Is there an easy way (in Preview or whatever) to scale up and split a PDF file with a single page into multiple pages? What I would like is to split say an A3 paper document into two A4 pages, to print separately and then put together with tape.

How can I do such a thing in OS X?

12 Answers 12


Adobe Reader can do this, too: It includes a Poster Print option in its custom print dialog.

It’s the first time I missed a feature from Preview (or the native OS X print dialog) that Adobe Reader has.

Adobe Reader is free (as in beer) software, it used to be called Acrobat Reader. (Do not confuse it with full-blown Acrobat or any other expensive Adobe product, which can probably do that, too.)

  • 2
    Amazing, indeed perhaps the easiest solution to get the desired result! Commented Feb 22, 2014 at 18:02
  • Truly nice ! I used this to print Evernote Annotations. If you use Evernote and create annotations, when you attempt to print it, all the annotations tend to get printed in a 1X1 page scaled to ~ 1/50th the size (which means they are barely readable). The annotations could have spanned 100 pages, but they will all attempt to get printed in 1 page ! Using Adobe Poster Print option, I was able to split the annotation printing across multiple pages in normal readable format. Thanks!
    – xbsd
    Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 17:36
  • This is especially useful since you can save any image to PDF in the OS X print dialog.
    – FvD
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 12:31
  • 1
    This is a bad solution because it attempts to have 0 margins and can even split in the middle of a line. For example: i.imgur.com/dy98vD5.png. Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 17:22

If you in Preview select the half of the A3 (e.g. use the Inspector +I so you get the exact size) - then choose Copy +C, and paste it as a new file +N (my suggestion would be to save each new file as its page number). After that do the same with the other half of the A3.

If you save every new file as its page number, then afterward you can select all the new files in Finder. Once they're all selected, right click and choose Quick Actions > Create PDF (available in macOS Mojave). You'll have a new PDF that is composed of every pdf you had selected.

Quick Actions

  • 2
    Good enough poor man solution. I like it. Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 12:20
  • Thank you - this has answered my problem, too. I have a PDF in which the pages are somehow double-height A4, so to print normal size I have to split each page into two. I used your suggestion and cropped each page, printed, used undo and then cropped each one again the other way and printed again. Takes a little time but it's simple and easy, thank you again!
    – user6122
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 9:22

After googling, I found that "Preview.app" and "Automator.app" can handle this job.

  1. Open the pdf file in Preview.app
  2. Show Thumbnail
  3. Select all pages
  4. From Menu, choose "Tools" - "Select Tool"
  5. Select right side of a page to crop
  6. From Menu, choose "Tools" - "Show Inspector" 7, On the "Inspector" window, choose "Crop and rotate inspector"
  7. Push "Crop" button (in "Selected Pages" group)
  8. From Menu, choose "File" - "Print", and choose "PDF" - "Save as PDF...", and save as "right.pdf"
  9. Do same thing(4-7) for left side and save as "leftside.pdf"
  10. Start Automator.app and make workflow with following actions. a. "Get Specified Finder Items" (choose "leftside.pdf" and "rightside.pdf") b. "Combine PDF Pages" c. "Move Finder Items"
  11. Run the Automator workflow.
  • At least on the last Preview.app, crop does not remove the remaining, but just hides it. So the Automator produces a pdf with repeated double pages
    – dinigo
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 20:50
  • Tested on 10.15.7 and worked. After rectangular selection, I directly used Tools > Crop instead of opening the inspector Commented May 6, 2021 at 16:38

A small JAVA program called Briss will do exactly this job.



Preview cannot do this unfortunately, but an $5 application called Tiler does this with ease.


Hope this helps.

  • It made the job perfectly!
    – fguillen
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 14:07

I've made an open source and cross platform command line tool called pdftilecut which does exactly what the OP wants. It works with multi-page document of various sizes.


See pdfposter (you can install it with macports):



I have been searching for a free solution for this and I stumbled a java app called 'briss' which does what it promised perfectly. http://briss.sourceforge.net


If you have Illustrator you can simply create a document with several letter size artboards and place the PDF.

  • Downvoters should explain their reason for downvoting. Otherwise how can we know what they found wrong about this answer.
    – Yëco
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 18:13
  • Same thing can be done in Indesign. A problem here is that a placed pdf is handled as an image and all hyperlinks are destroyed.
    – nik
    Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 11:25

Select option to print -> Poster This will split your page into your default page size(for letter size 8 x 11) you can select tile scale to zoom within this split page. You can also select overlap. You can select labels so you know which page goes where.


This is an online tool I found that worked for splitting an A0 format to multiple A4. https://online2pdf.com/split-page-into-4-parts#


You print to PDF with the following setting: - change page setup to A4 size (if the original document was in A3) - then print..

for the other side of page, you need to rotate the original file and do the same as above..

  • Can you provide more precise step-by-step instructions? Pictures would be nice too.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 5:37

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