General command line options

Run a profile:

pdfToolbox [-w] [-t] [-o=o] [-f=f] [-s=s] [--incremental] [-p=p] [--hitsperpage=hitsperpage] [--hitsperdoc=hitsperdoc] [--setvariable=setvariable] [-r=r] [-l=l] [--analyze] [--cachefolder=cachefolder] [--noprogress] [--nosummary] [--nohits] [--uncompressimg] [--timeout=timeout] <profile> <input file> [<input file> [...] ]

Run an action:

pdfToolbox <action> [--cachefolder=cachefolder] [-o=o] [-f=f] [-s=s] [--incremental] [-w] [-t] {action specific parameters} <input file> [<input file> [...] ]

Only process certain pages

-p --pagerange=<firstpage>[-<lastpage>]

Allows to define a pagerange to process when perfoming the following tasks:

  • Running a profile that contains only checks
  • Running the action --createeps
  • Running the action --saveasimg

Running a profile with the option --analyze also honors this option.


first page
first page to be processed
last page
last page to be processed

Setting the cache folder


Sets the cache folder path. This is set by default to:

%AppData%\callas software\callas pdfToolbox CLI <version>
/Users/<USERNAME>/Library/Preferences/callas software/callas pdfToolbox CLI <version>
<home directory as defined in /etc/passwd>/.callas software/callas pdfToolbox CLI <version>

This option is mandatory when running the CLI as a user without a home directory.

The cachefolder should have sufficient read/write permissions for the executing user. Especially when the license file is only stored in the cachefolder, this file should be readable by other users.


absolute path to custom cache folder

Empty the Profile cache

--emptyprofilecache [--cachefolder=<path>]

For performance reasons, bigger profiles are unpacked during first usage and containing ICC-profiles and config files are stored in a local profile cache. This command deletes this profile cache.

Empty the font cache

--emptyfontcache [--cachefolder=<path>]

For performance reasons, fonts found on the respective system are catalogized in an internal font cache. This command deletes this font cache.

Incremental saving


Allows to modify the input file, only writing the changes to the original PDF. This can increase the speed significantly since pdfToolbox CLI does not need to create a new copy of the file.

When using the action --impose together with option --preprocessingprofile

or the action --mergeimpose, the incremental saving option can be used in conjunction with --outputfile or --outputfolder to speed up the overall processing time, because all file modifications during these multi-step processes are then performed on a single temporary PDF file.

PDF structure and font optimization


The internal PDF structure and fonts are not optimized when saving the PDF file.

Enable processing PDF with password protection for editing and printing


To enable Profile-processing of a password-protected PDF. This option can be used for PDFs with restrictions for editing and printing, which will become unsecured. The resulting PDF will have no security setting.

The entered password will be visible and may be grabbed or logged by other processes on the machine.


Password of the PDF (avoiding editing or printing of the PDF)

Enable processing PDF with password protection for opening

--openpassword=<password to open PDF>

To enable Profile-processing of an "open"-password-protected PDF. With this option only PDFs with restrictions for opening can be unsecured. The resulting PDF will have no security setting.
Available since pdfToolbox 10.2.

The entered password will be visible and may be grabbed or logged by other processes on the machine.


"Open" password of the PDF

Define the suffix

-s --suffix=<suffix>

Defines the suffix that will be appended to the resulting file(s) filename.

The defined suffix is added before the files type suffix (e.g. Output.pdf will become Output_PDFA.pdf when using --suffix=_PDFA).


string to append to filename

Font folders

If a font is not embedded and an embedding is required by a profile, pdfToolbox CLI will search the system font directories in order to find the needed font file, which are:

System Folder
  • C:\Windows\Fonts
  • /Users/<user>/Library/Fonts
  • /Library/Fonts
  • /System/Library/Fonts
  • /usr/share/fonts 
  • /usr/lib/X11/fonts
  • /usr/local/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts
  • /<user home>/.fonts

Additionally the font folder installed together with pdfToolbox CLI will be searched.
This folder lies next to the executable in "<callas pdfToolbox CLI directory>\etc\APDFL\Resource\Font".

ICC profiles folders

The following folders are searched for required ICC-profiles, unless they are already contained in the .kfpx-profile already.

These folders lies next to the executable in:

  • "<callas pdfToolbox CLI directory>\etc\ICC profiles"
  • "<callas pdfToolbox CLI directory>\etc\APDFL\Resource\Color\Profiles"

Some system folders for colors are searched addtionally:

\Library\Application Support\Adobe\Color

Set a processing timeout


Sets the maximum processing time in seconds. If the process exceeds this duration, the execution process will be killed and the processing will result in an error.

Set path to referenced XObjects for PDF/X-5g, PDF/X-5pg and PDF/VT-2

--referencexobjectpath=<path to folder with resources>

Referenced, external resources of the PDF are searched in the same folder as the input PDF by default. To define another folder, this parameter can be used.