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How to change Margins in PDF?

Community Beginner ,
Dec 18, 2007 Dec 18, 2007

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Thank you in advance for your assistance. I am evaluating 8.0 Professional on my pc (XP SP2 w/ 3.5GB of RAM and 2.5GHZ CPU). I want to see if the Professional can modify margins of pdf files that I get from various places but I am not finding anything in the documentation or via google. This should be an easy thing to do, like in MS Word you go to "Page Setup" and change the margins. I cannot find this functionality in Acrobat 8.0. Can someone please tell me how to modify the margins? The document in it's present configuration wastes paper and leaves alot of it blank when it could be printed on. Trying to be a conscientious worker by not wasting paper and Acrobat is not cooperating with me.

Thanks,
Erik

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Edit and convert PDFs , How to

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Explorer , Dec 19, 2007 Dec 19, 2007
Erik,
The others have (hopefully) made it clear to you that Acrobat is not a word processing or document layout program; (as Geo said) it's a document display program. If you have access to the source file from which the PDF was created, then change the margins in that file.

If no source, then -- at the risk of stating the obvious -- if you are trying to conserve paper, is the font of the document large enough that you could print two (cropped) pages of your document per physical page? That is...

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LEGEND , Apr 28, 2010 Apr 28, 2010

Access the Crop Pages dialog (via the Crop Tool).
The bottom pane, Change Page Size permits configuration of a custom width and height.
Bumping out these values might meet your needs.

Be well...

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2008 Jan 04, 2008

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- Try open the PDF with pro 5, and go Documents and Crop page...., that's how you change the margin of the File

* The Things I do with PDF's
* MaxRalph

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2008 Jan 07, 2008

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Erik,

I do have a suggestion, though I don't know if it will have the desired results. There are a few plugins you could get for Acrobat that would allow you some manipulation of the pages. For example you can crop the file to remove the margins, resize the file so that it is half the size of the paper you wish to print on (or view), and join pages together so that two (or more) pages exist on one page. The plugin I use for that is called Quite Imposing Plus. Though, it's as expensive as Acrobat itself, last time I got a quote anyways. There may be free or low cost plugins that can do the same thing.

You could also check with a local printing company, they might do some manipulation/scanning, to make things fit, your mileage will vary though.

Pete

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New Here ,
Feb 29, 2008 Feb 29, 2008

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I have an issue with PDF margins too. I have created a document using Excel and have the formatting so the Print function puts everything where it should be. I'm doing a special label on 3x4 Avery shipping label. I put the filename in the footer for reference. Then I then generate the PDF using PrimoPDF as an output device but it always forces the bottom margin to 1/2 inch while the edge of the label is really at 1/4 inch. This puts the filename in the bottom edge of the label. I've tried changing the margins in Excel but the result is always the same. I can not find any control over the PDF margins. I just need to "zoom" out a bit so

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New Here ,
Jul 21, 2009 Jul 21, 2009

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It's pretty lame that it's so buried, but you actually can change the margins through the header and footer dialog box.  Go  under "Documents," select "Header and Footer," and in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box the top, bottom, right, and left margins can be changed there.

Hope that helps.

Absolutely rediculous that since the margins *can* be changed that the option is not right under the File menu, that there's no Page Setup option or something equally straightforward.  I don't generally like Adobe because there are so many things like that about the program, but given that it's the industry standard for viewing scanned documents, we're kinda over a barrel with this.  Really, really lame though.

I searched Adobe's program help, online help, this forum--then my co-worker pointed out that the margin settings were right there in the Header and Footer dialog box!  Great co-worker.  Lame program and help options.

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Advocate ,
Jul 21, 2009 Jul 21, 2009

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This only changes the Header or Footer margins, this does not change the document margins.

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New Here ,
Apr 28, 2010 Apr 28, 2010

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I had the same problem with margins when I created a PDF from a PowerPoint file.  It kept shrinking the entire page, leaving larger margins than my original file.  But now I just created a PDF from a PowerPoint file with OK margins.  This may sound overly simple, but I selected Print and just checked the box "Scale to fit paper", and it worked fine.  The PDF now has the same margins as my original.

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New Here ,
Jun 21, 2022 Jun 21, 2022

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I am trying to brochure print a letter sized MSWord Created doc exported to Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 with 1/2 to 1/4 inch margins. The pre-set for brochure print top and bottom margins in Acrobat appears to be 1". The Page Setup dialog box Margins setting is there, but greyed out, so not accessible to modification.

The problem is the Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 software.

 

Adobe, will you please fix the software so that margins can be changed when Brochure Print is the selected option.

 

Thanks ever so much. 

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New Here ,
Jun 08, 2021 Jun 08, 2021

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Thank you! I have been searching and searching, and finally found your comment.

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New Here ,
Apr 19, 2010 Apr 19, 2010

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Hi,

I have a related question.  I have a PDF file that has very, very tight left and right margins.  I don't want to print the file, but I would like to be able to have visually pleasing margins while reading it in Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended.

I'd be happy even to be able to change the background color of the non-page area to white.  I can change the background color to white on Full Screen display, but not on regular display. 

Can anyone give me some tips on making the left/right margins appear wider?

Thanks in advance!

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LEGEND ,
Apr 28, 2010 Apr 28, 2010

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Access the Crop Pages dialog (via the Crop Tool).
The bottom pane, Change Page Size permits configuration of a custom width and height.
Bumping out these values might meet your needs.

Be well...

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New Here ,
Apr 29, 2010 Apr 29, 2010

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Thanks Dave, that was exactly what I needed.

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New Here ,
Sep 08, 2023 Sep 08, 2023

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This was the solution I needed. In my case I was trying to print a 6"x9" document on 8.5"x11" paper, and the original was not properly centered to start with. Cropping allowed me to remove the excess white space from the page bottoms so that scaling would center the document properly.

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New Here ,
Jan 17, 2024 Jan 17, 2024

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People say it can't be done too much.  CTDave is the MVP of this thread.

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2010 Jun 01, 2010

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Hmm I know this post is already outdated but I came across this problem just recently. Cropping zooming resizing is a bit crappy. Here's what I've found out / figured out:

If you have Adobe Photoshop, go ahead and open your PDF file from there. Then try and print it there. You can adjust a lot like margins scale size etc without losing your PDF quality. Print-out is as clear as the original

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2010 Jul 27, 2010

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Hello,

Please guide me how to increase 1/2 inch margin on the left side and reduce the same margin on the right side of Adobe Reader document, i need this for binding purposes.

Thanks.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 27, 2010 Jul 27, 2010

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You can not do anything with Reader. There may be some options in your printer dialog for your printer, but there is nothing you can do with Reader. More questions on Reader should be asked in the Reader forum.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2010 Dec 03, 2010

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Hi all,

My first post on the Adobe forums.

I've read the entries so far and none seem to hit the nail on the head.

My issue is that I have a fair number of documents as strung together .pdf's and I'd like to print out each document with a binding margin on the left, typically a .75" margin.  This should have been a slam dunk command, but, alas, I can't find it.  Some pages vary in size and I would simply print to fit an 8-1/2" x 11" page, shrinking the original to allow for the .75" binding margin.

So far, I've had to open each page in Photoshop Elements 6, add the requisite margin, then save it as an individual page, later restringing the document together.  When you get to documents exceeding 100 pages, this is an insane waste of my time and there ought to be a command to take care of this enmass.

As info, I am using Acrobat 8.

Regards,

Richard

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LEGEND ,
Dec 03, 2010 Dec 03, 2010

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Sounds like you have 2 steps that are needed. First, get all the pages to the same size (printing to a new PDF with the expand to fit will do this). After you get the same size pages, then use the crop tool to setup the margins. You may want to do the first print to a custom size corresponding to the size without the left margin. These are only ideas, not necessarily the best solution. The optimal solution is to fix the margins in the original document before make the PDF.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2010 Dec 03, 2010

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Dear Bill,
Okay, I got through step 1.  Thanks for your guidance.  Step 2, however, is problematic.  Using the crop tool, that is literally all I can achieve, i.e., to crop the document.  What I want to do is to add a .75" margin on the left, meaning that the printed original will now be constrained to a 7.75" width space on the right side of each 8.5" x 11" page, with the proportions constrained, meaning that it will also reduce in the long dimension proportionately.
Didling a bit further, I tried again going to print.  I made the Printer "Adobe pdf" as before.  I then went to Properties, then to Default Settings > Edit.  At the bottom is Default Page Size.  At this point, it looked like I could change the page size to 7.75" x 11.0".  It then wanted to save this under Settings titling the file Standard[1].joboptions.  This folder is really buried down in the weeds and I chickened out, afraid I'd never be able to change it back, i.e., find my way to it.  I'm not sure what I will achieve nor whether the original page will be shown to the right or centered once printed, if that.  I'd appreciate some guidance (and hand holding).  I'm a bit leary of changing a major default setting and not be able to undo it for documents with which I don't need the binding margin.
I apologize for the tight spacing of this message, but don't know how to adjust it.
Regards,
Richard

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2010 Dec 04, 2010

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This may not be optimal, but may meet your needs. Print your PDF to the Adobe PDF printer AFTER setting the printer properties>General>Advanced>scaling to maybe 80% or so. You can play around with calculations to what might be a good percent for the end result -- I randomly selected 75% and turned off shrink and expand to fit page. You might also select a custom page size that when scaled and cropped, would include within it the letter or A4 size that you might want for the final. Then print the PDF to a new one. In the new one, use the crop to get the top, right, and bottom margins back to where you want them. Print the result. It may be that you can try printing to another PDF and seeing how the results go (I did this with the expand to fit and got a page with a large left margin and narrow top, bottom, and right margins. These checks might include the expand to fit option and such.

If you spend a little time with measurements and such, you might find good %s to use for the print and the cropping. At least this is an alternative to try to get what you want. It worked for me in AA5 on this machine. Hope my scenario makes sense. I started out with TBRL of .75,.5,.5,.5 margins in. After 75% print and a crop of TBRL of 1.5,1.4,.36,.128 in I had about TBRL of .5, .3, 1.1, and .25 in margins. I printed to a new page with expand to fit. The end result was TBRL of 1.1, .9, 1.3, .25 in margins approximately. A better test would have been to have created a box for the margins initially and played with the scaling to get there. If you want alternating print margins, you would need to crop the even and odd pages separately.

I think that once you have gone through the process and figured out the steps and proper scalings and croppings, then it should be rather easy to do. I would test on a short document, but you should be able to do it on a large document after you set the process. You may lose some resolution and such, but at least you have your print margins. Long way to get there. I figured I would go through the process since folks ask about margins periodically. Unfortunately you can not put in negative cropping (at least in AA5 -- did not try it on AA7, 8, or 9 on my other machines), or the process would have just gotten easier.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 04, 2010 Dec 04, 2010

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Dear Bill,

Thank you for taking so much time with this.

I think I see what you are trying to do.  Essentially, if I read you correctly, you are pre-shrinking the document, then cropping back to keep a left hand margin.  I don't know what you mean by AA5, AA6, etc.  Please explain.

I do use Internet Explorer and Microsoft, as far as I'm concerned, really blundered when they introduced shrink to fit with IE 6.  It wasn't until they got to IE 8 that they provided a way to shut it off.  With it on, e-mail with large photo attachments would end up with tiny print when printed off.

Similarly, Adobe seems to have had a blind eye to the binding margin issue, which really should have been included as a simple command in Acrobat, or even in Acrobat Reader.

I won't be able to try your recommendations until tomorrow.  If I get stuck, I'll come back for more help.  Thanks for all of your efforts to assist me (and likely others) to find a work around for this issue.

Regards,

Richard

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2010 Dec 04, 2010

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AA5 etc are the Acrobat versions (not subversions) such as Adobe Acrobat 5.0.5 (typically the latest versions). I understand your interest in a print margin, but as many others have said that is not really what Acrobat was designed for. It was designed as a viewer/creator in which an original can be viewed. However, many things folks wish to do can be done after a fair amount of fiddling, though not always the best results. For your case, it is probably not a bad solution.

I can create a document with a border margin showing (could probably use printer marks also) to demonstrate the process. If you have what your current margins and page size are, along with the new margin (I did not go back and check for any statement about them), I can probably repeat the process and post the examples.

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Engaged ,
Dec 04, 2010 Dec 04, 2010

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Hi Richard,

For your step number two you may want to look at our free automation tool "Resize Pages Tool" at-

http://www.pdfscripting.com/public/65.cfm

(Scroll down in the list for the one titled "Resize Pages Tool").

Step number 1 could aslo be solved with a custom automation tool for scaling all the pages at once, and could be combined for both steps into one custom tool. If this is something you do repeatedly and isn't a one time job, it may be worth getting such a tool developed.

Hope this helps,

Dimitri Munkirs

WindJack Solutions

www.windjack.com

www.pdfscripting.com

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 14, 2018 Dec 14, 2018

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Bill@VT  wrote

Sounds like you have 2 steps that are needed. First, get all the pages to the same size (printing to a new PDF with the expand to fit will do this). After you get the same size pages, then use the crop tool to setup the margins. You may want to do the first print to a custom size corresponding to the size without the left margin. These are only ideas, not necessarily the best solution. The optimal solution is to fix the margins in the original document before make the PDF.

Bill, the problem with using the printer to size the document for proper margins does not get you an electronic document with the margins adjusted. If you're dealing with an existing document and the text is laid down the length of the page and leaving 2" margins on each side

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 14, 2018 Dec 14, 2018

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Wide margins on either side and a column down the middle of text. The text is usually closely fitting the top and bottom of the page. So if you crop the left and right sides you'll end up with a long, narrow page which Acrobat redoes, putting back wide margins on the sides so everything fits on the 8.5" X 11" letter-size paper. It's a partial but not entirely satisfactory fix. You can do better if you're able to move text in tighter formation towards the middle of the page to get more cropping off the top and bottom. Redults are semi-OK.

You can go through the document in EDIT mode and adjust all the text boxes to the proper margins. You can get more cropable space if you Select All and change to a smaller or more narrow font that will shrink your text boxes. Another way is to convert your pdf to a png or jpg. Then using Paint.NET, you load your 8.5" X 11" white rectangle png into Paint.NET, under Layers, select import layer from file. The files are the pages that are now png photos. The file turns up in the upper left hand corner, quite small, and you drag the dots to enlarge/shrink the page, and change it so that the text column is shorter than before and wider--you can crop and resize the page until it's an 8.5" X11" page that has perfect margins all around. Then you save it with Paint.NET, and then convert the png back to a pdf and combine the pages.

The way Adobe recommends is to export to word, make your formatting changes then convert it back to pdf if you wish. The problem is, when you change them from pdf to word, the result is often somewhat different in places and in what you have as a word document, some of the ridgid formatting carries over from the pdf to the new word doc and when you try to fix the text, some of it won't move where it's supposed to, and it's difficult (onery really) to edit. So what we need is a Format Bar where we can set margins, the size of headers and footers, and something to make the text that's running down the center of the page to re-wrap itself to the new margins, instead of having to do this by hand.

None of these methods are satisfactory. They take too much time and persistent focus for Adobe consumers, while it wouldn't take much effort on the part of ADOBE to fix Acrobat and open up new worlds for the consumers.

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