Converting a Large PDF to a Smaller One

Last week I found a great bit of information on my great-great grandfather in a book digitized by Google. He was featured in a book about poets from South Dakota (and I came across this book with a simple Google search!). Wh

en I looked at the book, I was pleased to find that there were about 15 pages devoted to some biographical data and a few of his best poems. I knew immediately that I wanted to share this material with my family via my Public Member Tree. I had a few options for doing so.

I could download the entire book as a PDF, but it was over 300 pages. I wouldn’t then want to upload a PDF that large to my Public Member Tree and expect my family members to sort through the whole book to find the pertinent information. I could also “clip” the pertinent data or use the “plain text” tool to get the text pulled off. (My colleague, Allison Aston Deibel, wrote about these tools here.) I didn’t want to use the plain text tool because the book featured a photo of my ancestor. I wasn’t interested in “clipping” the information because there were so many pages.

I did what I always do when I’m in a technical jam – I emailed my brother-in-law. His suggestion was a simple one (so simple, in fact, that I felt silly for not thinking of it myself): Print the selected pages to a PDF using any PDF writing software. I happen to use both Primo PDF and PDF X-Change, so this was definitely a viable option for me. (If you don’t have a PDF writer, these are a couple of free options. There are others as well.)

First, I downloaded the entire book from Google Books. Then I selected the “print” function. I specified the pages that I wanted to print, and I chose one of my PDF writers as my printer. In only a moment I had the pages I needed, in a much smaller file, ready to upload to my Public Member Tree.

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Other Posts

Write a Comment

Take a moment to comment and tell us what you think. Some basic HTML is allowed for formatting.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to login.

Reader Comments

Another free tool I use is PDF Split and Merge ( to remove pages or move pages around in a large PDF.