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Old 04-25-2010, 08:55 AM   #1
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Any FREE software to crop PDF pages

Hi

I'm looking for a free software to crop PDF pages.

Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

Cheers
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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It might help to know what Operating System you're on, and whether or not you'd be OK with a command line tool.

Anyway, sopdf does this, and more (though with the right settings you can get it only to crop). It's very fast too. Calibre, which has its own subforum here, comes with a command line tool for cropping PDFs which you can automate if you combine with ghostscript (also free).

I gave instructions for using these to do batch crops of an entire directory of PDFs here and here.

Linux also has a GUI-based program called pdfedit.
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:35 PM   #3
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pdftk and multivalent should be able to do this as well.

I usually use pdflatex to crop / tweak .pdfs --- one can also print to a .ps file w/ appropriate page setting and re-distill.
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:23 PM   #4
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Pdftk cannot crop pages as far as I know. If it can, please post the command here. I use pdftk for a lot of things, I've never heard of using for it cropping before.

How does printing to a .ps file help? Please be specific.

We are talking about cropping individual pages here, not removing a page range.
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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Define a (custom) page size as desired.

Print the .pdf using said page size to a .ps file.

Distill to a pdf

Or use pdfcrop:

http://pdfcrop.sourceforge.net/

Or a script which uses pdftk:

#!/bin/bash

perl -pe "s/(Crop|Media)Box\s*\[(.+?)\]/\$1Box\[$2\]/g;" $1 | pdftk - output $3

(from http://konrad.familie-kieling.de/com...x/63-crop-pdfs )

Last edited by WillAdams; 04-25-2010 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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I use pdflatex to do things like this too, but I don't think pdflatex or perl/python scripts designed for linux are the answer for most users. (Unfortunately, it's not pdftk doing the cropping there, but perl...)

SoPDF is faster than any of those, and runs fine under windows with no dependencies, so that'd be my recommendation unless we've got a mac or linux user here.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frabjous View Post
It might help to know what Operating System you're on, and whether or not you'd be OK with a command line tool.

Anyway, sopdf does this, and more (though with the right settings you can get it only to crop). It's very fast too. Calibre, which has its own subforum here, comes with a command line tool for cropping PDFs which you can automate if you combine with ghostscript (also free).

I gave instructions for using these to do batch crops of an entire directory of PDFs here and here.

Linux also has a GUI-based program called pdfedit.
Thank you frabjous

I'm using WinXP, I'm ok with command line if no other GUI software available.

I'm not sure how to crop pages without seeing the pages?
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
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Most PDF editors I know simply change the viewable portion by changing the margin. I haven't come across one that actually crops and discards the unwanted areas.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:30 PM   #9
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Most PDF editors I know simply change the viewable portion by changing the margin. I haven't come across one that actually crops and discards the unwanted areas.
that's good enough for reading on the 6-inch screen
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by droople View Post
Thank you frabjous
I'm not sure how to crop pages without seeing the pages?
The programs I mentioned and linked to will automatically calculate the whitespace and remove all the whitespace possible. If all you're cutting out is whitespace, and you don't want to leave any behind, there shouldn't be an issue.

If you want to leave any whitespace there, or you want to crop out non-empty parts of the page, things get more complicated. I give some input on doing that with calibre's pdfmanipulate program in one of the threads I linked to, but without a GUI you just have to use trial and error, or measure what you need to crop.

SoPDF is a commandline program, but there are two simple GUI wrappers for it for windows. One I wrote, which you'll find you go far enough in the thread. Another Nathan Campos wrote, which you'll find if you search the forums here at Mobileread. His is nice because it shows any errors you get in the window, but mine has some other nice features (though I'm biased). (I don't personally use either, since I don't use Windows anymore.)

If I recall correctly it's the -m3 or "Fit Height" option that will only crop, not split the pages.

There are different levels of "leaving the rest behind" vs. cropping. Adobe Acrobat's cropping feature for example, just inserts a command for hiding portions of the page which is not respected by non-Adobe PDF viewers. The methods I've listed do better than that; they do genuinely resize the page. However, they don't fully remove elements that get cropped out if you're removing more than just whitespace; they just aren't shown. If all you're cropping is whitespace, however, there's no difference.

Last edited by frabjous; 04-25-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:11 AM   #11
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you might check out "papercrop"

(google is your friend)

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Old 04-26-2010, 03:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by frabjous View Post

There are different levels of "leaving the rest behind" vs. cropping. Adobe Acrobat's cropping feature for example, just inserts a command for hiding portions of the page which is not respected by non-Adobe PDF viewers. .
I had the oppportunity to use Adobe Acrobat 7 once. If you select the dedicated option for it, it is able to crop cleanly a pdf book, taking out all whitespace page by page (taking into account that some pages in the book can have a variable text content). It seems the end result is a really cropped pdf. Am I wrong?

This maybe would explain why the display time of this cropped file was soooooo long on my PRS-505.

Last edited by roger64; 04-26-2010 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:11 AM   #13
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mistake

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Old 04-26-2010, 08:26 AM   #14
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you might check out "papercrop"
(google is your friend)
PaperCrop converts the PDF to a .gif sequence of images, which means you lose any ability to use search or dictionary functions with your PDF. It'll also radically increase the size of the file. Still it IS useful for many purposes, especially if you have a multi-column PDF you want to make readable on a 6" screen by splitting the columns.

Quote:
I had the oppportunity to use Adobe Acrobat 7 once. If you select the dedicated option for it, it is able to crop cleanly a pdf book, taking out all whitespace page by page (taking into account that some pages in the book can have a variable text content). It seems the end result is a really cropped pdf. Am I wrong?
I don't know. I do have a copy of Adobe Acrobat (> 7) but almost never use it; I was mainly going by what others say on these forums. I don't remember a "dedicated" option but perhaps didn't look hard enough.

The PDF reading firmware on the Sony is made by Adobe, so I don't think you could tell testing with it.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:06 AM   #15
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I don't remember a "dedicated" option but perhaps didn't look hard enough.
Well, English is not my native language, as you strongly suspect. Let's try "a special tick-box for removing white space" (see the lower part of the attachment below, a screenshot from Acrobat 7)
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