PDFArranger (PDF changer utility)

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Re: PDFArranger (PDF changer utility)

#16 Post by Cornflower » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:37 am

@freakazoid and @webfork

I discovered this morning that with PDF Arranger, you do not use cropping, but Page Split!

I never played with PDF Arranger for intricate cropping, but as I play with it this morning, it can do a decent job--like with cPDF and K2pdfOpt, it requires trial and error. I read scholarly papers, and when I am not going be at my desktop, I need to read some of them on an eBook Reader, or mini-laptop. Sometimes I just want to get rid of the junk if it is a PDF made from a web page and the visual garbage is still there.

So using an example of a 2-column article, with pictures on a couple of pages. how would I do this. Here is an article that is worthy of extreme cropping, https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ain_Injury. You may wish to download this 12-age document to follow along. On page 2, it has a 1-column header, then 2 columns for the rest. Interestingly, this article has line numbers throughout. On page 5, there are pictures and no columns. NOTE:- use PDF Arranger to make a copy of any page you are about to work on--make a full pdf backup at the same time.

PDF Arranger will crop white space, but the method here is Split pages. Let's use page 4, 2 columns and line numbers on the outside of those two columns.
  1. Highlight the page, right click, and chose Split Pages. You can only split one way--if I tried both horizontal and vertical, it only did one direction. Increase the columns to 4, and untick the Equal Column width. Play with the 4 column values. If you make a mistake, press Ctrl-Z to undo the Split Page. Using trial and error, I came up with 6, 44, 44, 6 (PDF Arranger works with page percentages, so they will add up to 100.
  • Once you are happy with this, you will have changed the 1 page to 4 pages. Now undo this and select all the pages and do the Split Page with 6,44,44,6 again
  • Delete all the newly created pages that only have the line numbers (unwanted).
  • Take one of these new pages with a header or page number and do the same thing, but with horizontal splits. Using trial and error, 7 and 93% look good to me. Highlight all the pages you want remove the header from and use Split pages horizong splits. Delete the extraneous header pieces you've created
Now for the original page 5, that has a chart, two small columns with line numbers, and a graphic. I would first split horizontally for the 4 sections (header at 7%, and use trial and error to separate the chart, 2-column text, and graphic, then dispose the header. I'd then veritically split the text part to get rid of the line numbers per page 4, above.

If you make backups and have the stomach for a bit of trial and error, you can work quite well with PDF Arranger. I like the results of the file above. (Next time I will do the vertical splits first to simply rid the line numbers (6,88,6 %), delete the line numbers, then get rid of all the headers (7,93 %), then work on the columns. This would be a cleaner workflow, but the above worked just by my jumping in.

Note that you have equally much or more power with K2pdfOpt (check out the youtube videos) or cPDF by using command line trial and error methodology. With those you can also use inches or millimetres, and if you have multiple similar PDFs you can batch those (e.g. for the first pass you can make a K2pdfOpt preset or a command line string in cPDF to delete headers and line numbers from all pages, and then PDF Arranger or K2PDFOpt to split the columns and the images into separate pages. Note that even though K2pdfOpt has as gui, in the end I kept adding command line cBox elements and using the gui for its page preview function to do the trial and error. I was able to get similar results to PDF Arranger.

Sorry for the long tutorial, and lack of images, but I have to get back to my papers. I hope this helps, and I can clarify with an image or two but did not want to take the time now to create and send to imgur.

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Re: PDFArranger (PDF changer utility)

#17 Post by Midas » Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:13 am

Thank you for this tutorial, cornflower. If there's a need, I reckon the community will come in to fill the blanks. 8)

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Re: PDFArranger (PDF changer utility)

#18 Post by freakazoid » Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:28 am

Thanks for the in-depth tutorial, Cornflower, but I prefer Briss as I mentioned before. It can select exactly what you want to crop. If you need to fine-tune the dimensions, you can set the size manually.

Briss works especially well when scanning books as it overlays all the odd and even pages so you can see what you're cropping:


One thing I found is if you set the millimeter dimensions manually, the output size can be off by a few points of an inch. There's probably a bug during the millimeter to inch conversion in Briss unfortunately.
is it stealth? ;)

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Re: PDFArranger (PDF changer utility)

#19 Post by Cornflower » Sat Aug 14, 2021 7:13 am

I've just discovered another hidden gem of PDFArranger: printing restricted pdfs

I had to print a camera manual from my granddaughter, and as it was for one of my older models, downloaded the manual, which of course was restricted from printing. Merely opening the file in PDFArranger and doing a Save As removed the restrictions. (It also allowed me to remove non-English-language pages and insert a diagram that would help her). There are other programs that can do the same thing, but as I am using PDFArranger more and more, it is nice to see this in the bundle for when I need it.

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Re: PDFArranger (PDF changer utility)

#20 Post by webfork » Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:30 am

Loads of great data in this thread on this program -- I hope the developer(s) know that people are paying this kind of attention to their software. I've updated the entry to reflect some of the excellent points in this thread.

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