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How to Crop a PDF: Step-By-Step Guide With Screenshots

December 30, 2021

Have a PDF open that is too long and needs to be cropped?

From whiting out your PDF to cropping it, there are many ways to edit an image and save it as a new file. However, using these methods is tedious work and involves utilizing more than one application

To get around this problem, we’ve created a guide to crop PDFs using various methods you can use to shorten your documents. This way, you can quickly accomplish your task without having to utilize a bunch of different software.

That said, there are many programs available that allow you to edit PDFs. Some offer free trials, although they are usually rather limited in what they allow you to do. So, with that, let’s move on to our discussion of PDFs and how to crop them.

Why Crop your PDF?

In order to make sure your document looks perfect on every device, you might need to crop the PDF. Cropping a document can be tricky, but it’s one of the most important editing steps you’ll take when creating a digital file.

The good news is that you can easily crop your PDF with the help of our essential tips for making scanned documents fit on a page. 

  • Cropping a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat DC
  • Divide the document into multiple pages
  • Edit the scan settings in your photo program
  • Crop a JPEG image file into a PDF file

With these methods in mind, let’s examine each one independently, so you’ll know exactly how to crop your PDF. While there are obviously more steps to go through, this is the de facto method for cropping PDFs.

Once you do it a few times, you’ll find that it’s not so bad. But if you prefer something a bit more straightforward, keep reading to learn other ways to crop your PDF file.

Cropping PDFs

There are multiple ways to go about cropping a PDF. With the advent of third-party PDF software, you no longer have to rely solely on Adobe to do this for you (although we’ll show how to use it, as well).

Cropping a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat DC

You want your documents to be consistent. With Adobe Acrobat DC, it’s easy to ensure that your pages look neat and tidy. As the creator of the PDF, it makes sense that Adobe would make this process a breeze.

  • Using Acrobat, open your PDF file
  • Click the tool “Edit PDF”
  • Select “Tools”
  • Select “Edit PDF” (You can also choose “Edit PDF” in the right pane)
  • Using your secondary toolbar, select “Crop Pages”
  • Now, draw a rectangle over the area you wish to crop
  • You may also use the corner handles to drag the rectangle. Do this until you get the preferred size
  • Next, double-click in the crop rectangle
  • A dialog box called “Set Page Boxes” will appear. This lets you know the measurement margins of page, and the crop rectangle will be cropped. 
  • Feel free to adjust the crop area as you please. You can make new selections within the dialog box just before you click “OK” 
  • You want to make sure that you apply these same settings to any additional pages
  • You can also set the page’s range or select “All”  
  • Select “OK” to initiate cropping of your selected page
  • Select the folder you wish to export the file to. You may also select “Choose a Different Folder” if you want to save in another folder

When ready, just name your new file and choose “Save.”

Divide the Document Into Multiple Pages

If you can’t find the right page size in your document, you can try dividing it into multiple pages. For example, if you have a two-page document that only barely fits on a single sheet of paper, you could divide the document into two pages. 

This will give your document a better chance at fitting within the constraints of the chosen page size. This is just as important as scanning documents on large sheets of paper, though it might require more time because you’ll need to scan each page twice.

But if you’re in a pinch and you don’t have any other options, dividing the document will work.

Edit the Scan Settings in Your Photo Program

If you’re trying to crop a PDF from an image, it’s essential to use the photo program that was used to scan the document. It’s easy to do this in most editing software.

In Photoshop, for example, follow these steps:

  • Go to the toolbar
  • Click on its Crop Tool
  • Use the tool to Crop the border edges of the document
  • Create a new crop area 
  • You can also drag the corners to specify what the crop boundaries are

Please note that you can also specify the cropping options with the program’s Control bar.

Crop a JPEG Image File into a PDF File

One of the best ways to resize a JPEG file into a PDF is to do it in Adobe Acrobat. Follow these steps if you’re using a JPEG or JPG file:

  • Open the document
  • Click on “File”
  • Then, select “Image” 
  • Click on the thumbnail image of your image
  • Go to “Crop” 
  • Choose the size that you want your document to be
  • Save it and print as needed


This works well for documents with dimensions that are between 8 and 17 inches wide. What’s more, this is a good method when you’re dealing solely with JPG image formats. 

If you have a PDF, it’s best to use the methods outlined above under “Cropping a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat DC.” This will ensure the proper cropping of your PDF file.


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What Is a PDF?

PDF files have become one of the most common ways to save and share documents online. It’s a free and easy-to-use format that offers high compatibility with many software programs. 

For these reasons, it has become a popular choice for many businesses. The PDF format is known for its versatility and its ability to be viewed on any device. If you’re not familiar with this document type, here is a detailed guide about what PDF files are, how they work, and where you can find them.

A PDF file is a compressed file that can contain text, images, or both. It is created by using an application called Adobe Acrobat, which converts the document into a PDF. These files are also known as Portable Document Format files.

A PDF has a two-layer structure, just like most other documents: a data layer and an information layer. The data layer contains the text and graphics in the document, while the information layer contains all of the formatting decisions, such as fonts and colors.

As mentioned earlier, there are many software programs that can open these files. The most popular ones are Acrobat Reader (for Windows), Acrobat Distiller (for Mac), and Adobe Reader (for PC).

Another important thing to note about PDFs is that they’re often used to share information with people who don’t have certain software available on their computers or devices such as printers or cameras. 

For example, if you belong to a co-op and cannot print your membership card at home but wish to keep it for future reference, you could create a PDF of it instead.

These files are often accessed online without downloading them via websites like Dropbox or Google Drive and social media apps like Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct.

Why You Might Need Fillable PDF Forms

The PDF format is a software-based file that was designed in the early 1990s and has since become one of the most commonly used formats for saving and sharing documents online. It is widely supported by many software programs, including Microsoft Word and Acrobat.

The PDF format works by using tags to define the content within a document. The tags allow the file to be translated into other languages while maintaining its original formatting. This allows it to be viewed on any operating system or computer hardware, as well as on mobile devices.

In order to open a PDF file, you need software that can interpret these tags and reassemble the information from them so it can be seen in its entirety. 

Software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or various freeware programs can read PDF files, but there are also specialized programs like Foxit Reader for iOS, which can read and display PDF files on Apple products.

One of the notable features of this type of document is that it’s a digital version of print, making it easy for businesses to share or distribute their work digitally without having to purchase another printer or paper setup.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are a few different ways to crop your PDF file. The most notable method is via Adobe’s own Acrobat DC. But if you don’t have access to the software, you can try the other methods discussed above.

Keep in mind that you can always try a third-party application. There are numerous programs nowadays that let you manipulate PDF files at will. Some cost money, while others let you use a free trial.

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.
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