I have a pdf and I am in need to replace even and odd pages. If I want to be more specific, I must replace (2n-1) page numbers with (2n) ones (1-->2, 2-->1, 3-->4, 4-->3, and the like). How should I do that?

Is there any free software that can do this job for me?


1 Answer 1


With poppler-utils tools you could extract the pages to separate files, reorder & save them into an array and join the elements of that array to produce a new document:

pdfseparate original.pdf piece-%04d.pdf
set -- piece*.pdf
while (($#)); do
  if [ $# -ge 2 ]; then
    reordered+=("$2" "$1")
    shift 2
pdfunite "${reordered[@]}" final.pdf
rm -f piece-*.pdf
unset reordered

If your document has more than 9999 pages adjust the format specifier e.g. %05d

  • Thank you so much! It worked! I entered what you wrote line-by-line and cared about indentations and it worked nice and tidy! :D Feb 1, 2019 at 8:14
  • Thank you, Don! this would work for other file types like DjVu, too! very elegant.
    – Maxim
    Oct 31, 2019 at 18:56
  • Great solution! One thing: I got I/O Error: Couldn't open file 'piece-0253.pdf': Too many open files. so I had to do ulimit -n 512 to increase the limit. Jul 28, 2021 at 22:30
  • See Exchange odd and even pages in a pdf file? for a much simpler solution: pdftk infile.pdf shuffle even odd output outfile.pdf.
    – sjy
    Sep 4, 2021 at 14:33

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