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Acrobat 9 - When the crop tool is not cropping and how to fix it

Acrobat allow us to define a new cropping for a PDF using the Advanced Editing  > Crop Tool, or precisely with the help of the Advanced > Print Production > Crop Pages dialog [Cmd+Shift+T (Mac) /Ctl+Shift+T (Win)]. It works fine, but it does not delete the cropped elements from inside the PDF, there are just hidden. Another problem you might have encounter is that when processed on your RIP, the rendered images is not the one you have cropped but the original at full size. Does that mean the Crop tool is only useful when viewed inside Acrobat? Is there a way to fix that? The answer to that last question is yes! Thanks to the poweful (I admit somehow scaring) Preflight features. Acrobat Preflight setting allow you not only to Analyse a PDF but it also include Fixup command that can modify your PDF and fix it for you.

In the case of our cropped PDF, what need to be done, is to create a new preflight profile that will first, remove all pages objects whose bounding box lies completely outside of the page area as defined by the Crop Box, than to set the Media Box to the Crop box. When created and run, this will fix both issues we have just discussed in the beginning of that post.

acropreflightYou can download this Preflight Fixup here and Import it into your Acrobat Preflight dialog Advanced > Preflight dialog [Cmd+Shift+X (Mac) /Ctl+Shift+X (Win)]. The Setting will appears inside the Imported profile list.

To learn more about Preflight in Acrobat 9, you can watch some videos on Adobe.tv and also read about it on AcrobatUser web site.

Thanks to Leonard Rosenthol, PDF Standards Architect at Adobe Systems for pointing that valuable tips. You can follow him on Twitter at @pdfsage

* Note this Preflight Profile will not load into Acrobat 8.

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Categories : Acrobat, Adobe | Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11 comments on «Acrobat 9 - When the crop tool is not cropping and how to fix it»

  • Rick Borstein has commented on Friday, November 20, 2009 at 18h48

    In another context . . . for those worried about sending PDF with content that is cropped that they don’t want to share, you can use Document–> Examine Document to remove the hidden content.

  • Colin Weston has commented on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 9h49

    Wow, Thanks for this. I have been getting more and more interested In Acrobat. Suppose it is an instinctive move towards ebooks. The cropping limitation bothered me when I first learned about it. This is a great utility

  • naynesh has commented on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 6h31

    but it does not reduce the file size even if data is cropped. why is that so ?

  • naynesh has commented on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 6h52

    ok now i get it. it was a scanned document so when i ocred it the size did reduce to considerable amount. thanks for this fixup. searched a lot about it and finally found it here. thanks again.

  • It works like a charm since Document–> Examine Document to remove the hidden content seems to be no longer working on Acrobat X.

    You made my day!

  • Mike K has commented on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 16h15

    This does not appear to be a truly permanent change. I discovered this after running the fix and saving the document. If you’ve cropped a page and run the fix, you can always go back into the PDF and via the Document>Crop>>Change Paper Size>Custom you can resize the page to the original size and VOILA, your cropped out elements are back and viewable. Adobe really needs to give us a way to truly make the crops permanent.

  • Jean-Claude Tremblay has commented on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 19h32

    Mike,
    When applying the FIX I have included, the PDF various box are set to the crop box and all object that fall entirely outside are removed. Sure you can change the paper back to something bigger, but you won’t get back the objects that was deleted.

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