PDF Crop Isn't Working for Me

I’m trying to crop a pdf using Devonthink’s editor. When I click on the “dashed box” and try to select what to crop, the cross comes up as expected. When I click on the mouse, I get a hand and start moving the page around instead of forming a box. Is this a bug, or do I have the procedure wrong?

There is no crop function in DEVONthink or DEVONthink To Go.

That’s the Annotation Selection tool.

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In addition to @BLUEFROG’s explanation: “Crop” doesn’t make a lot of sense with a PDF. The content of these files are a sequence of commands that generate marks on a “page”. When you crop an image (like a JPG, a PNG or a HEIC), you’re effectively selecting pixels. With a PDF, what would you select? While you can select half of a face, doing so with “draw the string ‘foobarsomething’ at coordinates 20, 400” would most probably not leave anything useful in the PDF.

The concept of “cropping” makes sense for images only, I think. If you need to apply it to a PDF, convert it to PNG or JPG or whatever image format you fancy first and crop that. But take note that you then lose all the PDF commands, so that zooming will only give you pixel zoom. And you’d have to reapply OCR to the result to get a text layer.

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Sure it makes sense. After scanning a document in - for example if the document was scanned at A4 size but has smaller pages - there will be wasted space around the edges of the PDF page. Cropping would allow the PDF page to become full size. I do this quite a lot.

With which app do you do that?

Just Preview.

Not sure how/what you’re doing there. I used the “rectangle selection tool” and then “crop” (Cmd-K), which gave me this warning:

When you crop a PDF document, the content outside the selection is not deleted. In Preview, the content outside the selection is hidden; however, in other programs it may be visible.

Which (to me) seems to say that you can crop away as much as you want, the size of the PDF is not modified since the content is still there – just not visible.

Why aren’t you cropping when scanning multiple items on the bed of the scanner, e.g.,…

Well it works for me with Preview and Devonthink. I crop in Preview, import into Devonthink and it shows the cropped PDF.

@BLUEFROG I do that where possible, but I haven’t figured how to do that with my work scanner. You scan it on the machine and it emails you over the network.

That would also happen if Preview simply painted over the „cropped“ part with white.

Why doesn’t Devonthink then show the white part then?