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Is there any free way to split PDF pages down the middle?

  1. Aug 3, 2009 #1
    Is there any free way to split PDF pages down the middle?

    I have a scanned PDF book with 2 pages on each page. Is there any way I could split the whole doc down the middle so there is 1 book page per page.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2009 #2


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    Where did you get it from? Is it a legal copy?
  4. Aug 3, 2009 #3
  5. Aug 3, 2009 #4


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  6. Aug 8, 2009 #5


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    In Acrobat (not Reader), there's an option to span print pages. If you expand (to say, 200%) and then make it print such that half of it is on one page, and half is on the adjacent page, you'll have split the PDF right down the middle.

    You can then print directly to Acrobat so that it churns out another PDF.

    This feature isn't in Acrobat Reader 9, but it might've been in older versions:

    You'd also need a PDF printer:
  7. Aug 11, 2009 #6
    Acrobat is too expensive I think.
    I Googled for you but no freeware returned.
    So, use this PDF Splitter, the price is reasonable. It's pretty simple but useful.
    Hope it helps.
    BTW, I'm new here, hello everyone.
  8. Aug 11, 2009 #7


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    Welcome to PhysicsForums!

    Unfortunately, that program only splits off individual pages (or groups of pages), it doesn't split parts of pages, as the OP was asking for. PDFCreator can do the same sorts of things (and it's free):
  9. Apr 8, 2010 #8
    "A-PDF Page Cut" will do what you want, the free version water marks the file though, if that matters.

    I'm also still looking for a free version. I'll post back here if I find one.

    Looking for a way to avoid having to say "I don't know." eh?

    Begin Rant:

    "Legal" is a matter of opinion, one that varies from district to district, country to country, and person to person. And that's not even beginning to touch on the legal gray areas of pending court cases or the IP law reform movement and fair use debates, or basic ethics and moral imperatives.

    Ultimately it's not your business, and its silly to ask because if he has any doubt about your reaction he'll just lie.

    You know, Xerox machines in libraries were illegal for a time. I guess we know which side of that debate you'd have been on.

    You and Jack Valenti.

    I'd be just a little ashamed of being on that side of the line, but hey, that's just me.
  10. Apr 8, 2010 #9


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    If you have an issue with PF's policy on copyright violation, take it up with the owner/admin, Greg Bernhardt. He's the one who's ultimately responsible for the rules here. You can PM him via the "Staff" link at the top of every page.
  11. Apr 8, 2010 #10
    ...or I could just say my piece as an addendum to my response to the original post... oh, right.

    Is this not a "Free Speech Zone"?


    Update on the split process.

    There is an interesting app that may help work around some problems if not outright solve them. It's open source, it's called "Papercrop" not as easy to work with as Page Cut, but it's free.

    Again, still looking.

    At the moment my approach is splitting the pdf into images (via the export to images function of PDF XChange viewer) and trying to operate on them as a batch, and then using another free tool to recompile them into a pdf, or whatever.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  12. Apr 8, 2010 #11
    imagemagick might work if you're always cropping the same regions.
  13. Apr 8, 2010 #12
    imagemagick is certainly powerful enough, but it's CLI only isn't it? Irfan view will do batch cropping and conversion, but it takes some trial an error to get the numbers right. Thanks :)
  14. Apr 8, 2010 #13


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    Then you've made it obvious that you aren't a working engineer or writer or artist or other person who gains a large portion of their income from copyrighted and patented material, otherwise known as intellectual property. I am one of those people, so yes, I take copyrights seriously. And for legal reasons, so does the PF. Copyright violations will not be tolerated here on the PF. And yes, he could try to lie, but there are often ways to figure that out, and there are many deleted posts that have resulted from such attempted violations here.

    So far I don't think there's a copyright violation discussion in this thread, well, until your post. Please steer clear of advocating copyright or patent violations here on the PF, or you will not be here for long.
  15. Apr 9, 2010 #14
    And you've made it obvious that you think all intellectual advancement is done for profit. One wonders then why, for example, Ben Franklin donated so many of his patents to the public domain, or why so many of those physicists and engineers you mentioned end up working under government grants with their IP going also into the public domain.

    Some people create because they are compelled to do so. It's a mistake to project a solely mercenary attitude onto all humanity.

    I see you're also the type that likes to win an argument with a threat instead of reason.

    Kick me if you like, and delete this thread if you're that threatened by me.

    But for the record.

    1. I tried to drop it after having said my piece. And you're the one that needlessly injected the question in the first place. Do you always go around interrogating people with file format questions?

    2. I'm not advocating copyright violation, I'm simply saying that what Constitutes violation is up for debate and that debate is massive and at times borders on the philosophic. For example, if I type something from memory is it the same as cut and pasting it from somewhere? Should I be allowed to start patenting random large numbers and then suing for license fees when I find them in software? If not why not? We're allowed to patent genes.

    If you want my personal opinion on copyright it's this.

    If my (our?) country shared your opinion we'd probably still be primarily horse driven. I mean that literally. George B. Selden isn't exactly a household name but Henry Ford sure is.

    The attitude that innovation only occurs when motivated by profit has thoroughly been shown to be a myth as a result of numerous scientific funding debates, started by the kinds of people that say NASA and the NSF are wastes of money. The idea that the free market solves all ignores the existence of common good problems. Innovation, copyright, and patents all relate rather closely to modern common good problems.

    Corporations don't spend money to solve problems they spend it to profit from ameliorating their symptoms.

    I'm a writer btw, and all my work is available for reading for free to anyone. I'd link you, but I'm betting you'd parlay that into a spamming violation to shut me up. I suspect you'll find some other excuse regardless of my adherence to the rules, perhaps by invoking one of the many ever present subjective clauses? Surely showing your logic to be flawed without regard for allowing you to save face could be constructed as disrespectful and rude?

    Further, you clearly don't understand the difference between a copyright and a patent, between credit and profit, we as a nation (and by proxy as a planet, since the US exports and imposes it's IP law everywhere, just ask Australia) have allowed business interests and the greedy to in effect patent brush strokes while outlawing competition and holding innovation for ransom.

    This behavior and ideology is in fact literally killing people. Pharmaceutical profiteering via tactical patenting is the clearest example.

    Allowing the licensing of software and restricting the flow of facts was and is a colossal mistake. If this (your) attitude had been prevalent from the outset we'd not have libraries at all.

    By your logic cave painting was done on commission for tiger meat. What a sad view of human creativity and compassion you must have. Art done for money is Britney Spears, art done for the soul is Bach.

    Again, if it were me I'd by just a touch worried that I'm on the same side of the issue as the RIAA, Monsanto, Apple, Dow, Eli Lilly and every other greedy innovation squashing Corporate monster.

    Literally thousands of technologies sit gathering dust because some defunct company owns the patent.

    But I guess knowledge should only go to those that can afford to buy it eh?

    How about you not respond and we focus on the PDF splitting, hmm? Or do I get to play the digital version of Rodney King? I guess we'll see if this is a free speech zone.
  16. Apr 9, 2010 #15
    There's a simplistic gui (at least for the vista version), but you'd want to use the CLI anyway for a batch job.
  17. Apr 9, 2010 #16
    Can you link to the gui, or give me a Google search term? Or are you saying it's built in? I must admit I was somewhat confused by the program's many download options, it's entirely possible I grabbed the wrong one.
  18. Apr 9, 2010 #17
    I was thinking of imdisplay, but I pulled it up and it just handles really basic photo editing.
  19. Apr 9, 2010 #18
    Ahh, I'll have to check it out. Thanks anyway.

    It's kind of crazy to me that there isn't some open source suite that includes this type of operation. PDF is a hyper common file format and books being shaped as their are, plus the nature of flat bed scanners, coupled with Project Gutenberg and similar efforts, make the fact that there isn't an all in one project somewhere kind of shocking.
  20. Sep 7, 2010 #19
    Sorry to dredge up the past--I'm sincerely looking for a way to split the pages in pdfs of scanned journals/books--all academic stuff covered by fair use rules. I want to be able to read these pdfs on my kindle without having to zoom in.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2010
  21. Sep 7, 2010 #20


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    I'll have to go back and re-read the thread, but did nothing suggested so far work for you?
  22. Sep 7, 2010 #21
    You answered before you read what you were answering? *facepalm*


    I eventually gave up on the problem.

    The work around I used was to print the file and physically cut the document and then rescan it. Fortunately OCR and printing technology makes that possible though it was a dreadful waste of paper.

    If you find something please do post here what is found, I'd like to have the option even if my need is no longer pressing.
  23. Sep 7, 2010 #22


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    I sometimes do things out of order, yes. :wink:

    Interesting solution. I wonder if there is a way to use a flat panel monitor on top of the scanner, instead of having to print out the paper version.... The focal plane is the plane of the scanner glass, though, so that may not work.
  24. Sep 7, 2010 #23
    Thanks guys,

    Here's my new theory:

    1) first print to file using cutepdf or something similar; when you go to print, print two copies and select collate--or is it deselect collate?--whichever way makes it so that you duplicate pages throughout the document.

    2) next, do a batch 180 degrees rotation of every other page, so that, for instance, page one of the scanned document will be on the left side of page one of the file and page two of the scanned document will be on the left side of the second page of the file. In other words, you will have a complete and correct sequence of the scanned pages on both the left and right sides of the pdf (in lanscape view), because you've duplicated and alternately rotated each two-page image.

    3) Now you should be able to crop and discard one half of every page (because the half you're discarding should be the first half of the next page).

    4) Once you've done the batch cropping, you'll need to re-rotate every other page so that all pages are oriented the same.

    The end result should be a single file with all of the scanned pages, each on a single pdf page.

    What do y'all think? I'll test it out and let you know what happens.
  25. Oct 21, 2010 #24
    My vote goes to this program. It is excellent, fast, and free! Of course the water mark, on the first page only, is actually a link to the products webpage. No biggie. If you don't like the watermark pay for full version.


    That gets you a readable pdf for your eReader! Two thumbs up!

    If you have Acrobat just delete the first page and Wah La, no more watermark! Sweet!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  26. Nov 6, 2010 #25
    Wow, thank you guys for posting this. Just to let everyone know, A-PDF works like a charm under Wine on Linux Mint 9. This is the kind of program I would be happy buying (if i did this type of stuff very often or for work).

    P.S. I sometimes torrent e-copies of books which I legally own as paper versions. Can't wait until the IP lawyers start trying to chew on that. lol.
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