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.

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Reader Comments

Another free tool I use is PDF Split and Merge (http://www.pdfsam.org/) to remove pages or move pages around in a large PDF.