In our office, we have to scan a bunch of incoming documents every day. We do have a scanner with an automatic feeder which will save each scanned document to some fileshare on our network. Yet someone has to stand in front of the scanner and feed it one document at a time, wait for the scanner to finish and upload, then feed it the next one to make sure we get one PDF per document in the end. (Each document may be one to X pages.)

So the idea would be to have a kind of separator page which can be put into the pile between the documents, then scan the whole pile in one goal. After that we would need a tool to split the resulting huge PDF into the individual documents again and we don't want to do this manually. It shouldn't be rocket science for some batch pdf processing tool to recognize the separator page and split the PDF accordingly.

The next step would be to use separator pages which would tell the tool into wich folder the next document has to go, like "invoice", "customer enquiry", ...

I hope I explained well what I am looking for? I am surprised I did not find anything, at least not using freely available tools such as PDFtk or the like.

2 Answers 2


It turns out the technology I was looking for is called a "patch code", see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_Code.

There indeed seems to be software which can handle this, like for example on https://www.chronoscan.org/ just to mention one. (Free version available.)

Also there is an online generator to generate patch code pages available at https://patchcode.kodakalaris.com/en/index.html.

Trying to create some scripted pipeline in Ubuntu for batch PDF processcing, it may be worth looking at http://zbar.sourceforge.net/ (available as zbar-tools in Ubuntu) as a starting point.

Also I managed to have some successes with https://github.com/MomsFriendlyDevCo/pdf-dicer

  • +1 for pdf dicer. The windows tool is rather off-topic though.
    – Bruni
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 7:12

To split one multiple page pdf document you can use PDFSAM. You can download PDFSAM Basic from here.

  • Did you understand I was looking for a tool to split on a scanned patch code? Not just to manually split pages? (See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_Code) I don't think PDFSam, especially PDFSam Basic has that functionality, does it?
    – TorstenS
    Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 13:08

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