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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview Apps
I discovered this little jewel of a feature of the new Preview in Leopard the other day when my girlfriend noticed that the chapter of a book she had scanned for class (she's a grad student/TA) had an inch thick border of black on the margins (which as most people who make photocopies know happens all the time) for whatever reason –– something to do with the way the scanner interprets the distance between the glass and the cover. Well, being an environmentalist at heart, she didn't want to waste any more toner than she had to so, she asked me if there was an easy way to crop it.

Somehow, I just intuitively tried the following and it worked! The cropping isn't some smart feature, however, but rather depends on the fact that each page in the PDF you select (and all pages can be selected) needs the same crop.

So, open up whatever PDF you want to crop in Preview. Hit the Select button in the toolbar and crop the first page as you want all the selected pages to be cropped. The cropping tool works just like any crop tool in your average photo editing software. Then, in the sidebar on the right, select a thumbnail of any page (make sure the sidebar is in thumbnail view and not Table of Contents or Annotations view). Now check to be sure that the crop size is what you want to be applied to all the pages you select, then hit Select All, and go to Tools » Crop or hit Command-K. Now your selection is cropped just the way you want it! It couldn't be easier if you ask me.

My girlfriend's PDF scan looked so clean it was as if it was never scanned at all but rather just converted from some .doc file. Disclosure: I just checked the full list of features of Leopard and this hint is vaguely described as "Batch Image Operations." I suppose that images are much like PDFs, but I was genuinely shocked when Preview so efficiently and cleanly cropped my girlfriend's PDF file.
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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview | 9 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: sophistry on Nov 15, '07 08:08:03AM

When I lived in Melbourne we used to call it "trimming". ;-)

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soph



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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: lras on Nov 15, '07 08:14:38AM

This hint works with Tiger 10.4.10 too. I'm using Preview Version 3.0.9 (409).



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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: landis on Nov 15, '07 11:23:01AM

Right - not a 10.5 only hint as it's worked under 10.4 as well. But very useful if you didn't know about it.



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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: meb on Nov 15, '07 08:22:23AM

From Preview Help:

  • Choose Tools > Select Tool.
  • Select the portion of the page you want to keep.
  • Choose Tools > Inspector, and click "Crop and Rotate."
  • To crop every page in the document to the selection, click Crop All Pages.
  • To crop only the current page to the selection, click Crop Page.
Cropping a document doesn't destroy its contents. You can view the uncropped document by choosing View > PDF Display > Media Box.

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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: norz on Nov 03, '11 02:52:04AM

NB: sometimes when the PDF document is reopened, the pages aren't cropped anymore.
Cropping can be enabled back, by selecting View > PDF Display > Crop Box.

(Acrobat Pro 9 automatically shows them as cropped.)
[10.5.8]



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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: venetia.brown on Jul 09, '10 11:40:28PM

THANK YOU!!!!
Just needed to let you know how much effort you just saved me - all the doc I need have massive boarders around every page - you've probably just saved my eyes from an early death :)
REALLY APPRECIATIVE!



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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: arutgers03 on Oct 24, '10 05:46:47AM

Is there a way to crop the original file, so the white space is discarded? I would like to send sheet music to the iPad with the margins cropped out for larger viewing.



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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: richardjenkins on Aug 21, '12 09:22:01AM
On 10.7.4 you are advised that the crop won't work on other devices.

I cropped my PDF using the excellent tip above, then printed it to a new PDF file. The crop persists when printing, so the new file is cropped.

Thanks all for your input!

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10.5: Crop a multi-page PDF in Preview
Authored by: bootareen on May 14, '12 11:20:56AM

This works in 10.7 Lion too. These little tricks are why I love Macs.



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