Linux Commands Examples

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Portable Document Format (PDF) document embedded file extractor (version 3.03)

see also : pdfimages - pdffonts - pdfinfo - pdftocairo - pdftohtml - pdftoppm - pdftops - pdftotext


pdfdetach [options] [PDF-file]

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Pdfdetach lists or extracts embedded files (attachments) from a Portable Document Format (PDF) file.


Some of the following options can be set with configuration file commands. These are listed in square brackets with the description of the corresponding command line option.


List all of the embedded files in the PDF file. File names are converted to the text encoding specified by the "-enc" switch.

-save number

Save the specified embedded file. By default, this uses the file name associated with the embedded file (as printed by the "-list" switch); the file name can be changed with the "-o" switch.


Save all of the embedded files. This uses the file names associated with the embedded files (as printed by the "-list" switch). By default, the files are saved in the current directory; this can be changed with the "-o" switch.

-o path

Set the file name used when saving an embedded file with the "-save" switch, or the directory used by "-saveall".

-enc encoding-name

Sets the encoding to use for text output (embedded file names). The encoding-name must be defined with the unicodeMap command (see xpdfrc(5)). This defaults to "Latin1" (which is a built-in encoding). [config file: textEncoding]

-opw password

Specify the owner password for the PDF file. Providing this will bypass all security restrictions.

-upw password

Specify the user password for the PDF file.

-cfg config-file

Read config-file in place of ~/.xpdfrc or the system-wide config file.


Print copyright and version information.


Print usage information. (-help and --help are equivalent.)

configuration file

Pdfdetach reads a configuration file at startup. It first tries to find the user’s private config file, ~/.xpdfrc. If that doesn’t exist, it looks for a system-wide config file, typically /usr/local/etc/xpdfrc (but this location can be changed when pdfinfo is built). See the xpdfrc(5) man page for details.

exit codes

The Xpdf tools use the following exit codes:


No error.


Error opening a PDF file.


Error opening an output file.


Error related to PDF permissions.


Other error.

see also

pdfimages , pdffonts , pdfinfo , pdftocairo , pdftohtml , pdftoppm , pdftops , pdftotext


The pdfinfo software and documentation are copyright 1996-2011 Glyph & Cog, LLC.

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