Occasionally I have to sign some document (old style, with a pen) and send it electronically. Sometimes those are multi-page documents. Since it is uncommon to send it back as multiple image files after scanning, and multi-page image formats are uncommon as well, I’d like to send them as PDF file. Before I discovered this method, I used to insert the scanned images into OpenOffice Writer, and then create the PDF with it. This works, but it is a bit cumbersome to tell OpenOffice Writer to maximise the images (eliminating page borders, etc.), especially when there are a lot of pages. It just doesn’t feel like a real solution.
So, here we go:
- GIMP (I’m currently at version 2.6.8, but this will probably work with older versions as well)
- GraphicsMagick (tested with 1.3.8) or ImageMagick (tested with 22.214.171.124)
- Get the scanned pages opened as layers of one image in GIMP. If they are available as files already, you can use File / Open as Layers….
- Make sure that the layers are ordered in the following way: Page 1 must be the bottom layer, the last page must be the top layer. You can reorder them via the “Layers” dialogue (activate it via the Windows / Dockable Dialogues menu if you don’t see it)
- Save As… and choose “MNG animation” or just add “.mng” to the filename. (In case you are wondering, MNG is the animated counterpart to PNG).
A dialogue window saying “MNG plug-in can only handle layers as animation frames” will come up – choose “Save as Animation” here and press the Export button. In the next dialogue you don’t need to make any changes to the defaults, just press the Save button.
- Now, open a console window and simply enter
convert document.mng document.pdf