pdf/x-3 file merging

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Dear All,

Has anyone a solution for merging Scribus pdf/x-3 output files? All with same format, fonts and same masterpages.

Pdftk output no longer x-3 compliant.

Also Adobe Acrobat 6 Pro merges files but does not allow output pdf/x-3 compliant also.

Any ideas please?




thank you for the reply.

#1 does something but the tech is way beyond me.

#2 I am looking at the scribus fraternity for a possible solution (hopefully).

I have twelve pdf files of 14 to 40 pages, that make up a book (research material) , all from scribus, all preflighted ok.  But the printer wants one single file.

Scribus was found so good that  text plus designs and pics are now compiled directly to it. It was very easy to work concurrently on the separate sections in different files . Now I need to merge, as sla or as pdf. Neither seems to work.

now I'm stumped.


oldturnip, if you have used the same styles/layers/colours/masters etc. then you can try merging the documents using "Page -> Import...".

Just open the first document, then import the next one creating pages at the end, then the next, etc. etc. until all of the files are collected together.

Once all of the pages are in the same document you can then export to PDF as normal.

However, I've had some problems importing documents where master pages are different - those of the imported document get wiped out - and sometimes text seems to go missing - seemingly at random - so it's not bulletproof. Personally I wouldn't trust this function for anything important, and that's just my opinion, but if your formatting is simple and it will be easy to see any mistakes then give it a try and see what happens.

P.S. It's just a suggestion, but it might have been better to originally ask "How can I merge Scribus documents?", rather than focusing on the PDF/X-3 angle. I'm not complaining, but you might have received different advice from the start.


1 idea: is simple, but important is to use icc profile and paste them in this same folder where are your pdf files.
Important is too to edit file PDFX_def.ps which there is in folder with ghostscript in lib folder.
In PDFX_def.ps in path where is : /ICCProfile (ISO Coated sb.icc) in place ISO Coated sb.icc put the name Your profile, so You will get for example: /ICCProfile (SC_paper_eci.icc).

2 idea: Scribus can merge own files but can import pdf files, so inside Scribus You join your files, and after this You publish this file to pdf (remember about embed pdf & eps files experimental - option).
Python Script for Scribus can import separated pages from pdf files (these separations You can do in PDF Chain, or Acrobat program) In one step import all pages from any folder to Scribus.


for merging .pdf files of the same type with the same profiles i would use pdf split and merge – its free!



Thanks for the replies, and for taking the time to help.

@ GarryP-------I use Scribus 1.4.2, and now 3. the importing allowed are neither sla nor pdf. Converting to other formats has not worked. I have 200 pages and may be too much for scribus, I do not know.

As for the suggestion anything is welcome. If anyone has any idea--thanks in advance.

@utnik.-------I tried your suggestion, but same result. The merged file was preflighted via Acrobat 6 Pro. Not pdf/x-3 compliant.  I opened the file with wordpad, also one of the compliant files. Missing was the initial data, namely Outputintent; Trapped key; version key; title. Those four items. About 30 lines at the start of the file.

Any idea how to get around that?

@leaf------from idea 2--Quote: scribus can----but can import pdf-unquote. Is it by any chance the 1.5 version? That would be good but its not available, or better I could not find a download point. Can you clarify more please?

Anyway thanks to all.


oldturnip, it's possible that I didn't properly explain myself.

I advised using the "Page -> Import..." function - which only works with SLAs - rather than the "File -> Import..." function which is for importing other stuff into a document.

The "Page -> Import" function allows you to insert/combine pages of SLAs. You don't need to work with other formats, just the Scribus documents themselves. (Until you want to create the final PDF that is.) This function has been in Scribus as long as I can remember.

I hope this makes things clearer.



Thanks for replying. No you were perfectly clear. I missed completely that point in your message.

Just tried out four sections of 54 pages. Works ok finally but somewhat heavy going. Still pdf/x-3 compliant in the end.



I thought about this:

I tested this solution with about 40 pages and with python script (can import all separate pdf from any folder in one step) and it works good.

Script is here:
but You need modify them - (formats and one page from pdf in one page in scribus doc. not 4 etc)

1.5 svn can import pdf as editable file, but for big file it is evil way.


An update, plus one or two questions please:

Merged sla files at last--thanks GarryP. Total about 190 pages some with text and graphics. Final file size 1,5M; in pdf/x-3 format 98M.
File preflighted using Acrobat 6--ok, 'no problems found'. Added files had to be converted from 'normal' masterpage (default?) to main file page format, but done readily. Only minor adjustments to frames. Checked several sections and found nothing wrong like missing text.

The last addition of about 38 pages took 55 minutes to merge. What takes it so long? CPU and fan working flat out, but survived without frying --fan and cooling fins cleaned earlier.  Admittedly I use an old machine with limited ram. Can the delay be improved, other than changing machine?

More importantly is there any risk in such a process? I have not had any mishaps since going to version 1.4.2

@leaf.   I tried your suggestions but got lost early in the process and had to give up. But thanks anyway. Too tricky for this old dog.