I scanned a document and would like to crop out around half of the image.

I can crop using Preview or using Adobe Acrobat Pro. But neither program permanently crops the file. The file size never decreases.

  • I tried using "Remove Hidden Information" on Adobe Acrobat Pro which was able to permanently crop the file. After the process completed, I clicked Save which opened a new Save As prompt. So, I re-saved the document, but the file size grew tenfold. No idea why.

  • I tried exporting to Optimized PDF on Adobe Acrobat Pro and the PDF was still not permanently cropped.

  • I tried exporting to Reduced Size PDF on Adobe Acrobat Pro and the PDF was permanently cropped, but the image quality was decreased.

Are there seriously no options to remove the cropped area without exporting the file as TIFF and importing the TIFF files to create a new PDF file or ->Print->Save As PDF? I don't want to do these because the image quality will decrease.

And why is such a basic task so difficult?

1 Answer 1


Cropping (in Acrobat) is non-destructive, as you noted.

If you really want to permanently cut away parts of your scan, it would be better to open the file in an image processing software, do the cutting away (aka cropping) there and resave as PDF (or TIFF, and then bring back to Acrobat for a PDF).

If you do not change the image resolution, the image quality will remain.

  • what is the image processing software that you recommend on Mac? thanks!
    – wonderich
    Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 18:13
  • @wonderich there are many options... Gimp is almost as powerful as Adobe Photoshop but free: gimp.org/downloads
    – Brian Z
    Commented Dec 3, 2023 at 14:02

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