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I need to increase the top and bottom margins of all the pages in a pdf file, or alternatively increase the size of each page so as to add a little white space at the top and the bottom. How can I do this?

The pdf is not cropped so it is not a matter of decreasing the crop.

I have Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.

EDIT: The pages in the pdf files have different sizes, and I need to keep it that way. What this means is that I can't just change the page size, cause that would produce a pdf file with all pages of the same large size. What I need is to add a small differential of size to each page separately.

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Here's what I ended up doing: I added a thin Header/Footer to every page with Adobe Acrobat Pro 9. There's an option in the Header/Footer dialog that compresses the contents of every page to make space for the header/footer, which is exactly what I wanted.

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I needed to shift down the text on a 109-page pdf so it would print to labels. I was able to do it in Header/Footer. Click on Tools > Pages > Header & Footer > Add Header & Footer. After you change the margin you want adjusted, click on Appearance options and select "Shrink document to avoid overwriting the document's text and graphics."

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You can definitely increase the page size: Go to the Document menu -> Crop Pages and put a larger size in the Change Page Size section.

  • See the edit I just made to the question. This doesn't help me. Thanks anyway. – becko Dec 31 '11 at 19:07
  • Ah, yeah, I don't know of a way to give a size relative to the previous size. – rakslice Jan 1 '12 at 8:20
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I just encountered this problem:

The solutions I considered:

  • Add an arbitrary blank header & footer
  • Change page size and re-crop to confine to your size ( not good if you have several pages that are different sizes )

The solution I used:

  • Print dialogue, shrink, print-to-pdf ( This could be bad if you want to preserve meta data, but there are programs for quickly adding bookmarks if that is what you are concerend about like jpdfbookmarks.)
    • There are options in the print dialogue to change the page sizes to: fit, actual, shrink, or custom scale. I've had a lot of success with shrinking the pages.
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You can use ScanTailor for a powerful tool for scanned books. Below is the content of its wiki page Page Layout:


At this stage you may adjust the margins added to the content box. There are two types of margins - hard and soft.

Hard margin - is that between the solid lines. They are set by the user. You can either move over any solid line, be it an inner or outer edge, or set the margins through numerical values.

Soft margin - is that between the solid and the dotted line. These margins are automatically added to bring the page size to the same size of other pages. If you see a dotted line - this means that somewhere in the project there is a page with that width (usable area of Hard + margin), and (possibly others) with that height.

This is one big page causing the soft margins in all the other pages, if only for not leveling them off.

Optional alignment is precisely defined, add a soft margin, and if you add, then with any of the parts.

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To increase margins in Acrobat Pro, first you have to ... crop it. Go to Tools > Pages > Crop, select random area on the file and double click it. In the Set Page Boxes dialog first you change the page size to a larger, then set all crop margin to zero (the Margin Controls might be shaded after step 1, just change the option to a random one). Don't forget to apply to all before click OK.

Then you can now actually crop the page. Go to Tools > Print Production > Set Page Boxes. The same dialog will open, but this time you have the old margins to compare before cropping.

FYI: Crop PDF pages on Adobe Support.

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Or just simply, Ctrl + P. Select Microsoft Print to PDF. Use custom scale to scale down [page zoom] to 75 - 80 %. Then select auto-centre pages in sheets. Save file.

see image below

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I encountered this same issue. Super weird that Acrobat doesn't support negative margin numbers in the crop. My workaround was to open the pdf in illustrator and do some artboard magic on a 160-page document. Your mileage may vary.

  • Can you explain specifically what “artboard magic” produces the effect of increasing the margins on every page?  Did you find a global solution (that affects every page in the file), or did you have to do something on each page? … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. – Scott Feb 9 at 0:23

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