I need some help. In the past few weeks I have found a large portion of archived ww2 documents. Now I'm trying to make proper PDF's out of these files but there is one issue. The archiver who digitized the documents has left a black space around the documents which I obviously would like to remove. This issue however is that the documents differ in size, position and rotation. I have added an example file.

Now I'm wondering if it is possible to design an action which allows me to manually crop a file and then save and close it. in general the batch and action should open the image, allow me to crop and then continue to save and close the file for me. I want to have a minimum of mouse and keystroke actions as we are talking avout several 10.000 images which have to be processed.

Can any one help me?


  • What have you tried? – Scott Apr 29 '20 at 18:48
  • There are tools for this that are way beter than photosop can be. – joojaa Apr 29 '20 at 19:05
  • @Scott: I have made an Action which has an Open, Stop, Save and Close action. Then start a batch process on all the files but immediatly after the stop it fails. – Buck_Compton Apr 29 '20 at 19:14
  • @joojaa: any tip you got is welcome! – Buck_Compton Apr 29 '20 at 19:15
  • @Joonas: Yes it does for a large part. I do have one more question. It now lets me adapt an allready existing crop. Is it possible to allow me to set my own crop manually? – Buck_Compton Apr 29 '20 at 20:45

If you just want remove the black areas but keep the info on the right side you may be able to make an action which automatizes this completely. It works for this image, but it depends on how different the tens of thousands of images are.

  1. Convert the Background layer to a Smart Object.
  2. Add a Filter > Minimum filter with a Radius of 6 px and Preserve set to Roundness. This removes the number in the top of the image and unwanted white dots in the black areas.
  3. Add a Threshold adjustment and leave the Threshold Level at the default 128. Now all pixels darker than 50% black will turn completely black.
  4. Apply Image > Trim with Based On set to Top Left Pixel Color. This crops away the black area.
  5. Enter Image > Canvas Size. Check Relative, and add 16 px to both the width and the height with the Anchor set to the center. This way you make sure that you get a tiny black border around the white areas so you don't crop away any of the white area.
  6. Turn off the Threshold layer and the Smart Filters.
  7. Flatten the image and save.

  • Thank you for the answers it works just fine on a test but the matter is that I like the adittional ribbon to be deleted as well. Havn't figured out how to do just that. As resizing the canvas doesnt work because position and size differ a lot per ribbon – Buck_Compton May 1 '20 at 21:00
  • Is the white page always to the left like in this image? And always the same size more or less? Then you could crop once more to the size of the page to get rid of the ribbon. – Wolff May 1 '20 at 21:09
  • No the pages have different sizes. That's the main issue for getting a good action for it. – Buck_Compton May 2 '20 at 8:19

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