47

I have a scanned course and it has two pages, consecutive are showing as one page, how can I automatically split all the pages in one pass. Usually this is done by cropping odd and even pages and then merge them back together but this could take very much?

How can I split pages on scanned PDF in a single pass?

27

After looking on some internet answers (it is a question often asked ) I discovered that this can be done easily using the Poster option from the Print menu.

Steps (for Adobe Acrobat XI):

  1. Choose Print from File Menu or Ctrl+P
  2. Select Printer as Adobe PDF
  3. Select Poster tab.
  4. Change Overlap to 0 inch
  5. Adjust the Tile scale to your needs, 100%(99%) if the result printed PDF page size is same as the current PDF page size, 75% if the printed pdf page size is half the current pdf. Tinker with "Tile scale" percents if necessary to obtain your desired result. To check the the result printed PDF page size go right of "Adobe PDF" combo-box select Properties and change Adobe PDF Page Sizecombo-box if necessary.
  6. You can hit Print button when the page looks split like you desired, check the dotted line in the guiding preview:

enter image description here

Here is a print screen for the described settings:

enter image description here

  • Note that this very good method will work only on Windows, as on Mac, it is no longer possible to "print" to PS/PDF using the print dialog (reason: Apple changed something in OSX which suppresses the previously used workflow in Acrobat). – Max Wyss Aug 9 '14 at 7:16
  • 3
    There is a workaround, but it is definitely not for the faint at heart, and "should not be done at home" (print to a non-connected PostScript printer, and then snitch the spool file, and feed that into Distiller). – Max Wyss Aug 9 '14 at 9:01
  • 1
    @MaxWyss Could you give more details about the workaround? – Jairo Bochi Aug 5 '15 at 21:36
  • 2
    @JairoBochi: As described, you create a generic PDF printer (in the Printer and Scanner System Preferences), select it, and "print" to that printer. In /var/spool/ you find the spool files, which you can then snitch. You need to be su to access those files. Note: for Windows, it is not necessary, because the AdobePS printer driver still works properly. – Max Wyss Aug 5 '15 at 22:13
  • 1
    I wasn't able to create a "generic PDF printer" on Mac OS as you described, but I was able to print to my regular printer and then pause it before anything actually printed. I found a large recently created file in /var/spool/cups and it was my document. Thanks! – bugloaf Jun 11 '16 at 5:22
27

There's an excellent, free and open source tool called Briss. It is very simple, user friendly and effective. It works on multiple operating systems through Java.

Load your PDF into the app. The app will group similar pages together and lay them on top of each other. Draw rectangles on top of your pages so that they cover what you want included. It will look like this:

enter image description here

Even if your PDF has multiple categories of layout within a single document, Briss will handle it. For example, let's say some parts are in portrait and others in landscape. Briss will group them into different categories and let you draw different rectangles on them, and then process it all in a single pass, into a single document. Briss is very good at deciding which pages should be grouped together. It typically takes me less then a minute of manual work to get Briss started. Thus, a document of hundreds or even thousands of pages can be done in a couple of minutes thanks to this brilliant program.

When it looks good, select Action, then Crop PDF.

Truly a very neat tool.

Note: I realize this answer reads like I'm a Briss developer or something, but I'm really not. I just love the tool.

  • 2
    This tool is amazing, nearly everything I could ask for to deal with messy scans--even scans of documents that inconsistently have two pages together as one image, then just one page, then two again. Saved me hours. – PatKilg Aug 29 '16 at 19:11
16

Sejda.com can split scanned PDF documents in half, down the middle. Works on all desktop platforms.

Here's a short how to:

How to split scanned PDF documents in half with Sejda.com

If it's a booklet scan and the pages are not in their natural order anymore it can reorder them for you too.

I'm a developer on the project. Open source.

  • 1
    Behtareen! Best app I have ever used for PDF tasks... – Saad Rehman Shah Jun 25 '17 at 0:12
  • only one complaint - it does not allow cutting out some borders like Briss – akostadinov Apr 23 at 15:39
  • You can cut out borders in a second pass using the crop tool: sejda.com/crop-pdf – Edi Apr 24 at 9:09
13

You could use MuPDF's mutool:

mutool poster -x 2 in.pdf out.pdf
4

There are two problem with automating splitting scanned books in a single pass:

  • Automation is not always accuracy
  • Making a scanned book comfortably read is more than just splitting pages

For everything related with scanned books, I highly recommend using ScanTailor. It has features such as:

  • Turn skewed pages vertically,
  • Select content to reduce the page size,
  • Increase/decrease margin (for notetaking, maybe),
  • Whiten the result for better reading experience.

Watch tutorial video ≫

You must export the PDF into images to use this, and recombine the output images back. The processed images may be very small in file size (up to only 6% of the origin), but excellent in quality.

From its GitHub:

Scan Tailor is Free Software (which is more than just freeware). It’s written in C++ with Qt and released under the General Public License version 3. We develop both Windows and GNU/Linux versions.

It also has a fork: ScanTailor Advanced

To complete the task satisfactorily, I recommend you to use PDF-Xchange Viewer for extracting images and adding OCR, i2pdf for merging the outputs. In my experience, you can set the JPG quality to the lowest and it doesn't seem much different, but you have a trade-off between the final output's size and image quality. All programs are free. The whole process takes around 1 hour in background, with occasional checks.

I also have a complete guide to process scanned books, you may want to check it out: The ultimate guide to process scanned books.


FYI: How to create hierarchical bookmarks on scanned PDF files?

protected by Community Nov 14 '16 at 23:10

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.