Combine multiple PDFs into a single publication

The Multi-Variant Publishing Plugin User Guide

By using multi-variant publishing, it's possible to publish multiple variants of the same book to PDF ProCSS, then merge them into a single PDF. This is especially useful for creating multi-locale publications, such as a manual with instructions in different languages.

Prerequisites

  • Configure the book

  1. Open a book in Author, or create a new one.

    Tip! Try creating a new book then placing an existing book inside it. That way, you can create unique objects for your merged publication (such as front and back matter) and place them inside the new book. Publish the new book to create merged PDFs, publish the existing book to create single PDFs.

  2. Add the merged PDF's front matter to the book.

    By default, front matter is any topic with the template MVP Front Matter. Administrators can change this however, and it may have been changed in your library. If you're not sure what template to use, ask one of your library administrators.

    The merged PDF will include one set of front matter. This will be the front matter from the first publication included in the merged PDF. For example, if you published three PDFs then merged them, the merged PDF would include the front matter of the first PDF you published.

  3. Add a multi-variant table of contents (MVP TOC) between, directly before, or directly after the front matter topics.

    By default, the MVP TOC is any topic with the template MVP TOC. Administrators can change this however, and it may have been changed in your library. If you're not sure what template to use, ask one of your library administrators.

    The MVP TOC is a special table of contents that links to the start of each variant in the merged publication. For example, your merged PDF could include English, French, and German variants of the same book. The MVP TOC will have three entries, English, French, and German, linking to each of those sections. The individual sections will still have their own table of contents.

  4. (optional) Add additional content to the MVP TOC topic.

    You can add additional content to the MVP TOC topic. For example, a title or an explanation of the MVP TOC page. This content will appear above the TOC entries in the merged publication.

  5. Add the merged PDF's back matter to the book.

    By default, back matter is any topic with the template MVP Back Matter. Administrators can change this however, and it may have been changed in your library. If you're not sure what template to use, ask one of your library administrators.

    The merged PDF will include one set of back matter. This will be the back matter from the first publication included in the merged PDF. For example, if you published three PDFs then merged them, the merged PDF would have the front matter from the first PDF you published.

  • Publish

  1. In Author, select a book that's been configured for publishing merged PDFs.

  2. Select Publish > Multi-variant.

    If you can't see the Multi-variant option, contact one of your library administrators. They may need to grant you access to multi-variant publishing.

  3. Under Publishing profile:, select PDF ProCSS.

    Note: The PDF ProCSS publishing profile may have a different description in your library, or there may be several PDF ProCSS publishing profiles. You can select any publishing profile based on PDF ProCSS, that doesn't have the Clean Up Folder publishing action.

  4. Select the locale, variants, and variables of the publications you want to merge together.

    The multi-variant plugin

    Tip: Save the locale, variant, and variable selections for this book so you can quickly load them later.

  5. Click Publish.

    Author begins publishing the individual publications you've selected. The Merge button will become available after all of the individual publications are finished publishing.

  6. Click Merge.

    Author merges the individual publications into a single PDF.

  7. View the published output.

    Note: When you open the merged publishing job, the merged PDF file is called merged.pdf.