So Preview for Mac OS X has this capability. I want to be able to just highlight whatever on a pdf, and be able to copy and paste immediately into another pdf file (via the clipboard).

I do a lot in LaTeX, and this would really make things easier why TeXing in ubuntu/linux.

  • 1
    evince, the default PDF viewer in Ubuntu, does this. Is it not working for you? Could you describe what you're trying?
    – roadmr
    Apr 8, 2012 at 19:21
  • It's true that evince can copy images, but only as bitmap, jpeg, or png. I'm talking direct pdf to pdf, like "New pdf from clipboard".
    – efang
    Apr 16, 2012 at 22:11
  • If you already use LaTeX, why don't you include the PDF and crop it in LaTeX?
    – Marco
    Jul 25, 2012 at 19:09
  • For anyone that's trying to do the same thing, I found that using GIMP to copy the selection as a PDF as the best option. @Marco, cropping in LaTeX is also possible, but can be non-trivial.
    – efang
    Nov 26, 2012 at 1:44
  • Pasting into gimp will rasterize the image and you will lose the vector character of the image. This solution is only feasible if the PDF already is rasterized. If it contains text, for instance, it will produce ugly results. For some PDFs it works if the file is opened in inkscape, then the unwanted parts can be removed, but unfortunately this does not work with all PDFs.
    – Marco
    Nov 26, 2012 at 7:11

3 Answers 3


uPDF is an editor tool to write and paint to an existing pdf file. uPdf can insert pages of another pdf, insert new pages, remove and extract pages, rotate pages, paste a text or an image in the existing pdf, and much more.

You can install it in Ubuntu using ppa. For the moment, as I checked on https://launchpad.net/~atareao/+archive/updf, the uPDF ppa supports only Ubuntu 12.10 and 12.04. To install it, open a terminal and run next commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/updf
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gir1.2-rsvg-2.0 updf

If you use KDE you may also need to install the following dependency:

sudo apt-get install-0.1 gir1.2-appindicator3

More info: Install uPDF (effective pdf editor) in Ubuntu 12.04 /12.10

Another tool for editing pdf files and that can be found in Ubuntu Software Center is Master PDF Editor Install comixcursors-lefthanded - a complete solution for view, print and edit PDF and XPS files.

  • In 2018 on Ubuntu 16.04, the atareao/updf does not seem to work... May 10, 2018 at 23:33

Try PDF Mod:

PDF Mod is a simple application for modifying PDF documents.

You can reorder, rotate, and remove pages, export images from a document, edit the title, subject, author, and keywords, and combine documents via drag and drop.

sudo apt-get install pdfmod

enter image description here

Or PDF-Shuffler:

PDF-Shuffler is a small python-gtk application, which helps the user to merge or split pdf documents and rotate, crop and rearrange their pages using an interactive and intuitive graphical interface. It is a frontend for python-pyPdf.

sudo apt-get install pdfshuffler

enter image description here

See also:

  • Note: PDF-Shuffler's development seems to have stagnated. There is an active fork in PDFArranger
    – Zulan
    Dec 18, 2019 at 19:23

This was my question as well, since I used this functionality in Mac Preview a lot.

The best solution I found in Ubuntu is to use PDF Master Editor (the free version will do).

You can select a range and copy it, open a blank .pdf file with Ctrl+N and paste the selection there. If you don't like the white margins, you can then crop using Document => Crop menu (Ctrl+K).

Unrelated to your question, this application is also great for annotating and highlighting in Linux (which is missing from many common Linux PDF-viewers).

  • You might want to add a screen-shot of the UI maybe to make your answer complete.
    – Videonauth
    Nov 13, 2017 at 14:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .