View Full Version : Util to Crop PDF's?

04-20-2006, 07:52 PM
I'm trying to find a tool (preferably free), to crop PDF's, and get rid of margins... even on a 24" monitor, I hate wasting space, but it'll be doubly important if/when the ebook readers come out.

Does anyone know of one? I know full Acrobat can do it, but haven't been able to find anything in my googling.


02-14-2007, 12:03 AM
If you are on a mac you can just use preview to crop either one or all pages. Assuming of course you are on a mac. If you are not, sorry I can't help you.


02-14-2007, 06:13 AM
I haven't tried it, but there is a perl script called pdfcrop:
PDFCROP takes a PDF file as input, calculates the BoundingBox
for each page by the help of ghostscript and generates a output
PDF file with removed margins.

02-21-2007, 11:37 PM
Well, you can use Document - crop pages - to adjust the margins (makes it invisible) without actually removing the margins. If you want to remove the margins, try Document - crop pages - select custom in Change page size.


03-26-2007, 04:52 AM
Or you could use this:
the "tools" is freeware...

Mac Jones
06-21-2009, 05:09 PM
just a heads up

I looked into this for the DX as it's very important (necessity). I have a Mac.
I tried a few things with varying success.

But it appears that good old Preview does it best

very fast and effective.

06-22-2009, 10:30 AM
SoPDF ( will crop the margins, along with allowing other optimization choices for viewing on E-Readers. Free and open source (and hosted right here at MR.)

I think there are only linux and windows versions right now, though the source code is there and should be portable to a mac without too much trouble.

05-18-2010, 01:16 PM
Just to be sure everybody knows ;-)

A x-plattform tool with gui to crop pdfs. (not image based!)

05-24-2010, 04:21 PM
Recently, I've had good luck with desk UnPDF ( Does a very nice job of knocking out those %^$-Amber ABC headers & footers. (Free trial).


01-20-2011, 02:42 PM
Because often even and odd pages have different margins, sometimes it can be not as straight forward as one would hope to have best cropping. You can go for the lowest (or rather largest) common denominator but then you end up with too much white space.

When i have time and want to have the best output (least white space) i use Nitro PDF Professional. It allows to crop single page, range of pages and all pages combined with the choice for even, odd or both.

For quick crops I found one free utulity on the web with good graphical user interface (no command-line tool) called PDF Scissors which seems to be the easiest tool. Ans as it turns out this program was written by a fellow Kindle user!
It is impressive - first it scans all pages and overlays them graphically on top of each other - that way you can easily find optimal cropping size. You can preview your cropping by going through each page and adjust.

It's a java App, probably runs on all platforms. Brilliant for quick croppings!

01-20-2011, 04:37 PM
Because often even and odd pages have different margins, sometimes it can be not as straight forward as one would hope to have best cropping. You can go for the lowest (or rather largest) common denominator but then you end up with too much white space.

BRISS automatically groups pages into categories so you can set crop regions for each. In the kind of situation you describe, odd and even would be put into different groups. It does the analyzing the grouping for you (though you can manually exclude page ranges from the grouping to handle them individually). In this case, I think the free tools are better than the expensive, commercial closed ones.

01-20-2011, 06:32 PM
Briss seems to be the best utily out there to crop pdfs :)

01-23-2011, 08:09 AM
The best way I've found to crop PDFs is a two stage process. First of all remove all the bits of text (headers, footers, etc) with a cropper (I use Nitro because I have it, but Briss will work fairly well if it can read it). Just get it roughly right, and don't worry about white spaces.

Then run it through soPDF on mode 3. This will remove all the margins, leaving you with each page at its maximum possible size.

10-11-2011, 10:01 AM
There are now a number of utilities that attempt to re-paginate letter-sized PDFs so that they fit better on a 6-inch reader screen, but work at the graphical level so that figures and formulas are not lost, e.g. k2pdfopt (, PaperCrop (, and pdfread (

06-08-2012, 11:19 AM
pdf scissors does an excellent job! It not only crops the files but removes the extra bits not included within the boundaries. Before I used to crop 50% from the right and save the "left" pages and then crop 50% from the left to save the right page and mix the two files alternatively. This worked but the resulting file was twice as big. With pdfscissors this doesn't happen.

03-18-2013, 05:41 AM
If the pdf is a scanned book, you may use Scan Tailor ( to process the images and produce a much better image for e-book use.

Otherwise there is also Briss ( which does a good job if the original pdf is quite good.

04-21-2013, 03:15 AM
anyone know if there's a way for preview in os x to actually save the cropped pdf just like that, that is cropped. It offers a simple and quick way to crop pages, but apparently it only presents them as cropped on os x, it doesn't save the file with the pages actually cropped, so as soon as you open it with another piece of software, the pages are still intact. A big letdown as it makes the feature nearly useless.

As Ray Chandler famously said, that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split. When I crop a pdf, god damn it, I crop it so it stays cropped.