Resizing PDFs into Printable Pages with Acrobat and Paint

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.

The Problem:
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.

The Solution:

  1. Open the original PDF in Adobe Acrobat (to my knowledge, this will not work in Reader)
  2. Click Tools > Pages > Split Document
  3. 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
  4. Set aside any pages that are already in the correct dimensions
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Click File > Print > Page Setup
  8. Minimize all the margins
    You don’t need Paint to add its own margins because the original page already has its own
  9. 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
  10. Click OK
  11. Click File > Print > Print
  12. Select Adobe PDF as your printer, then click Print
  13. Save the new PDF
  14. Repeat Steps 6-13 with all the other images
  15. 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
  16. In the pop-up window, make sure all your pages are in the correct order and then click Combine Files
  17. 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*

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