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I have more than 1000 PDF files. Each file contains 3-4 pages. I need to change header and footer on the first and last page of each file.

Is there a way to automate this process so I can do them all at once?

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Best is not defined. I would use one of InDesign, GhostScript, Acrobat DC, Distiller, or python for this. However, I would definitely not even consider Photoshop for this its just the wrong tool for the job.

Approach would depends on what tool I would use, and whether or not I need to create archival versions if the PDF files*. First i would see if text touch up tool of Acrobat DC could do it for me. If not i would prepare my headers in a appropriate software like InDesign or Illustrator. Then i would write a script (javascript, postscript or python depending on what tools i have at my disposal) to chop the pages up and merge header and footer. Then depending on what app i am using i would either export all pages or just export the front/back pages as separate files and merge the middles together with the original files.

I would just prefer to regenerate the PDF files form originals. But exact steps depend on what app i have at my disposal, so i can not say for sure exact steps as it depends on nature of things I am to do. Hire somebody to who has done this before to do it for you, it is cheaper and faster.

* In other words can i strip the first and last page or do i need to replace them by adding replacing pages so that the original first page stays intact but inaccessible unless you view all versions

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It depends on the PDF files. In some cases, there isn't an easy way to automate detecting the header/footer, and then modifying it.

For that reason, the best way to solve this is to modify the source file and/or process generating the files, and then re-generate the PDFs. How you'd do that would depend on the source files.

If that is not possible, you have (depending on your header/footer) have some luck using the Action Wizard in Adobe Acrobat Pro. You can perform an action on a directory of PDF files to remove and insert a new header/footer.

Other than Acrobat, I'm not aware of any other software that could easily (meaning without scripting) automate directly modifying the PDF file.

  • Acrobat pro is now acrobat dc and to swap header you probably need to script in acrobat too. – joojaa Oct 25 '16 at 18:44

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