This may not be the most legitimate way to manipulate a PDF, but if you have non-standard page sizes that you need to resize for printing, it works! The quality after turning a PDF into an image, running it through MS Paint, and turning it back into a PDF isn’t exactly mind-blowing and I might not be inclined to send the result to a client, but it’s completely workable for internal use.
I started with a 15-page PDF where some of the pages were 8.5×11” but most were 8.5×22″ or 32″, and even one that was 16×64″. I needed to split the oversized pages into sections that could be printed on a standard office printer, and I couldn’t find a solution anywhere online, so according to the rules of the Internet, it is my duty to post my solution for the greater good. Or something like that.
- Open the original PDF in Adobe Acrobat (to my knowledge, this will not work in Reader)
- Click Tools > Pages > Split Document
- Set the maximum number of pages to 1 and click OK
Using the example above, you now have 15 separate PDFs titled “Part 1” through “Part 15” – I saved all documents to the Desktop to keep it simple
- Set aside any pages that are already in the correct dimensions
- Open each incorrectly sized PDF in Acrobat and save it as an image
TIFF is a good lossless choice, but JPEG works just as well for this particular application
- Open one of the images in Microsoft Paint (I don’t want to hear it about how Photoshop, InDesign, GIMP, etc. are better… sometimes you just have Paint!) NOTE: The following steps only work if the page you start with is in the correct aspect ratio (for instance, an 8.5×22” page that only needs to be cut in half but not resized). If not, you’ll need to fix the aspect ratio before you go on
- Click File > Print > Page Setup
- Minimize all the margins
You don’t need Paint to add its own margins because the original page already has its own
- In the Scaling section, use the Fit To radio button to fill the page as shown in the Preview section
For example, an 8.5×22” page will fit to 2 by 1 pages, and a 16×22” page will fit to 2 by 2 pages
- Click OK
- Click File > Print > Print
- Select Adobe PDF as your printer, then click Print
- Save the new PDF
- Repeat Steps 6-13 with all the other images
- On the Desktop (or wherever you saved your files), select all the individual PDFs, making sure to include the ones that were already in the correct size, then right-click and select Combine files in Acrobat
- In the pop-up window, make sure all your pages are in the correct order and then click Combine Files
- Save your new, printable PDF!
And if anyone is reading this, cringing at my hacker solution, and has a better way, please let us all benefit from your wisdom!
*Originally posted on theleastshrew.com*