Scripting a TeX document - (or other way to number pdf pages)

Florian Diesch diesch at
Wed Apr 14 04:19:43 UTC 2010

p.echols at writes:

> My limited understanding of LaTeX is that you create a source file
> that has both text and markup.  That file is then interpreted when
> printed.  

It's not interpreted when printed but you use some kind of compiler to
create a printable file, e.g. a PDF file

> Would it be in the realm of realistic for someone such as
> yourself to identify the segments that would have to be in a script to
> do such a thing?  My analogy in "fake" html would be
> <document>
> <head>
> -Format code
> -Font Code
> -etc
> </head>
> <text position=bottom-left>
> Page Number 0001
> </text>
> <pagebreak><text position=bottom-left>
> Page Number 0002
> </text>
> <pagebreak><text position=bottom-left>
> Page Number 0003
> </text>
> </document>
> (For the critics, I am not good at html, but I know this is wrong, and why and that's not the point)
> The changing parts in such a page would be few, and the result easily
> scriptable.  For my purposes, I would not have to understand the LaTeX
> code for it to work.  Something you might think of as a fun challenge?

This short LaTeX source lets you assemble pages from multiple PDF files
and automatically adds a page number on each page:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---

                 picturecommand={\put(500, 30){Page Number \thepage}}
 some_file.pdf, 1-200,
 other_file.pdf, 5,7,10

--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

The \put(500, 30) gives the position of the page number. Adapt it to
your needs. The text in the {} after gets put on every page; \thepage
is replaced by the page number.

The "some_file.pdf, 1-200" like lines include the given pages from the
given files. Every line except the last one has to end with comma.

Install the package texlive-latex-recommended to install a LaTeX system
with the needed LaTeX packages (expect it to take a few 100 MByte disc space).

Save the file as e.g. myfile.tex and run
 pdflatex myfile.tex
to create myfile.pdf


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