Preview (like most Mac apps) can print to PDFs, and even has a shortcut for this functionality via a menu option Export as PDF....

I have a scanned document in .tiff format that I'd like to convert to a PDF, but using the option above yields a PDF with large margins around the image file.

Is there a reason why this is happening? More importantly, is there a way to suppress these margins?

7 Answers 7


If you don't want any borders, create a custom paper size and change margin size to 0 as shown below:

Name your custom paper size, use it and create PDF.

  • 2
    This doesn't work. 0 mm still prints with margins.
    – Madbreaks
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 4:50
  • 3
    It worked for me. I had to make sure that the paper size was exactly the same ratio as the PDF size (in my case A4, 210x297mm). This is an easy way to combine Illustrator PDF's and reduce filesize at the same time. You can also enter NEGATIVE margins.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 13:36
  • Thank you! 210x297 without margins is the way to go for A4.
    – lsouza
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 18:55

If you use Preview's "Export As PDF..." menu item, Preview will place the image on a page. All these attempts to match the page size to the image are futile.

Instead, you need to use the "Export..." menu item, and select PDF as the image format. That will save the image in a PDF wrapper, without putting it on a page.

  • ahh, interesting!
    – Alexander
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 13:59
  • 5
    best answer, this should be the selected correct answer
    – Fed
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 12:33
  • This is the right answer
    – perelin
    Commented Jun 26 at 8:27

Apologies if you've already tried this, but the only thing I can think to suggest is making sure that you use the "Show Details" button in the Print window:

enter image description here

And then once you have expanded it, adjust the 'scale' settings under 'preview'

enter image description here

You will probably not be able to make it "full bleed" -- I believe that Preview will always require some type of margin, but as you can see from the image here, it does not have to be very large.

(It also might matter which printer you have selected, as I believe the printer definition files tell Preview how much of a margin is required by each printer, but I could be wrong about that.)

  1. Open your PDF document in Preview
  2. Go to View -> Thumbnails - you will see all the pages as thumbnails enter image description here
  3. Select all the Thumbnails in the tab opened in 2nd step
  4. View > Show Markup Toolbar > select 'Rectangular selection' instrument on appeared Markup Toolbar
  5. On 'Content' view (where the PDF pages are actually displaying) > select the area you want to leave (this selection should be applied to each page in the document, because they were all selected in the 3rd step) enter image description here
  6. After selection is done - Crop button should appear -> press it and you'll crop all the pages
  • Note that this will crop the content only for the Preview app. To save the result forever you have to export the PDF again using "File -> Export" Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 19:43

Best way to convert multiple PDF's in mac is by:

  1. Launch Keynote
  2. Delete everything from the slide (lorem ipsum/dummy text)
  3. Change the size of the slide to the size of your image. For eg: if your image resolution is 2550px X 3300px, make that size of your slide too.
  4. Export it as a PDF :)
  • Hahaha creative, I like it
    – Alexander
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 21:29

For those who already have multiple files with margins and know that a selection of them would be the same size without margins, follow m.zhelieznov's instructions for one of the files and then:

  1. Save the cropped file
  2. Get its new PAGE size using the inspector
    • Press CMD + I in the preview to inspect the file
  3. Open the next file
  4. Follow Jonathan Fernandez instructions, BUT:
    • When creating the custom paper size, use the page dimensions from the inspector (in addition to zeros for margins)
  5. Save and start tweaking
    • Because the inspector only shows rounded numbers (+- 0.01cm in Europe), the ratio might not be perfect, which becomes visible if you have a page filling image somewhere (you'd still get a tiny white border)
    • If this happens, make minor adjustments to you custom paper size, redo 5. and check if you get the white border to become smaller (else repeat 3. and 4. until you're done)

Use "Print" other than "Export" gives the most customizability.

Print ( + p) > Paper Size > Manage Custom Size > Set Left Top Bottom Right to 0mm.

enter image description here

To export PDF, click PDF > Save as PDF in Print Window.

enter image description here

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