Off Centered Margins with "Change Page Size" Feature in Acrobat DC

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Jan 30, 2021 Jan 30, 2021

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Within Acrobat Pro’s Crop function, there is a “Change Page Size” feature that allows you to adjust the actual document size to anything larger than the current document size. For example, if you have an oddly sized 6.73” x 9.33” PDF, the “Change Page Size” feature allows you to convert it to a 8.5” x 11” letter size. For visual reference, this feature is located here in the red box within Acrobat's crop window:

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This feature is invaluable for several reasons. Chief among them is the ability to crop an OCRed PDF to its “Bounding Box” (i.e., the defined area of its actual text) and then resize and CENTER that content perfectly into a standardized page size. This leaves you with both a standardized document size and perfectly even margins both vertically and horizontally. I built an entire Acrobat custom wizard workflow around automating this process, which led to perfectly cropped and centered scholarly articles 100% of the time.

 

PROBLEM: After recently “upgrading” from Acrobat Pro XI to DC, the “Change Page Size” function has stopped centering the content of the PDF, no matter how the setting are arranged. For example, even if you have a 100-page PDF prepared with accurately cropped bounding boxes with zero margins (i.e., no hidden content), changing to a larger page size results in every page being erratically off-center, and not even in a consistent fashion. Below you will see two attempts to use this feature (both with and without the “Center” box checked), both of which result in bizarrely off-center spacing. For larger documents, this renders the entire purpose of this feature truly pointless, and forces you to manually adjust *every* page’s crop settings to have their text margins aligned.

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QUESTION:
Have I missed a memo about an error in Acrobat DC that leads to the “Change Page Size” to not center its contents? Is there a new setting that I failed to account for after upgrading?

 

I know there are a lot of obvious troubleshoots and potential issues that might potentially cause a centering issue, but I am incredibly fastidious about managing them: [1] I use a custom preflight that crop’s a document’s margins perfectly to its bounding box first, and then deletes all hidden marginal data. This means that the “Change Page Size” feature is not getting screwed up by a hidden misalignment. [2] Previously in Acrobat XI, the ideal setting for centered re-sizing was to check the “center” box, and then to have the “XOffset” and “YOffsset” values set to “nan in,” which is the mathematical placeholder for “not a number.” From what I understand, this was Adobe’s way of preventing division by zero, while also allowing you to tell it to center the page vertically and horizontally to a zero offset. In Acrobat DC, the “nan in” option does not work, and the closest you can do is to enter “0.01 in” for the values, except this still yields wildly off-center results.

 

This is creating an unspeakable headache for my workflow. I’m an educator who uses this to process dozens of fair-use PDFs for students, and am now not able to curate content for them. Truly, if anyone can help me troubleshoot this, I’d greatly appreciate it. If there is an issue that Adobe needs to remedy with an update, it would at least be helpful to get confirmation that they have a glitch then need to tend to, hopefully asap.

TOPICS
Create PDFs, Edit and convert PDFs, Scan documents and OCR

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