You may find yourself in need of cropping a PDF, for instance, trimming the margins or cutting the unwanted content for easier file transfer. Despite the reason, it’s time to learn how to crop a PDF without Adobe Acrobat.

In this post, we will recommend a few useful PDF croppers to easily crop all pages in a PDF on Windows and Mac.

 

How to Crop a PDF with Desktop Tools

This section will focus on two professional PDF programs and a Windows 10 built-in tool for trimming PDFs.

How to Crop a PDF on Windows

SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is an eligible desktop PDF cropper on Windows. It allows users to set certain margins for trimming. Furthermore, this PDF editor integrates a useful toolset which enables users to edit, whiteout, add images or links, crop PDF pages, or change page setup in the “Edit” tab.

Step 1: Download and install SwifDoo PDF on your PC, then open the software;

Step 2: Import a PDF to the SwifDoo PDF’s workstation by clicking on the Open button;

Step 3: Select Edit and then choose Crop to start trimming the PDF;

Step 4: Press the Auto Selection and SwifDoo PDF automatically resize the PDF; click Adjustments to set the margins to your preferences.

Step 5: When finished, choose Apply Changes to save all the changes made on the current PDF.

swifdoo-pdf-cropperIn the Adjustments page, users can change measurement units and set margins if they want. If you are required to crop all pages within the PDF, simply click on “Page Range” or specify which pages to be trimmed.

If you want to resize a picture in a PDF document, click on the image file in “View” mode. You can rotate, change opacity, delete, or save the image locally. However, you cannot rely on SwifDoo PDF to crop a PDF image.

                                                                          Free Download 

Foxit PDF

Foxit PDF is another reputable PDF program within the industry. As a comprehensive PDF tool, Foxit PDF is an expert in cropping PDF pages. Compared to SwifDoo PDF, the steps for resizing a page with Foxit PDF may be slightly distinguished but the cropping result has no obvious difference. Let’s see how to crop a PDF file in Foxit:

Step 1: Download and install Foxit PDF on your computer. The installation process may be a bit longer since the installation package is 560 MB;

Step 2: Open a PDF with Foxit PDF;

Step 3: Click Organize and select Crop Pages;

Step 4: Draw an area that is needed to be resized and double click the area to trigger the Set Page Dimensions window;

foxit-pdf-cropperWithin the window, users can control margins, change page size, and specify page range. For those who need to edit or crop a PDF image, just follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose Edit Object in the Edit tab, and then select Image;

Step 2: Click on an image and right click your mouse to select Add Clip Path;

Step 3: Choose the shape to crop the image: round rectangle, rectangle, eclipse, curve, polygon, and drawing.

Users need to apply the shape to an area that needs to be cropped on an image. Then click ESC to finish the process. If you need to undo the cropping action, click Clear Clip Path in the Edit Image mode.

Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool, rather than a professional PDF cropper, is actually a Windows-based screenshot utility, which is capable of capturing an open window, rectangular area, a free-from area, or the whole screen. As a natural built-in app, Snipping Tool is 100% safe and free to use. Check out how to crop a PDF for free with Snipping Tool on Windows 10:

snipping-tool

Step 1: Open a PDF and turn to the page that is needed to be cropped;

Step 2: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, then type Snipping Tool on the search bar, and hit the result to run the program;

snipping-tool-1

Step 3: Select a preferred Mode from Free-form snip, Rectangular Snip, Window snip, or Full-screen Snip (among all modes, rectangular may be the most applicable one for most cases);

Step 4: Select the New button to screenshot the current PDF page, then draw an area to select the rectangular shape you have cropped from the PDF;

Step 5: When a new window containing the screenshot section pops up, click File to select Save in order to output the file in PNG, GIF, JPEG, and MHT formats.

After the page is cropped or captured, the image will appear within the tool’s workplace. Users can directly copy, write, edit, and share it as a separate file.

Though free to use, this tool cannot set exact margins to crop or trim. That’s why we need the above two professional PDF tools as well.

How to Crop a PDF on Mac

The easiest method for cropping a PDF on Mac is to utilize a free program - Preview. Without download or registration, this app can help users to resize PDF documents and trim the margins in an ideal manner.

Preview

For Mac users, cropping a PDF on their Mac devices seems to be a snap thanks to the help of the built-in tool, Preview. This natural Mac-based PDF viewer is both a PDF editor and cropper. In addition, Preview is a reliable image cropper on Mac. Without further description, let’s have a look at how to resize a PDF on Mac:

Step 1: Open a PDF in Preview and select the Show Markup Toolbar button. Alternatively, you can press the Rectangular Selection button if ever the Markup toolbar doesn’t pop up;

Step 2: Draw an area with your mouse or touch bar to keep the selected part;

Step 3: Save the changes by clicking on the Crop button in the Markup toolbar.

Tip: Preview offers the Undo Crop option as well. If you need to cancel the cropping action,  choose Undo Crop in the Edit tab.

How to Crop a PDF Online

Online PDF tools’ biggest strength is they don’t require registration or download and provide free tasks per day. Users just need to open the website, upload the PDF, and crop the PDF pages. However, the free service has certain limitations, for example, file size or total file pages.

Chrome

Google Chrome is a multi-platform supported web browser favored by many users. It can help change page view, rotate and print a PDF. Meanwhile, Chrome is a good free PDF cropper as well.

google-chrome-cropperStep 1: Open a PDF document with your Google Chrome Browser;

Step 2: Click the Print button at the top right corner;

Step 3: Scroll your mouse down to select relevant options in More settings. Chrome enables users to change page size, quality, scale, and pages per sheet.

Step 4: When finished, choose Print to export the cropped PDF.

When you don’t need to either set exact margins for a PDF or crop a PDF image, Google Chrome may be a good way to resize and print a PDF. Otherwise, choose another online PDF tool.

EasePDF

As the name suggests, EasePDF is bound to make your PDF work easier. This online program has incorporated more than 30 features to be an all-in-one online PDF tool. With regard to cropping a PDF online, EasePDF, similar to other online platforms, simplifies the whole process and here’s how to readjust the page size of a PDF:

easepdf-cropper

Step 1: Visit the official website and click Crop PDF in All PDF Tools;

Step 2: Upload your PDF file to the workplace via Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or URL;

Step 3: Wait for automatic cropping. When finished, click Download to export your resized PDF.

EasePDF allows users to save this newly created PDF into cloud storage platforms or share it as a URL, email attachment, and QR code. Like Google Chrome, EasePDF still fails to change the page margins if needed.

 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, trimming a PDF is not a complicated task. Desktop PDF tools are comprehensive PDF croppers in comparison to several online tools. Offline tools are usually equipped with many more functionalities that allow users to decide where and how to crop. If you need a desktop PDF cropper, SwifDoo PDF may be a good choice as it is both lightweight and feature-rich.

 

FAQs about How to Crop a PDF

Q: How do I crop a PDF with Adobe PhotoShop?

A: Though PhotoShop is widely known as an image editor, it can edit PDF as well.

Step 1: Open a PDF document in PhotoShop, then select the Crop Tool;

Step 2: If you have used the tool previously, PhotoShop will automatically set the current to the previous size; if you need a new cropping margin, type the cropping border around the page within the Options bar.  

For more information, please visit this website.

Q: How do I add crop marks in Illustrator?

A: Most graphics products are able to automatically add or place crop marks, including Illustrator.  

Step 1: Click on an object(s) and select Create Trim Marks to create editable trim marks or crop marks;

Step 2: Select the trim marks to edit or remove them.

Step 3: Select Effect and click the Crop Marks button to create crop marks as a live effect.

Roche

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Columnist

Roche has been an active PDF user for 6 years and tried different types of professional PDF tools (both online and desktop version) since at his bachelor degree. Now, Roche works as a columnist for SwifDoo PDF over the course of the last one year, and provides useful and practical solutions pertaining to various PDF topics for users from different features.

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