IT tips #6: Print just a portion of a PDF file

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For the first time ever in the eight and half-year history of my blog, I have a guest blogger! Thank you to David Leonard of Dance Books  for contributing today’s tip. It was precisely this problem that prompted a colleague of mine to say ‘You should write this stuff down’.  It’s the solution to a problem that is an almost daily occurrence annoyance in my job, where we deal with non-standard things like tri-fold CD inlay booklets that won’t print on A4, or a sheet of photos where we need to select one and print it out. David writes: 

If you’ve ever wanted to print just a portion of a PDF file from Adobe Reader, this is how you can do it. It also allows you to enlarge the selected area to fill the entire page, if desired. This is known to work in Adobe Reader 6.0 and higher, although it may work in older versions as well.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 1 minute

Here’s How:

  1. Find the “Snapshot Tool” on the Basic toolbar and select it.
  2. Drag a box around the area you want to print. A message will alert you that the selection has been copied to the clipboard. Click OK and you will see a dashed line around the area you just selected.
  3. Click Print.
  4. In the print dialog, set the print rage to “Selected graphic.”
  5. If you want to print the selection at its intended size, set Page Scaling to “None.”
  6. If you want the selection to fill the paper, set the page scaling to “Fit to paper.” You may need to check the “Auto-Rotate and Center” check box to maximize paper usage.
  7. When you are satisfied with the preview, click OK to print the document.
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2 Responses to IT tips #6: Print just a portion of a PDF file

  1. Skip says:

    Johnathan, do you know how to print the selected text in the exact same position? I have a printed document that I need to add text to and need it to be printed on the document that has already been printed in a exact position? Thanks for any help.

    • jonathan says:

      Off the top of my head, no, I don’t know how to do this. I’m sure it’s possible – and as far as I remember, in the posh version of the Adobe pdf-making programme (i.e. that costs money to buy), it’s fairly straightforward – you just select an area, and then ‘trim’ round it, and what you’ve selected will stay where it was (very useful if you’re cropping a lot of pages that all have spare space in the same page position). I bet there’s an easy and free way to do this but right now I don’t know what it is – I’ll keep hunting though.

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