Preflight - PDF fixups - how to Scale pages to US Letter, NOT A4!

Community Beginner ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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Seems like a simple question, but I can't find the answer anywhere. 

I have a document that was originally created as a US Letter size document in InDesign. It was saved as a PDF. Other pages were inserted from other documents, to combine to make one larger PDF. Some of the inserted pages are different sizes. I understand that printing will size the pages to fit (if specified). But I am emailing the file and I want the viewer to see the pages all scaled uniformly on the screen. 

I believe that the option to effect this change is somewhere around Preflight > PDF fixups > Scale pages to A4. Except I don't want A4. This is a US version product. I am a US customer. In the US, standard page size is Letter, not A4. I frankly don't ever need or want to have anything to do with A4. It simply doesn't apply. Why does the program offer "Scale pages to A4" and not to "Scale pages to US Letter"? Or let me adjust it somehow?

I noticed the wrench icon next to the item, thinking that it might let me specify a page size that I would like this option to default to. But editing the settings doesn't offer me the option to easily change to Letter size. 

A similar forum on another site showed a screen image of this section of PDF fixups that showed one option to Scale pages to A4, and another option to "Scale pages to specified size." This latter option does not exist in my program (latest version of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC). 

Is there a way to get rid of all this talk of A4 and change it to Letter size? Seems a simple request, no?? Aaarrgghhh. Thanks. 

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Edit and convert PDFs, How to, Print and prepress

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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If the producing software for that PDF didn't restrict the editing, You don't necessarily need to do this via Preflight.

 

You can easily print to PDF directly and add a custom Letter size at printing time for the entire document.

 

And if you have a mix of landscaped and portrait pages, that too can be handled at printing time.

 

Would you mind sahring an example of this file? 

 

If that PDF is restricted from editing, there's not much you can do if Print to PDF is restricted.

 

In this particular case your only option would be to print as image.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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Thank you for your reply; however this does not answer the question. As I said, I am aware that printing will adjust everything to fit, but we're not printing. I'm creating a PDF that I want to have all uniformly sized, and for that size to be Letter size, not A4 size. I am not able to provide the document here. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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Yes I think I understood your inquiry correctly.

 

I was referring to when you click on print to use the Adobe PDF  as the default printer option, not your actual printing hardware device.

 

When you select this option to print directly from Acrobat, you click on the "Page Setup..." and select the desired page size. 

 

All you have to do next is fit, shrink, or scale the oversized pages under "Page Sizing & Handling".

 

However,  this setting will not stick, meaning that is only executed on the fly at printing time.

 

If you have to have a permanent preset that you'll reuse many times later,  you may also click on the Properties button which will open up the "Adobe PDF Document Properties dialogue window".

 

You'll notice three tabs.

 

Two of the the three tabs allows you to select "Letter" page size (also on the fly and right before committing the print to PDF action), then by clicking on the "Advanced" button.

 

In the next dialogue window click the + sign "Paper/Output" --->>> and select "Letter" from the dropdown menu  labeled "Paper Size".

 

These tabs are:

 

  • Layout
  • Paper Quality

 

Since you're printing to PDF this will

produce an exact PDF from the original file with the new page size.

 

Both of the tabs mentioned above are part of the Adobe PDF Converter Advanced Options.

 

The third tab is:

 

  • Adobe PDF Settings

 

In this tab you can also produce a pdf from the source file, but you'll get much more options to customize and save those printing profiles for specific work, like embedding text and fontypes, working around image quality and image conversion methods,image colors, PDF optimization and tweaking some postscripting elements.

 

You can access those settings by choosing  the default preset from the dropdown menu "Default Settings:", and then clicking on the "Edit..." button.

 

In addition, look four lines below, where it says "Adobe PDF Page Size:".

 

In that dropdown menu you can select a desired page size or click on the "Add" button to customize and save your own preset.

 

When you're done you will be back to the "Print" dialogue window where you may reflow the page content using the  scale, shrink or fit options mentioned earlier.

 

Last, if you're on Microsoft Windows, you can also customize a specific page size preset from the control panel; click on Adobe PDF and a new ribbon menu bar will display under the search bar of that settings window.

 

From left to right,  you'll notice the following options:

 

"Add a device"

 

"Add a printer"

 

"See what's printing"

 

Just click on the "Print Server properties" link.

 

In the " Print Server properties" dialogue window that will open up, you can create and customize the desired page dimensions ticking the box "Create a new form".

 

Once you've saved the new form, it'll be always available as a " sticky setting" and it will always remain accessible from the lists that are are accessed at printing time with the method(s) described above.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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You do know that printing to PDF is generally a bad idea?  There are cases where it can't be avoided, but if you have Acrobat Pro, then by all means use the features that are designed for doing things properly, such as preflight, which contains a great hoard of valuable tools (Thank You Callas!!) .

 

 So, rather than changing the existing profile for A4 sizing, create your own profile that uses the scaling fixup. Look on the "Options" menu on the right side of the Preflight dialog.  There are also options for importing preflight libraries. So you might want to search around a bit to see if anyone else has this profile for free. 

 

 

 

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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You can create your own fixup. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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Please disregard my long reply earlier.

 

Berndt Alheit and Thom Parker are correct.

 

See also this helpful discussion:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-sdk/how-do-i-scale-from-a4-to-letter-without-printing-to-pdf/...

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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All of this info is very helpful, in somewhat of an abstract way. I do thank all of you for the contributions; it's more complicated than I had thought, and I am not sure I understand why, or need to, but I do need to accept that. 

A few things remain troubling. 

  1. That last article referenced by ls_rbls includes the comment which I had seen several times before from Dov Isaacs (whom I take to be authoritative): "You are certainly correct that “printing to PDF” is not the approach to take here." I had ruled out that scenario early on. I know it would accomplish the basic goal, because I have done this in the past. I just felt that there had to be a better solution. He suggests it is in this Preflight section, as I have been trying to use. 
  2. The idea of importing a preflight library is interesting. But I immediately see that it is bringing me into deeper innards than I ever wanted to go into; also, after spending a little time poking around in there I still did not find a "Scale pages to Letter size" option anywhere. 
  3. I have no idea how I would create my own fixup. Mr Isaacs seemed to indicate this option too – "create a new fixup (options=>copy)." Ok, being an intrepid user, let's find out. Wow. It took about 15 minutes. I did it. I fould what the heck he was talking about (I saw no "copy" function but then realized it was the icon below the list), I started with "Scale to A4," copied it to a new one that I called "Scale to US Letter," changed the measurements to inches, put in short edge 8.5 and long edge 11, saved the fixup, tested it, found no problems, ran it (on a copy of my document), and it did exactly what I have been looking for!! This is amazing to me. (Ok, it did give me an "insufficient data for an image error after completion," but I'm going to disregard that as I think it relates to some specific content.) Eureka!

    So on one hand, yes, I have been able to accomplish my objective of getting the PDF to "show well" when viewed on the recipient's computer. But... What if I'm just a guy, in the U.S., who just wants his PDF to look good on the recipient's computer? I happen to be a person with 40-some years of extremely varied and diverse computer experience, and I struggled with it. Why should anyone have to go through this? 

    So let me restate the original problem again, maybe in simpler terms: 

    Why is the ability to scale to A4 available by default, but not scale to US Letter? What's so special about A4? That was the original need and the original question. Why A4? Why not Letter? If it's a geocentric product, being sold as a U.S. version, why A4? Why not Letter? If it's the same product being sold in Europe and the U.S., why A4? Why not Letter? So my question was not so much how to scale my pages. I've figured that out now, thanks to an abundance of help here (thank you again). But... Why A4? Why not Letter? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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Here' the best explanation I could find:

 

  • ISO Tips to Save You Time

    Simplified Enlargement and Reduction

    Many copy machines have preset magnification factors for enlarging or reducing a copied document in order to print it on a different paper size. These presets typically take the form of buttons labelled A3→A4 and so forth. This eliminates wasted margins and saves you the trouble of trying to guess the right magnification factor, which can lead to a heap of misspent paper. Below is a table of the magnification factors between the most common A sizes in case the copiers at your local library do not have such presets.

 

 

The bullet above is taken from this useful article with historical fact about why A4 and the International standards:

 

https://www.swiftpublisher.com/useful-articles/paper-sizes-and-formats-explained

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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I feel like there's a tear in the fabric of the universe or something; the words that people are hearing coming out of my mouth are not the same ones that I had put into vibration. It's just so... weird! 

But look, then, I realized: I must be talking to people in Europe! Am I right? If you all are in Europe, or the UK, or somewhere outside of North America, you live and breathe the ISO system. A4, A3, A5, etc. You may be unaware that there is another totally different standard, the ANSI standard, that is used (more or less; there's no ANSI equivalent to our "legal" size) here in the US. We call ours "Letter, Legal, Tabloid." The dimensions are 8.5x11 inches (215.9x279.4 mm) for letter, 8.5x11 inches (215.9x355.6 mm) for legal, and 11x17 inches (279.4x431.8 mm) for tabloid. Clearly this is a different standard from the ISO standard that you all seem to be most familiar with, and that Adobe seems to be geared toward, even though the ISO standard is NOT USED IN THE U.S. I could not even go to Staples or Best Buy or Walmart to buy a ream of A4 paper. It's not sold here. 

And, just for the record, no, the copy machines here do not have buttons like A3 --> A4, etc. They have Letter --> Tabloid, etc. 

If it's not coming through the air waves that this is what my question/concern was about, then I shall retreat. This horse is dead, sadly. It will not respond to further beating. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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Here's a Preflight profile I just created for scaling to 8.5x11.  

Import it from the Prefilght "Options" menu. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p56klzekcnkjmvi/Resize%20to%208.5x11.kfp?dl=0

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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I already created one myself, as I discussed. Thanks. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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You're absolutely right.

 

Seems to me  like lack of a feature.

 

Those options for US Letter, Legal and Tabloid  in the Preflight tool are simply not available for that small  0.000099999999 %  out of a great majority of Adobe Acrobat subscribers living abroad in the Western Hemisphere, and who may already be conformed to the ANSI standards, that may have to deal with an A4 PDF that needs to be scaled to US Letter.

 

But in my opinion, I think Adobe thought of the A4 option actually for the customers in Europe that conform to ISO standards. Not the other way around.

 

And like you've pointed out, probably because the product was produced in the US , and completely geocentric from the get-go, they were not thinking of European ISO standards.

 

You can see this same problem with digital certifcates issued by trusted root certification authorities and electronic compliance standards between the US and countries in Europe.

 

While Acrobat Pro itself cannot fully support a workflow of electronic compliance based on ISO electronic compliance standards,  tools like Adobe Sign must be incorporated in such workflows, specifically when a US business is buying or trading with European companies (and vice-versa), for example.

 

So maybe,  these standards and conformities between ANSI and ISO is a continuous work in progress.

 

If Adobe Clients, like in your case, don't make these valid observations, the product will continue to roll the way it already is. 

 

You can, however,  manifest you rintentions to the Universe and voice a feature request using the link below if you want:

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 30, 2021 Apr 30, 2021

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The Preflight feature was not created by Adobe, but rather by a company in Germany, who also maintains this feature. Maybe that's why there is only the A4 option. Besides, I think the idea is that if you are sophiticated enough to be using Preflight, which is an advanced feature, then you can make your own profile. 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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