Working with Multiple PDFs and Pages

This section is about OnMerge PDF Mashup, an optional upgrade to classic OnMerge Images which is used to work with PDF files. You can upgrade classic versions of OnMerge Images to OnMerge PDF Mashup at http://OnMerge.com.

This section discusses general strategies for inserting full pages from a PDF. For details on individual PDF Mashup features, see the topic on Inserting PDF Pages and Images.

Re-formatting PDF pages to blend with your Word document

See our topic about making PDF pages blend in with your document if you need to:

  • remove margins, headers, footers, page numbers, logos, etc.
  • resize pages to to fit your new document
  • rotate pages to fit your new document

Inserting pages from different PDF files

Pages from 2+ PDF files, always the same PDFs:
You can insert multiple OnMerge PDF Mashup images into your Word doucument. Each PDF Mashup image can fetch a page from a different PDF file.

Pages from a single PDF file, but from different PDFs during different Word sessions:
use OnMerge's File Names tab to set up a variable merge. See the topic on creating file name formulas.
You can either:

  • If the PDF file's name is somewhere in your document (you can make that text white to hide it):
    • Wrap that name in a Word bookmark (highlight the filename, Insert + Links + Bookmark, type in a new name and click Add)
    • You can then use the bookmarked text in OnMerge's File Name tab by setting Name Part to Bookmark and picking the name you just added.
    • Whenever the bookmarked text changes, OnMerge will use the updated filename.
  • Otherwise, you'll need to set up a mail merge:
    • Create a spreadsheet with a header row (e.g. PDF-Name in the first column), and the next row containing the file name in the column below the header.
    • Load the spreadsheet into Word as a data source with Mailings, Select Recipients, Use Existing List.
    • You can then use the data from the spreadsheet in OnMerge's File Name tab by picking Name Part as Merge Database, then selecting the field's name.
    • You can change the spreadsheet, then re-load the spreadsheet into Word as above; OnMerge will use the updated spreadsheet name.

Pages from 2+ PDF files, different PDFs in different Word sessions:
Same two options as Pages from a single PDF, above, EXCEPT:

  • If the PDF file names are somewhere in the document, you'll need more than one file name, each one with a different bookmark name. In the File Names tab of different PDF Mashup images, you can use each bookmark as needed.
  • Otherwise, when creating a spreadsheed you'll need multiple columns, one for each file name. In the File Names of different PDF Mashup images, you can use any of the spreadsheet columns as needed.

You have a list of PDF files and you want to make one document with them:
For now, let's say you only want page 1 from each. You can combine this with other scenarios in the sections below for more complex situations.

  • Let's assume you have that list in a column of spreadsheet. Load the spreadsheet into Word as a data source with Mailings, Select Recipients, Use Existing List.
  • Add a PDF Mashup image to your document.
  • Use the data from the spreadsheet in OnMerge's File Name tab by picking Name Part as Merge Database, then select the field's name.
  • Pick the appropriate Page # in the PDF Mashup tab.
  • Press OK to close OnMerge.
  • In Word, Mailings, Finish & Merge, Edit Individual Documents will create a new document of PDF pages based on the spreadsheet.
  • Changing the spreadsheet and reloading it will merge a different set of pages.

Merging multiple pages from the same PDF using a Spreadsheet or Database

There's a very handy spreadsheet included in the Examples we install along with OnMerge. It's named Numbers1To10K.xls and that's all it is: numbers from 1 to 10,000—one per row.
You can use load it into Word as a data source of variable page or image numbers for mail merges. When you do the merge, you'll be presented with the option to merge From ___ to ___; use the range of numbers you need.

Let's say you have a list of PDF page numbers in a database or spreadsheet. You'll need to use mail merge.

  • Load the spreadsheet into Word as a data source with Mailings, Select Recipients, Use Existing List.
  • Add a PDF Mashup image to your document.
  • Pick the PDF file on the PDF Mashup tab.
  • To the right of Page #, select the Type value = Merge Database; select the appropriate database/spreadsheet field from the dropdown list over to the right.
  • Press OK to close OnMerge.
  • In Word, Mailings, Finish & Merge, Edit Individual Documents will create a new document of PDF pages based on the spreadsheet.

If you need to merge those pages somewhere in the middle of the document: do the PDF page merge in a separate document, then copy & paste the result of that merge back into the middle of your document. Alternately, see the non-database aproaches below.

Inserting multiple pages from a PDF without a database

You can create a document with several PDF Mashup images—one for each page:

  • Start with one image. Try the following setup:

    • Click on the OnMerge PDF Mashup icon in the Mailings Ribbon.
    • Browse to select the PDF file.
    • Select the first Page # your want.
    • Select the Merge Options tab.
    • Select Merge blank image, and select Make the blank tiny... (just off to the right).
    • Press OK
  • Select the image you just inserted by single-clicking it, then copy (Home, Copy) and paste a second image (Home, Paste).
  • Double-click the second image to bring up the OnMerge dialog box, increment the Page #, press OK.
  • Repeat the above 2 steps as many times as needed.

It's OK if you inserted too many PDF pages (because the PDF doesn't have that many pages) in the steps above. Because you set the Merge blank image option above, any image that attempts to pull in page numbers that don't exist will be invisible.

This technique can be combined with the ones in Inserting pages from different PDF files, above.

Merging when you don't know the page number -- Find Text

Especially when you're mail-merging with a database or spreadsheet, your database may not contain the PDF's page number corresponding to each merge record. For example, you might have a database of real-estate-listing data, and a PDF containing pages of photos of those houses along with their address. You want to make a document that presents those photos alongside the the data in your database.

Simply insert a PDF Mashup, but do not set the Page #. Instead, set the Find Text field to use a database field containing text that also appears on the PDF page you need, e.g. house address.

Additionally, you can use Modify Text Search to select a particular page after the page with the found text, or to skip to the Xth page that contains certain text. This can be useful for skipping a table of contents or accessing multiple pages that have the same header.

For example, a real estate PDF might have a variable number of pages with the same header (e.g. a house address) and you want to merge all the pages with that header.

  • Insert a PDF Mashup into Word that uses Find Text to locate the first page of info.
  • Copy and paste several copies of that PDF Mashup after that.
  • Edit the Modify Text Search of each copy to 2nd matching pg, 3rd matching pg, etc.
  • Also, on the Merge Options tab, under When OnMerge image is unavailable, select Merge blank image and then select Make the blank tiny. This will hide any 2nd, 3rd, etc. pages that don't contain the search text, which is useful when you want to merge all matching pages but don't know ahead of time how many pages will match.