Updated January 2023
With offices, businesses, schools, and everyday communication going paperless, there is an increased need for users to edit, manipulate, and share documents.
Many companies and individuals use PDF files for team collaboration projects, applications, and public documents such as company policies, user manuals, and general information.
How can you convert, merge, edit and crop these PDF documents, and what is the best PDF editor to use?
What is a PDF?
PDF, short for Portable Document Format, is a type of file with the extension .PDF after its name. These files are usually read-only documents and meant to be used as-is, such as user manuals, scanned pages, business proposals, contracts and documents that the sender doesn’t want to be edited.
Adobe originally created the PDF format so that users can share documents across different platforms and computers without the document changing formats, fonts, and layouts. This is a common problem with other file types as not all computers can open every extension and even different versions can look different. If you ever opened a document written in a font that you don’t have on your computer, you can relate to this issue.
A PDF file avoids these problems as it will look the same on every device and platform. It is universally consistent.
This raises the question of how to edit a PDF on a Mac and Windows and how to edit a PDF document online if they are not meant to be edited. To edit a PDF file, you will need to use a PDF editor. PDF editors are applications that enable you to edit the PDF – add and change text, rotate pages, and crop pages.
What Does it Mean to Crop PDF Files?
Cropping a file is when you cut out parts of the document. Select the area of the document that you want to be visible, and the area that is outside of the selection will be hidden from view.
Visually, cropping a PDF is similar to cutting out a part of a document. However, cropping does not change the contents or layout of the document, nor its file size. It merely hides the parts of the document that are trimmed out.
After you crop PDF documents, you may still be able to view the complete document, including the areas that were cropped out, in some PDF viewer applications.
Why Would You Need to Crop a PDF?
You may need to crop a PDF for similar reasons you would need to cut a paper document:
- There is only one section of the document that you want to share, paste, or print.
- There is extra unnecessary space or margins around the image or text.
- The document is too large for your needs. Note that cropping the file will reduce the amount of space you see on the screen, not the amount of memory of the file, as the cropped-out area is still in the document – just hidden.
How to Crop a PDF Online
As more people work remotely, they rely on the Internet and online applications to manage their documents.
Aside from the convenience of being able to work on the go, editing a PDF online also means that you don’t have to download any additional software to your device.
The easiest and most effective way to crop a PDF online is through an online PDF editing tool such as Sizle. Sizle can be used on Windows and Mac computers, is compatible with most browsers, and it’s free!
- Log in at https://sizle.io/
- Go to the Dashboard.
- In the upper left corner, click Create and choose PDF from the list.
- Find the PDF you need to crop and select it to upload it.
- Your document will load.
- From the menu bar, click on the crop image icon. It’s the last one on the right.
- Using your mouse or touchpad, drag the cropping icon around the area of the document you want to preserve. Then click on the checkmark to confirm.
- The PDF image will be cropped. You can now save, download, share, or print it as needed.
How to Crop a PDF on Mac
The Sizle application is compatible with a Mac and is an easy, quick, and convenient way to crop a PDF document online.
You can also crop the file using the Mac’s Preview application.
How to Crop a PDF in Preview
To crop a PDF in Preview:
- Open the PDF file, either by selecting it from the finder or from within the Preview application. To open it in Preview, select File -> Open and find the document.
- From the Menu bar, select Tools -> Rectangular Selection.
- Drag your mouse or touchpad to drag a rectangle over the area you wish to keep in the document. A dotted border will appear around the selected area. The parts of the document that are outside of the rectangle will be cut out.
- From the Menu bar, select Tools -> Crop.
- The PDF will now display only the parts of the document that were within the rectangular selection. You can save, share, or print it as needed.
The Preview application may issue a warning that the parts of the document cut out are not permanently removed, but just hidden from view, and it may be possible to view them in other programs. Cropping a PDF does not cut the file but hides the unselected portion from view.
To completely cut out a section of a PDF, you can take a screenshot of the area you want and then paste the screenshot image into a new document. This will be an image file, though, not a PDF. You can paste the image into a document and save it as a PDF, but you won’t be able to edit that image in a PDF editor subsequently.
To take a cropped screenshot on a Mac, you can use the Screenshot utility.
- Open the PDF on the Mac.
- Go to the computer menu options. You may need to click off of the PDF or minimize it to get the main options.
- From the main toolbar, select Go and then Utilities.
- Choose the Screenshot utility from the list.
- The Screenshot utility menu window will open.
- Before you take the screenshot, click on the Options icon and select where to save the screenshot. Choose clipboard if you will then paste the cropped portion of the
- PDF into a new document or email. To automatically save it, choose the destination.
- From the list of screenshot options, choose the Capture Selected Portion to draw an area to crop.
- Use your mouse to draw around the area that you want to crop.
- The screenshot will be saved as per the options you previously selected.
- Since the cropped area is a screenshot, the hidden portion of the PDF won’t be able to be seen in this new image.
How to Crop a PDF in Windows
Many software applications and programs can crop a PDF on a Windows computer, including the free online PDF editor, Sizle.
You can also crop the document with Windows’ own snipping tool.
- Find the PDF file and click on it to open. It will open in your computer’s default PDF viewer application. You can also open it in your browser.
- Open the Snipping utility. To find the tool on your computer, press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the search bar. In the search, type “Snipping” to find the application. Click on the Snipping tool to open it.
- On the menu bar, choose an option from the Mode dropdown list. Use the rectangular snip to crop a rectangular-shaped area of the document, such as a block of text. Use the free form snip option to select your own area, such as to crop out a corner.
- With your mouse or keypad, select the area of the PDF you want to keep. The selected area will display in the Snipping window.
- You can then copy, share, save, or print the cropped PDF or paste it into a new PDF document. Keep in mind that this will be an image, not a PDF.
How to Crop a PDF in Adobe
Adobe PDF editor is the original creator of the PDF format. To crop a PDF in their software:
- Open the document in Adobe.
- From the secondary toolbar, select Crop Pages.
- With your mouse or touchpad, select the area of the PDF to keep.
- Double-click in the selected area that you cropped.
- The Set Pages box will open, and you can adjust the cropping margins.
- The document will be cropped, and the area outside of the selection will be hidden.
To undo the cropping, you can adjust the page margins to see the full document again. Open the page thumbnails, select Crop Pages from the menu, and click Set Pages. Select Set to Zero to restore the PDF to its original version.
Editing a PDF File
Some PDF documents are meant to be edited and are created with fields that you can fill in, such as an application or survey form. If the PDF has fillable fields, you can enter your text and then save the PDF with your inputted information.
What about editing a PDF without fillable fields? Can you change the text on a PDF document? There are many reasons that you might need to edit PDF documents:
- Insert and Remove Pages – If you have a PDF document of multiple pages, you may need to add another page to the document or remove some pages. Or to extract a page from the multi-page file and save it as its own PDF.
- Rotate Pages – If you receive scanned files, the pages may come in upside down. In a multi-page set of documents, you may have some pages facing one way and some other in the opposite direction, making it very difficult to read on the screen.
- Highlight Text or Add Notes – You can add text fields, notes, and highlights to the PDF document. This is great for collaboration projects or your own work and notes.
- Add Forms – Create fillable fields on the PDF.
- Crop PDF Pages – Select specific areas of the PDF to be visible.
- Edit the Text – Add new text fields over the existing text to type in the changes. Use the same font so the changes will be seamless.
The situations are pretty common and come up very often when you’re working with PDFs and sharing files with other parties. You can make these changes using a PDF editing program such as Sizle.
How to Edit a PDF Document on Mac
You can edit a PDF document on a Mac using a number of PDF editing tools, but you can do it free with Sizle or with the Mac’s Preview app.
How to Edit a PDF on Mac Free with Sizle
- Log in to Sizle
- From the Dashboard, click Create and upload your PDF file
- Use the editing tools on the menu bar to annotate, highlight, add text, rotate pages, and edit the document.
How to Edit a PDF File on Mac Free with Preview
- Open the file in Preview. If it’s your default PDF viewer, the PDF will open in the application when you double-click on it.
- Use the editing tools on the menu bar to make the changes to the PDF document.
- To change the text, create a new text field. Drag the text box over the existing text and type in the new text. Use the same font and text size as the original text.
To Sum Up
You can edit and crop a PDF file online and through a PDF editor to edit the visible area of the PDF, change the rotation, add highlights, and texts.
One of the best free PDF editor online tools is Sizle. You can use Sizle online with various browsers on both a Mac and Windows computer. It is versatile, easy to use, and convenient – cropping out the stress of managing PDF documents.
Do you need to convert a Word, PPT or other kind of document to PDF?
Use Sizle’s free PDF Converter for fast and free file conversion.
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