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Batch Inserting Pages into Multiple, Separate PDFs with Adobe Acrobat

We had a need recently to batch insert a pdf into hundreds of other PDFs prior to distribution. There are a lot of slimy PDF applications out there that seem to be able to help compile merged PDFs, but I wasn’t happy when I tried a bunch of them. The good news is Adobe Acrobat XI has the Action Wizard functionality that can do this pretty easily. Here is how we did it.

1. Put all the PDFs you want to augment into a folder. Put the PDF you want to insert into all the PDFs in that folder outside the folder.

2. Go into Acrobat Pro (Version X or higher) and go to Tools > Action Wizard

3. Go ahead and “Create a New action” and change the first area of “Files to be Process” default option to “Add Folder” and under “Pages” add “Insert Pages” and specify settings as desired. You can leave the defaults.

4. Add “Save” to the action sequence after insert so you won’t have to save each individual PDF after the insert happens.

5. Inside the “Save” tool, you can decide to tweak the filenames  as well. We left them at default so they save over the existing PDFs.

6. Save the action.

and you will see this in your Acrobat Pro > Tools > Action Wizard menu.

7. Click the saved action to start the batch process. Specify the folder for all the PDFs you will be inserting pages into. When you select the folder, it will put a list of the pdfs in the preview.

8. Click “Start” to be prompted for the PDF you want to insert.

9. And then the magic happens. Acrobat should go through the PDFs in the specified folder and play the insert. This is much, much better than having to play the inserts manually to the dozens or hundreds of PDFs.

About the author

Jonathan Mergy

28 comments

  • Is there a way to do this with multiple different pdfs on both sides? I need to combine individual letters into individual reports. The final output should be five hundred files in total, I’d really like to not have to do it manually.

  • Hi, when i add the files that i want to insert a page for them every time i click resume it asks me which from which pdf i want to insert the page please help me i need it for more than 3,000 pdf !

    Thank you,

    • Jack, I had the same issue at first. Make sure to uncheck the prompt user box under Insert Pages so it doesn’t prompt you for which PDF to insert each time.

  • Hi Jonathon.
    Having a little problem getting a result here and wondered if you may be able to help please. When I start the process the action works fine for the first pdf in the folder but for each subsequent pdf’s it asks me to select the ‘add on’ file again.
    Am I correct in assuming this would happen automatically. I followed the instructions to the letter and actually set up three different test actions. Are you able to point a finger as to where I might be mucking this up.
    Regards
    Stu

  • Thanks for the directions Jonathan. Such a time saver. One question. When I ran through this the action does not automatically update each pdf in the folder. Instead I have to click start > select pdf to add > then OK for each pdf in the folder. Any advice?

  • Thank you for this guide. I could not find one anywhere else.
    And it works beautifully, and has helped me understand how Actions work.

  • Hello. I have multiple pdf’s that need the last page replaced, but the pdfs are all different numbers of pages.
    Is there a way to replace last page?

  • Worked great! Then, after our One Drive installation, the script runs, but the pages are not inserted. Does it need to be set up again in One Drive? I can’t figure it out.

  • Hi Jonathan,

    With this wizard, this combines all files n the folder into one pdf and then inserts my page. How do I get it to add the page to each file separately?

    Thanks

    • Oh excellent. Yeah, this was one of those things that you know should be easy, but was amazingly challenging so when I ran into that and had that need for an organization, I was determined to try and put something out there so others wouldn’t have to feel the pain. I’m so very glad it was a helpful post. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment and let me know this is still helpful! Take care, Jonathan

    • Eric, so nice of you to post that this helped. I was right there too and was looking at a ton of time to handle something that sure seemed able to be at least semi-automated but couldn’t find anything out the web for it, so did this post after getting it going. Glad it worked for you too! -Best, Jonathan

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