I have a Google Docs drawing that is a small scheme. However, this small scheme is surrounded by a lot of background that occupies a lot of useless space.

enter image description here

I do not want to remove the background manually because I may need the extra space in the future.

I know Latex has a lot of image packages, so I was wondering if there is some package that I can use to automatically detect that useless background and crop my image so I do not have all that white space around it.

I know some of you will suggest the external tool pdfcrop. I have experimented with it, but it does not crop the image at all.

Here is the png image file and here is the pdf version downloaded with Gdocs.

  • 2
    You can try pdfcrop if it is a pdf. Gimp or imagemagick or ghostscript if it is an image.
    – user11232
    Mar 16 '14 at 23:11
  • Can you give me a MWE with an image in PDF format (using pdfcrop)? I am quite new at this :S Mar 16 '14 at 23:38
  • 1
    For which one?. In gimp simply open it and try to chop off. For pdfcrop it is pdfcrop file.pdf filecropped.pdf and for imagemagick convert -trim file.png file-trimmed.png from command prompt.
    – user11232
    Mar 16 '14 at 23:42
  • Ahh, so Latex has no packages that can do this automatically for me? I have to do it manually using an external tool? Mar 16 '14 at 23:44
  • 1
    See the answer to tex.stackexchange.com/q/151646/3954 for a way to use pdfcrop from within you document. Mar 16 '14 at 23:45

You do not need a cropped copy with a external program, only add some options to \includegraphics. This MWE show the same image twice (renamed to image.png) , with and without the useless background. Both images are inside a framed box to show the edges:



\section*{Original image} 


\section*{Trimmed and clipped image} 

\fbox{\includegraphics[width=\linewidth,trim=6.5cm 6cm 6.5cm 4cm,clip]{image.png}}


Edit: Since the goal seem to be the automatic cropping more that avoid a cropped copy, this has been perfectly solved in the comments (with an external tool) as far I know, so only put in practice to in a MWE.

The following code with a poorman's macro added to the above MWE:

\section*{Automatic crop}
Note: compile with \verb|--shell-escape|\\

    \immediate\write18{convert -trim #1.png #1cropped.png}%


Will produce this image automatically:


Really the cropping was not make really by LaTeX and neeed one extra file, but who cares? Anyway is done while running pdflatex.

  • Yes but, can this trim be done automatically by an algorithm? Mar 17 '14 at 11:02
  • @Flame_Phoenix Do you mean like the Autocrop or Zealous Crop commands in Gimp? This mean pattern recognition and image recognition, that is, analyze the bitmaps and vector images. I am afraid that this is asking too much for a text typographic system. But who know, I am still learning ... :)
    – Fran
    Mar 17 '14 at 11:31
  • yes exactly like autocrop in gimp. I heard that this is in fact possible, and that one can use pdfcrop to achieve that, but I am not sure how to do it :S Mar 17 '14 at 12:27
  • @Flame_Phoenix I added an example using convert and the png image. I cannot test now, pdfcrop, but should be nearly the same, although may be cropping only the text margins, not the blank areas of a included bitmap. But you convert to PNG and -trim at the same time. (convert -trim image.pdf image.png).
    – Fran
    Mar 17 '14 at 13:18
  • Alright ... how do I run this with --shell-escape using Kile? xD Mar 17 '14 at 13:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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