I would like to (re)submit a paper with a short cover letter, explaining the changes I have made. However, the journal only allows me to upload one file. As the main article will use the journal style class, and so forth, it's not really practical to use the 1st page for the letter (or is it? Could I reset the page number etc. etc.??)

Instead, could I create, say, two PDF files (one the letter, the other the article) and then somehow merge them together?

  • Hi Matthew, welcome to tex.SX! If you tell us what operating system you're using then that would help as the ways to do this vary from OS to OS. Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 21:45
  • Well, I have a very up-to-date version of MikTex on Windows, and also a rather old Linux system at work... Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 22:15
  • Would zipping the two files together into one archive suffice, or has your one uploaded file got to be a pdf?
    – Edd
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 21:46
  • Same question on SuperUser: Adobe Acrobat: How to batch to combine multiple pdf files? - Super User
    – user202729
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 11:44

3 Answers 3


Create the separate documents separately and merge them with a PDF utility. Semantically speaking, I feel this is the way to go rather than futzing with the document settings. After all, what you are submitting is not one "document" but a set of them.

Edit: This is an important question that has been asked more than once. It's also not exactly TeX-related. So I'm community-wikifying my answer so it can be improved and made definitive.


use Herbert's answer: the pdfpages package

\documentclass{article}% or something else


You could also keep the document page sizes by adding a option:


And not to repeat yourself use this:

\includepdf[fitpaper=false]{paper4} // you can add document specific options
\includepdfset{} // to put default values back

Command Line

  • pdftk

     $ pdftk 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf cat output 123.pdf
  • GhostScript

     $ gs -q -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=merged.pdf source1.pdf source2.pdf source3.pdf etc.pdf

    (via Macworld)

  • PDFJAM is a suite of scripts that uses LaTeX and pdfpages on the backend.

     $ pdfjoin foo1.pdf foo2.pdf --outfile bar.pdf

    (via Uwe Hermann)

  • stapler is a pure Python alternative to pdftk.

      $ stapler cat in1.pdf in2.pdf out.pdf
  • PyMuPDF is a Python binding for MuPDF – “a lightweight PDF and XPS viewer”.

       $ python -m fitz join -o output.pdf file1.pdf file2.pdf
  • qpdf is a command-line tool and C++ library that performs content-preserving transformations on PDF files.

        $ qpdf --empty --pages file1.pdf file2.pdf -- output.pdf


This question is very similar although the questioner didn't realize it.

  • 8
    Beat me to it on pdftk; a very useful little program for mucking about with PDFs. Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 21:45
  • 1
    I'll accept this; actually, I guess I should have search harder, as that other question was almost identical to mine! Many thanks to all. Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 22:16
  • Am I the only one who has trouble with the output of pdftk working well with ghostcript? Ghostscript complains that pdftk output violates the PDF spec. I prefer the pdfjam scripts, which provide similar commandline functionality, but uses pdflatex/pdfpages for its backend. (For that matter, gs can itself combine PDFs from the commandline.)
    – frabjous
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 22:25
  • 13
    Note that pdfpages removes all hyperlinks and other PDF annotations from the included PDFs. Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 19:37
  • 1
    Even if we use fitpaper option for includepdf (pdfpages) it will consider the first page as the page size for all the paages. –
    – Santhosh
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 12:21

Package pdfpagesmay help

\documentclass{article}% or something else

  • This works fine as well (once I noticed the typo: "includepdf" not "inlcudepdf"!) Actually, maybe this is the "nicest" way to do a cover letter, as then I can just include the PDF file of paper at the end. Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 15:47
  • @Matthew: I had a knot in my fingers ... :-)
    – user2478
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 15:49
  • I have clickable links in the PDF that I want to include. They are gone in the merged PDF. How can I maintain these links? ... Ah ok, seems like it's not possible. Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 15:35
  • @CGFoX: pdftk seems to keep internal links. Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 12:41

If you have Ghostscript installed, you might also join the two separate PDF files in one by issuing a command such as this:

gs -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -q -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=merged.pdf input1.pdf input2.pdf

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