I have a PDF which was formatted to be printed out in the middle of a letter-sized page, with borders which consequently take up most of the size of each screen. How do I reformat a PDF's borders, either in InDesign, or another app, to the correct size?

The original PDF is linked here, I received permission from the publisher to print it at the local bookstore.

  • Why the downvotes? I can't improve my question without input – NoahM Sep 7 '16 at 18:40
  • The reason for the downvotes is because you didn't explain what you already tried and what you are having difficulty doing. It's not clear from the question if you have the original InDesign file or just the PDF. An example screenshot to illustrate the issue would help. It's also not clear what the expected result is (i.e. are you just trying to crop the PDF? Do you want to reduce the size of margins and re-flow the text?) – Scribblemacher Sep 8 '16 at 14:41
  • @Scribblemacher, I didn't know the first thing about PDF cropping, hence the simplicity of the question. I can add in a link to a PDF of the type I discussed. – NoahM Sep 8 '16 at 15:02

If you're using Acrobat, you can use the Crop Pages tool under the Edit PDF toolbar. Use the tool to draw a bounding box around the content you want to keep.

Draw a box using Crop Pages tool

In the Crop Pages dialogue, set your page range to "All"

Crop Pages dialogue box

Ta-daa, your document is cropped :)

Cropped PDF

You can do a similar thing in InDesign, by placing your PDF across multiple pages as graphics, then changing the page size for the document.

To paste multiple pages of the PDF, make sure you have "Show Import Options" checked in your Place dialogue box…

Show Import Options

…then set Pages to "All" to load all the pages into your Place cursor as individual graphics, so you can place them one-by-one. Make sure each one is centred on the page.

Import Options dialogue

Now set your Page Size to the size of the content you want to keep. It may help to draw a box around the content to get the size…

Box around content

…then use the measurements of the box to set the page size in the Document Setup dialogue.

Document Setup

Now you have a document without a white border, ready to export as a new PDF :)

Cropped document

It's certainly quicker with Acrobat, but the InDesign method can also be useful. Hope this helps!

  • Are either of these options applicable on a whole document level, or just a page-by-page level? – NoahM Sep 8 '16 at 2:11
  • Updated my answer to include instructions for multi-page cropping. – Troy Lissoway Sep 8 '16 at 14:37

Margins are editable under Layout > Margins and Columns...

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Bleed settings under File > Document Setup...

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  • 1
    This won't actually affect any content in a placed PDF though. – Cai Sep 7 '16 at 17:39

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