Friday, April 08, 2011

How to batch print PDF files

Say you've got a bunch of PDF files that you want to print in alphabetical order. Windows Explorer allows you to select multiple PDF files, right-click and choose Print. Unfortunately, this command seems to print the files in a random order, not alphabetically. On the Mac, I don't know of a similar command in the Finder.

Fortunately, there is another way. Just follow the steps below.

Acrobat 9

1. Run Adobe Acrobat 9

2. Choose Advanced > Document Processing > Batch Processing

3. Select Print All and then click the Run Sequence button

4. Click the OK button in the Run Sequence Confirmation dialog box

5. Navigate to the folder containing your PDF files, and open the folder. Click on the first PDF file you want to print, hold down the Shift key, and select the last PDF file. Then click the Select button.

Acrobat X

Acrobat X replaces "Sequences" with "Actions", and unfortunately doesn't include a built-in "Print All" Action. So you will need to create one.

1. Choose File > Action Wizard > Create New Action

2. Fill in the "Create New Action" dialog box as shown below.

3. Click the Save button.

4. Give the Action a name, such as "Print" and click the Save button.

5. Now each time you want to batch print PDF files with Acrobat X, just File > Action Wizard > Print, and follow the on-screen prompts.


Henk said...

Is there also a possibility to see the size of a file before you print. I often get multiple files wich I need to print either on printer A or B. A = 614 mm width and B = 914 mm.
You can see file size but not if it is A4, A3, A2, A1 or A0. [european formats]. I want to print the most efficient way....

Keith Gilbert said...

@Henk: I don't know of any way to automate printing and see the page size in Acrobat, sorry.

Anonymous said...

You can sneak a peek at PDF Dimensions in Adobe Bridge (after activating Thumbnail display preferences) sort/select then drag/drop thumbnails to Acrobat or perhaps your printer.

Anonymous said...

Acrobat's Organizer (gone in Acrobat X) might also do the trick.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to batch print a folder of PDFs using Acrobat X on a mac, and the Action Wizard works pretty great, but when I choose the PDFs I want to print, it changes the order of the PDFs from the order in the there any way to coordinate the file sorting between the Finder and Acrobat?


Allie Kenyon said...

That solved one massive problem I was having, and I was hoping you might be able to assist me with another?
I have a document that I need to watermark multiple copies of the same document. Basically I need to distribute a document that has been individually watermarked for each person.

Is there a way to automate this? Either marking with individual names or just sequential numbers, anything is better than doing it by hand.

Even if I had to manually create multiple copies manually and renamed them and batched them to watermark with their filenames, that would save me time. Thank you.

Hosting Nuggets said...

I am still struggling to print PDFs in batch on Mac OS X. Does anyone have an idea how to do that without having to buy any special software?

Jimmy Westberg said...

On the homepage above I have made a simple BatchPlot tool for open and printing PDF files. It uses txt-files to store the batch job for later use and print the documents in the order they appear in the text file. Please feel free to try it our.

Anonymous said...

To print my PDFs I use a small utility called SilentPrint. You can read about it and download a trial at

I hope you find it as useful as I did.

Anonymous said...

Works for pro versions only

Anonymous said...

Can this be done in Adobe XI standard?

Anonymous said...

This is 2013 and yet printing a group of pdf files in alphabetic order is still a massive nightmare.

I tried to use the action wizard but once I've added a folder of 500+ files it wants me to save each of these files again for some reason.

Very poorly designed software. Acrobat 9 used to have a feature where you could batch print. SO easy and simple and of course you can't obtain this version of the software anymore.

robert warner said...

I am using 9 pro. I have multiple pdf emails with attachments in a folder. The attachments have various formats, i.e. pdf, xlsx, wpd, etc. I would like to batch remove all but the .pdf attachments and I would like to batch remove all attachments and save the removed attachments to a destination folder. How do I do this?

Wenyi said...

Is it possible to use the Print Action to print only a specific page of the PDF?

Thank you!

Seth said...

You can print the same page range for multiple PDFs by having the Action execute javascript. The following will print the first 2 pages of each document:

bUI: false,
nStart: 0,
nEnd: 1,
bSilent: true

Page "1" is actually "0" as far as Acrobat Javascript is concerned. I'm sure other print options are possible, but I don't know how to write them in Javascript.

Anonymous said...

Hay i want to print a pdf
like 1,2,5,6,9,10
how to do this with adobe reader ???

banhxeo said...

I have a 100pages document that I would like to print 3 or copies of each page for example 111,222,333,444
If I select multiple copies option in the program , it will print me 1,2,3,4… regardless of collating option. I can run scripts in Acrobat to create duplicate of eachpage 2 times but I was wondering if there is a script to print multiple pages out there that I can use


Dick Robertson said...

Hi! I recommend the program Print Conductor ( I use this program to batch print different types of files, including PDF-files.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for interesting article.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm not sure if anyone has already mentioned software designed for batch printing PDF files, but SilentPrint is very good:

Brackenpelt :P said...

Hey, i am using that java script command you mentioned earlier in the comments and I cant figure out how to run the command on a folder... how would I do that?

In case you were wondering i was talking about this script:

bUI: false,
nStart: 0,
nEnd: 1,
bSilent: true

Thank you :)

Mike Watson said...

This solved another problem we had, which was printing multiple copies of multiple PDFs at once. When we opened multiple PDFs from the explorer, the first PDF would print 2 copies of each page (as per printer settings), but subsequent PDFs all reverted to one copy each. This was Acrobat X Pro as well as Reader DC. Using Batch Print seems to essentially open each one serially, pulling the printer settings, and printing them one-by-one, thus eliminating whatever issue Acrobat (or Windows 10) seems to have with using the printer settings on multiple PDFs opening from the explorer at once.