There are plenty of utilities targeting PDF content, be it simple handling and managing or creating new files.
includes a set of programs that can help manipulate this type of file by merging or splitting and even to protect them with a password or linearize them.
Even if all the options are in plain view, QPDF is not the easiest program in its category to work with because of the console-based interface.
The console window shows a list of the basic options, which includes the possibility of linearization, assigning a password, generating an encrypted file or removing the encryption from the loaded item.
In lack of encryption parameters the application automatically copy said parameters from the original file and this includes the owner and user passwords.
There are also more ample options for encrypting the file with a key of a specific length. Furthermore, QPDF offers the possibility to enable printing, extracting, modification and annotation restrictions.
What QPDF does not do is render the PDF file or convert it to a different format. On the other hand, it can handle file merging very well as it supports loading multiple documents and include in the output result only user-defined pages.
Users with vast experience with the PDF format can work with advanced transformation options to control the transformation of the stream data, normalize them or ignore the cross-reference streams.
The application also includes options for testing, inspecting and debugging. These are aimed particularly at software developers that create programs relying on QPDF library.
QPDF is definitely not for the average Joe but it can come in handy even for the slightly less experienced users, who should not feel daunted by the command line interface. It is a lightweight solution that includes plenty of options for manipulating PDF files.