How to count pages in multiple PDF files on Windows

1 minute read

I needed to know the total number of pages in hundreds of PDFs. Thanks to cpdf - Coherent PDF Command Line Tools I was able to get this done from the Windows Command Prompt on Windows 8.1. Here’s the command I used,

> forfiles /s /m *.pdf /c "cmd /c C:\Users\Admin\Documents\cpdf\cpdf.exe -pages @path >> C:\Users\Admin\Documents\pages.txt && echo. >> C:\Users\Admin\Documents\pages.txt"

This populates pages.txt with number of pages in each PDF it comes across in the directory (and sub-directories) it has been run in. You can then paste pages.txt into any spreadsheet to calculate the sum of the series.

How it works,

  1. This tells you the number of pages in a PDF file
    > cpdf.exe -pages sample-pdf-file.pdf
  2. FORFILES in Command Prompt (check FORFILES /? for help) lets you execute a command for a set of files.
    > forfiles /s /m *.pdf /c "cmd /c echo @file"
    # `/s` flag tells it to look into sub-directories.
    # `/m *.pdf` searches only PDF files.   
    # `/c "cmd /c echo @file"` tells it to run `echo @file` command in cmd.   
  3. Use >> to append stdout output to pages.txt

  4. In hindsight, this is unnecessary. && echo. >> C:\Users\Admin\Documents\pages.txt adds a newline after each pagecount. I added this because I didn’t see newlines when I checked this in notepad. But that’s probably because the output probably contained a Linux line ending (line feed aka \n) instead of the Windows line ending (carriage return and line feed \r\n).