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I have an ebook I'm trying to read in PDF format on a Kindle. Unfortunately, the page headers and footers have some content (page number and copyright info, respectively) preventing the device from scaling the actual text to match its usable area viewing area, thus leaving the actual content too small to read.

Various tools are available which will trim off whitespace, but the Kindle already does this; my goal, by contrast, is to remove printed matter outside of a defined bounding box, and the only tool I've found for the purpose is moderately expensive commercial software.

I could probably generate a mask in Inkscape; split out the individual pages using pdftk, apply the mask to each page individually (outputting to postscript), and recombine the numerous postscript files into a single PDF. However, this decode/reencode steps would be pretty unfortunate in terms of document size; something able to operate with a bit more finesse would be ideal.

I have all major operating systems handy (Windows, several modern Linux distros, a Mac, etc) so solutions don't need to be constrained by platform.


(I've reported the issue to the author, who mentioned it to his editor, who hasn't done anything about the issue over the course of more than a month, making the zero-work approach evidently nonproductive).

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up vote 30 down vote accepted

Try BRISS. Free, open source and cross-platform. There's a nice discussion of it at the MobileRead forums.

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That's a beautiful piece of software; thanks! – Charles Duffy Nov 1 '10 at 3:27
Unreal! great program – Fidel Dec 23 '12 at 21:09
Opened pdf, it auto selected the area to be cropped, saved to new file with adding _cropped to the file name, basically i did nothing - awesome app! – Rush Frisby Sep 16 '15 at 14:05
This tool preserves all PDF vector-graphics ==> Zooming in works like before cropping. Exactly what I needed. – kiltek Nov 13 '15 at 15:51
The controls of this app are a bit cumbersome, however it's really very useful. It also preserves the comments (highlights, underlines etc) in the document. Awesome! A great help for reading PDF documents on tablets. – Czechnology Nov 13 '15 at 18:34

As mentionned in other answer, BRISS is great. Another really handy tool is k2pdfopt ( This tool is really great to take a pdf and optimise them for the Kindle (or any device with smaller screen). It works really great for scientific 2 colums paper since it reflow the text while keeping the equation and images.

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How about ?

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As was already pointed out k2pdfopt is a great tool.

If you do not mind jailbreaking your Kindle (and possibly voiding your warranty) there is also the option of using this tool directly on your reader. This is implemented by three forks of the same software package:

  • Kindle PDF viewer is the original and supports Kindles with Keyboard (designed for Kindle 3).
  • Kindle Open Reader supports touch devices (Kindles and newly also Kobo)
  • Librerator supports non-touch Kindles (including Kindle 4)

They deal with multiple columns, allow reflow of text and change of font size. They even manage not to destroy scientific formulas and images when reflowing.

At this time there are minor problems like missing spaces between two words of a line jump, but I consider them unproblematic. Maybe they get fixed in one of the next versions.

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I too had this problem with my 1200 page scanned (non-English) PDF. All the tools including Adobe Acrobat (IX to XI) failed to trim the surrounding white space. The margin of odd page differed from that in even pages. To make this worse, the size of the margin was inconsistent. As @frabjous pointed out, Briss did help. However when all pages in the document was overlapped, it was observed that a crop cannot be applied as there was no overall effective white space at all (due to inconsistent margins)

The only solution was then for me to split the PDF document into individual pages, run it through Briss to remove margins and recombine. The steps I followed are:

  1. I split this document to individual pages with Adobe Acrobat IX by clicking Document->Split document which opened the following dialog:enter image description here This action created 1200 individual PDF files.
  2. Then I created a batch file with following content:for %%d in (*.*) do "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java" -jar "C:\Users\VM\Desktop\briss-0.9\briss-0.9\briss-0.9.jar" -s %%d
  3. Placed this batch file in the same place where the 1200 PDF files are placed and ran the batch file.
  4. Again, I used Adobe Acrobat IX to join all the PDF files to one single file and voila, I had a PDF with all its pages with minimum white margins which was now damn easy to read in tablet.

Tip: In the above said content of the batch file, I basically run a FOR loop and take each PDF file and pass it to Briss to automatically crop the PDF. Depending on

  1. where the Briss is installed (and architecture of the computer i.e. x86 or x64).
  2. where the Java Run Time Environment is installed.
  3. Java run time environment can be downloaded free from here
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Reading PDFs on a Kindle is not ideal. An ideal way is to convert the PDF files into a format that the Kindle will recognise using MobiCreator to convert PDF files into .prc files for the Amazon Kindle.

1. Download and install the FULL version of Mobipocket Creator from the link below. (If you opt for the simpler version, it won’t have the PDF conversion option.)

2. When Mobipocket Creator is running, select Adobe PDF under Import From Existing File

3. Choose the PDF file you want to convert

4. Leave the rest alone unless you want to change your destination folder and click Import

5. Select the html file that was just created and click Build from the toolbar at the top of Mobipocket Creator

6. Click Build (you will most likely get a few errors but I just ignore them)

7. Go to your destination folder, open the folder that was created with your publication

8. Copy the .prc file into the Documents folder of your Kindle via the USB cable (if you want it delivered wirelessly, you’ll have to email it to yourself and pay 10 cents)

One of the major difficulties of reading PDF files on the Kindle is the lack of a Table of Contents so you can’t skip around very easily.

There is however a function on Mobipocket Creator for creating a Table of Contents.

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The device is actually a Kindle DX; it does have a built-in PDF reader, and is sufficiently large-format that my documents are fine with their margins trimmed. – Charles Duffy Feb 5 '13 at 13:46
@CharlesDuffy Fine, less hassle then. Thx for informing me, hoped it worked out – Simon Feb 5 '13 at 14:02

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