I have a large project I have been working on over the past 6 months which is currently stuck with one major bottleneck: combining a ton of pdf files which are sorted into folders.
Currently after testing a wide variety of tools and libraries our best option in terms of performance and output size is via "Combine Files in Acrobat" (all other options either use too many resources, result in an insane many gig file size that cannot be used by our other process, or take so long that it is not feasible to use). The main issue we have using this method is that it must be done manually once per folder.
It seems like this task cannot be completed via the Action Wizard for some reason so I was wondering if there is any other means to automate this process ie via scripts, sdk, macros, etc or even if it is possible to somehow rip the windows action from the right click option somehow so I can pull it into something like python and call it per folder.
Any help on this is much appreciated.
There are a number of PDF library tools that can be used to combine PDF files. However, if the resulting file will be very large, I strongly advise against doing this. What exactly are you trying to accomplish and why do you think one large PDF will be suitable for the task?
Essentially we are generating one pdf book per person from data received (all variable) then sorting them into folders based on page makeup for printing. At this point we have a large number of folders each with a varying number of small PDFs within them. For our purposes of printing we need to then combine the small PDFs into one large PDF (per folder) to impose them into a more efficient print layout and then generate a print preset that will grab the different types of sheet stock in the correct order.
Acrobat DC handles this great but is completely manual. For example if I combine 100 12MB PDFs (ctrl + A in the folder, right click, combine, clck combine, wait, save, etc) with default options the resulting combined PDF is only 12-13MB due to efficient consolidation of images and fonts (every other tool I have tried cannot accomplish this).
I have created a temporary solution which is basically a bot which can click through the GUI for me but its still less ideal than something that could batch process. If combine PDF was part of the Action Wizard for example.
I've developed a (paid-for) stand-alone tool that can do that: http://try67.blogspot.com/2015/03/batch-combine-all-pdf-files-in-folders.html
Because it's a stand-alone tool it's much more robust that anything that can be done in Acrobat and can handle many more files, and much bigger ones. In fact, you can use it even without having Acrobat at all.