I have asked a similar question before, but this time my goal is different:

I have a PDF containing blueprints on a single page. There object it depicts is drawn a couple of times: from the side, top, front and back, and a couple of cross-sections.

Altogether, this PDF is fairly complex, as it contains millions of vertices. But I don't need all that information. I just need the side-view as a vector graphic, and all the rest should be discarded.

How can I crop a PDF and remove those vertices that are outside the page's boundaries?

Using Adobe Acrobat X of pdfcrop I can change the page's dimensions but all the unwanted (off-page) drawings remain in the file. Those need to be removed. Using Acrobat's "remove hidden information" function is not an option, since that will rasterize the entire document.

I have tried loading the image using Inkscape and Scribus, but the PDF is too detailed and makes those tools crash. I do not have access to any expensive adobe tools.

The reason I want to remove that information is because 80% of the PDF's contents are unused and slow down my computer to the point where I can hardly use it with the document opened. I realize this might be off-topic on this site, but this is where the PDF experts hang out, and I'm hoping that somewhere in the (La)TeX technology stack, there is a tool that can do this.

  • 3
    I'm afraid that this question is off-topic on a site about (La)TeX, since such PDF manipulations as cropping have nothing to do with TeX. – yo' Apr 4 '14 at 8:33
  • I was hoping that there is some tool that I'm not familiar with in the (La)TeX technology stack that can do this – derabbink Apr 4 '14 at 8:54
  • I would try PDFedit if it can handle cropping from the command line (untested). I would also consider PDF->PostScript conversion (pdftops), is is easier to manipulate with the text file than with the PDF file. If it is really so complex, is a rasterization to a PNG file an option? I guess it is not as you probably want to preserve all the details. There is a tool named pstoedit, so maybe a conversion to SVG and editing it later followed by SVG->PDF conversion might be an option for you. – Malipivo Apr 4 '14 at 10:57
  • Could you please post a sample somewhere on the internet and the actual coordinates of wanted cropping to make it a real task for the solvers? – Malipivo Apr 4 '14 at 10:59

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