands as the a leader in fast editing and manipulation of PDF files.
– PDFsam BASIC is open source, meaning it’s completely free and will remain so as it was created by an enthusiastic team of volunteer developers who continue to contribute to its updates today. What’s more, there is no hidden advertising or annoying messages to worry about. Being open source means being scalable and, above all else, 100% free!
– PDFsam BASIC is cross-platform and is available for all major operating systems. As such, you can install it automatically from a classic MSI package for Microsoft Windows (32-bit or 34-bit versions), or install it on Mac OSX from a .dmg disk image. Additionally, you can install on a Debian operating system if you’re working within the GNU/Linux universe.
– PDFsam BASIC is a highly efficient choice, providing you with detailed tracking of the processing carried out so you can better follow the changes made to your original PDF document. Its name refers to the two main functions of the software, with the acronym SAM standing for Split And Merge.
Very practical features to use when working with PDF files
The PDF (Portable Document Format) file format has become an international standard that guarantees the preservation of the layout of your individual documents, regardless of the platform being used.
As such, a PDF file will preserve you fonts, images and other graphical components within your document, regardless of the individual operating system (Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux…) or platform (Android, iOS…).
It’s an ideal choice for when you’re looking to share documents and it is the file format of choice for major companies and organisations across the globe.
With the PDF format being so widely utilised, it’s incredibly handy to be able to carry out simple manipulations such as extracting only a handful of pages from a document, dividing it into several smaller PDF files, or combining multiple PDF files into a larger one.
All of this and more is easy to do thanks to PDFsam basic, with the software designed to provide you with a very clear and user-friendly interface.
Standard applications of PDFsam BASIC
Splitting PDF files: When talk about splitting a PDF file, we’re talking about being able to separate or cut a single PDF document into several smaller ones. For this purpose, PDFsam BASIC offers you several interesting options to help you achieve your goals.
You will be able to cut your PDF file page by page, per even or odd page numbers, or even from a certain number of pages. This last option is perhaps the most practical function, in our opinion.
However, PDFsam BASIC is a very innovative choice of software if you’re looking to trim a huge PDF file that you intend to share by email. As you know, many email servers limit the overall size of files you’re able to send. This where PDFsam BASIC comes in handy.
With PDFsam BASIC, you can choose to split a larger PDF document into smaller ones and arrange them in order, allowing you to send them in the correct sequence via email at a later point.
Merging PDF files: Merging PDF documents refers to bringing together or assembling several individual PDF files into one larger file. You can merge entire PDF documents into a larger PDF document, or alternatively combine only the specific parts you’re interested in.
You’ve plenty of additional features to put to good use thanks to PDFsam BASIC. With this innovative software, you can generate useful elements like a table of contents, which is particularly handy when you want to share a larger document.
It is also possible to assign a specific page size for an entire PDF document or to add blank pages within the overall document. This is extremely practical if you’re looking to leave room for your readers so they annotate PDF documents with handwritten notes.
Page rotation of PDF files: In some cases, it can be incredibly useful to be able to rotate some pages found within your PDF document. With PDFsam BASIC, you can define whether all pages need to be rotatable, or alternatively specify only a set of selected pages need to be rotatable.
Extract one or more pages from a PDF file: This is another extremely useful feature that PDFsam BASIC users find extremely practical. With this feature, you can incredibly precise in your PDF file extractions by selecting only the specific pages you wish to output.
Mix PDF files: This straightforward function allows you to combine multiple PDF file sources into one single PDF file, with pages randomly selected by PDFsam BASIC. You can also mix in reverse order and adjust setting choices to set a specific number of pages to be mixed.
Encrypt PDF files: This security feature is incredibly important and provides you with a way to protect your PDF files with a password. When you’ve created a password, your data is then “encrypted”.
PDFsam BASIC offers encryption via RC4 128, AES-128 and AES-256 algorithms. The latter algorithm is the most secure option at the moment and will secure against the most proficient of attackers. As such, the data contained in your PDF files will always be safe thanks to PDFsam BASIC.
Decrypt protected PDF files: Offering the reverse functionality of the previous feature, PDFsam BASIC allows you to take encrypted files and subsequently generate a decrypted version of that same file.
You will of course require the password for such files, allowing the software to then decrypt the included data and generate a readable PDF file.
Define viewing preferences: With PDFsam BASIC, you are able to define precise settings for viewing your PDF file. For example, you can choose to define a file should be opened in full-screen view, or without software toolbars displayed.
Automatically add watermarks to PDF files: Few users are aware of this PDF option, but with PDFsam BASIC, you can easily add watermarks to all pages of your document.
This watermark, usually an image that may include text or your corporate logo, is an ideal way to label your PDF documents and protect them against copyright infringement.
Modify PDF file metadata: This particular option will be of interest to those who use PDF files in a professional context, with PDFsam BASIC allowing you to customise metadata to a great extent. For example, you will be able to modify the title, author, subject or keywords contained within the metadata.
Metadata is used by search engines such as Google to help refine indexing of your documents. For example, Google uses the list of metadata keywords to improve searches, but also utilises the “Description” field to display the text along with the image in Google search results.
This can therefore prove to be a very strategic tactic for those adept at SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and who would prefer to have their material viewed in PDF format.
Define page transitions: The standard PDF format is incredibly accessible and allows you to create presentations with transition effects between pages.
This is particularly useful for when you’re looking to show PDF presentations on video projectors. PDFsam BASIC can be put to good use in lieu of PowerPoint, creating effective slides for your presentations.
However, PDFsam BASIC excels in that it utilises the PDF format which is universal and cross-platform, which isn’t the case with all Microsoft PowerPoint files.
Extract attachments from a PDF file: The PDF format also enables you to attach files to a document or insert links to webpages. PDFsam BASIC allows you to simply extract other PDF elements that might be attached to an original PDF document.
Convert a PDF file to JPG or TIFF: This useful conversion feature of PDFsam BASIC is ideal for protecting text contained in a PDF file by converting it into an image file.
Once this has been done, the text will no longer be selectable for copy/paste and the average user will not be able to retrieve said text. PDFsam BASIC therefore outputs the very popular JPG image format, as well as the more compressed TIFF format.
Converting a PDF file to JPG or TIFF can be very convenient if you have a PDF file that is too large and it makes more sense to switch to an image in order to share your document.
Add a header or footer to an entire PDF document: Another indispensable feature that PDFsam BASIC allows for is to be able to add a custom header or footer to an entire document.
It’s possible to enable this feature across several PDF files at the same time.
Insert pages from one PDF file into another: It’s possible to take one or more pages from a PDF document and then add them into one or more additional PDF files.
This insertion can be carried out very precisely, with the user able to specify a certain number of pages and then directly insert them into the required location of another PDF document.
Create a portfolio of attached files of a PDF document. The PDF format allows you to create portfolios or collections of files attached to a PDF file with ease. This is incredibly handy if you’re looking to gather all photos found within a PDF document into a single place, for example.
Cut in the centre of a PDF file: This rather unusual function allows you to cut a PDF file in half, either vertically or horizontally, while reorganising the pages if necessary.
Trim a PDF file from a frame: Yet another useful feature provided by PDFsam BASIC is the ability to trim a PDF document in a very precise manner. You can define freehand rectangular frames that output a PDF file with pages trimmed from the frame itself.
Trim a PDF file from text: You can also choose to trim your PDF files from a specified text point. For example, you can choose the beginning of a paragraph that you wish to isolate and specify this text area as a delimiter. This will create a PDF file containing that section, while keeping the remainder. This is incredibly convenient and efficient in application.
Extract text from PDF files: Sometimes, you may encounter a situation where you need to extract from a PDF file. In short, this function is a way of converting a PDF file into a text file, only in a more automated and streamlined form than by having to copy/paste from the PDF file itself.
Convert each page of a PDF to a text file: As with the previous feature, you will not be able to retrieve all the text found within a PDF file into a single text file. However, you will be able to produce as many text files as there are pages with distinct content.
Compressing PDF files: PDFsam BASIC does not offer ZIP, RAR or 7ZIP compression. Compressing PDF files is not a question of using a compression algorithm, but rather about compressing your files by playing around with the content within them.
For example, it’s easy to delete all unnecessary objects within a PDF document or optimise the images found within by adjusting their overall size and quality.
Modify paper format of a PDF format: If your PDF document is intended for printing, you can of course switch print formats, such as from A4 to A3. In order to facilitate this, PDFsam BASIC will merge pages into a new one in sequences of 4, 8, 16 or 32 pages.
PDFsam BASIC will merge pages together in increments of two (with two A4 pages equal to a single A3 page).
Repair a corrupted PDF file: Not only does PDFsam BASIC offer you the freedom to read and edit PDF files, it also allows you to carry out PDF repairs for free.
Convert a greyscale PDF file: If you’re looking to save on ink when printing, PDFsam BASIC is on hand to help. For example, you can convert a PDF file that might include many colour paragraphs into a new file that only includes greyscale sections to provide you with more cost-effective black and white printouts. In fact, in many cases it’s preferable to switch to greyscale.
The secret to the success of PDFsam BASIC
The history of PDFsam BASIC is far from brief, not least because the software is derived from other software that came into being a long time ago. In computer jargon, we refer to such innovations as a “fork”, i.e. a piece of software that uses the source code of another piece of software to improve upon it and offer an alternative solution.
This is how PDFsam BASIC derives from SAMBox, which itself is a fork of the open-source software, PDFBox. In the case of PDFBox, the software was written entirely in Java and is still maintained today.
However, PDFsam BASIC is now the preferred choice for the vast majority of users. The software that we offer today is the latest in a long software lineage, with PDFsam benefiting from the accumulation of years of design innovation and experience.
It is also important to remember that PDFsam BASIC owes much to the Sedja SDK library, on which the software is based. Sedja SDK is a Java-based library that is itself designed with PDF editing in mind. All the tools of PDFsam BASIC derive from this beautifully designed open-source project.
Since the software is designed using the Java (and JavaFX) language, you will need to ensure you have a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 8 or later on your operating system.
The user interface of PDFsam BASIC
The volunteer developers of this innovative software have ensured you’ll have no trouble finding your way around, with user-friendly and intuitive design as standard.
No matter what operating system you’re using, PDFsam BASIC is incredibly easy to get to grips with. Here’s how to find your way around the first time you use PDFsam BASIC:
• Main Menu
This menu bar is the simplest way to get straight to where you need to be. Located just below the toolbar, this menu has large buttons for direct access to the key tools of PDFsam BASIC.
To use all the tools on offer with PDFsam BASIC, you will need to progress to the hierarchy view, which is the settings panel located on the left.
• Hierarchy View
It is this left-hand side panel that grants you access to all the tools of PDFsam BASIC. The organisation of this hierarchy view is arranged in module folders, allowing you to quickly and easily distinguish between PDF processing tools and the internal functions of this software.
To begin, simply click on the tool module that will allow you to scroll through the full range of available functions. The tools will then be configured via panels that will be added to the centre of the screen.
Each module has its own panel with respective buttons, tables, fields to be filled and checkboxes which allow you to add parameters for the tools you wish to use. It’s here that you can, for example, add source files, itemise a list of changes that need to be made, or insert the name of the output file.
Don’t worry if you’re a little daunted to begin with. There’s a handy help area with plenty of useful tips to set you on your way. You can then track the status of your PDF file(s) via the status bar
• The status bar
With the status bar, you’ll be able to follow the progress of the tasks you have requested PDFsam BASIC to perform. It will also show you the module icon (tool) and its individual name.
PDFsam BASIC works very quickly and boasts the rare feature of allowing the user to see progress bars of all editing processes that have been performed by the software. It’s because of this that the developers of PDFsam have also included a task log.
• The task log
For your convenience and reference, all the essential information will be captured within the task log. Via the task log, you can observe updates on everything that has been carried out, as well as identify any errors that have been encountered and logged during the processing stages.
To make life even easier, any errors are highlighted within the log itself in a colour-coded fashion. This makes for greater consistency and categorises areas of information. For example, the colour black will refer to information that is common to successful operation of PDFsam BASIC, while the colour blue will highlight anything unexpected, but that isn’t detrimental to processing.
Likewise, anything in red will alert you to more significant errors have been encountered. Should you wish, you can make amendments to the colour code of the task log and error reporting.
However, the task log doesn’t merely identify actions performed by the software itself. It can also be used as a recovery tool by right-clicking to open up a context menu.
It is also possible to select and copy events from the task log, both in part and in whole. This is particularly useful for sending error messages to the software support team as and when they arise.
Changing default language other PDFsam BASIC settings
Admittedly, it is Rather unusual not to find a preferences or options menu. However, in the case of PDFsam BASIC, everything is successfully managed from the settings panels and hierarchy structure.
It is this structure that in fact contains all the things you’d normally encounter in a settings menu found with other software. This is where you’ll be able to change the default language of PDFsam BASIC.
In the same settings panel, you’ll find several other interesting options for customising PDFsam BASIC to your liking. For example, you can choose to change the appearance of your software as if you were changing a software theme.
In fact, you’ll find themes native to the application that can highlight elements to magnify essential details. One example is that you can change the appearance of your progress bar if you want it to be more visible.
Another change you can make is to the “Log Level” option. Here, you can choose the severity level of messages to be displayed in the task log. This is mainly utilised for debugging (in DEBUG mode) in case you encounter repeated errors or bugs.
As such, you will be able to prioritise notifications including Fatal, Error, Warn, Info and Debug type errors in your task log. You can also choose to deactivate everything by using the Off option. Should you do this, there will be no more content in the task log to display.
It’s also worth noting that you can automate PDFsam BASIC updates, as well as customise the sound warnings of your software by specifying your own sound selections. What’s more, you can set the default directory where PDFsam BASIC will attempt to open PDF files.