LSAC, the Law School Admission Council, distributes PDF files with busted margins.
Instead of half inch margins all around the page,
they have a one inch margin at the top and no margin at the bottom
(i.e., text runs flush with the bottom of the page).
After spending a few hours trying different poorly documented CUPS command invokations,
I finally found the
It was such a frustrating experience,
I have decided to document the solution in hopes of preventing at least one other person from the same hell.
So first I ran
pdfinfo on the file to get the page size:
$ pdfinfo recommend.pdf Title: Author: DZS Creator: Toolkit http://www.activepdf.com Producer: Toolkit http://www.activepdf.com CreationDate: Mon Oct 16 03:22:47 2006 ModDate: Mon Oct 16 03:22:47 2006 Tagged: no Pages: 1 Encrypted: no Page size: 612 x 792 pts (letter) File size: 122713 bytes Optimized: no PDF version: 1.5
So the page is 612 by 792.
Next we run
pdfcrop to produce a file without any margins:
$ pdfcrop recommend.pdf recommend-cropped.pdf PDFCROP 1.5, 2004/06/24 - Copyright (c) 2002, 2004 by Heiko Oberdiek. ==> 1 pages written on `recommend-cropped.pdf'.
pdfinfo on the resulting file:
$ pdfinfo recommend-cropped.pdf Creator: TeX Producer: pdfeTeX-1.21a CreationDate: Tue Oct 17 00:50:47 2006 Tagged: no Pages: 1 Encrypted: no Page size: 551 x 716 pts File size: 110258 bytes Optimized: no PDF version: 1.4
Notice that the page size has shrunk from 612 by 792 to 551 by 716.
So 612 – 551 = 61 pts narrower,
and 792 – 716 = 76 pts shorter.
We can now use this knowledge along with
to recenter the resulting document:
$ pdfcrop --margins "31 38 30 38" recommend.pdf recommend-fixed.pdf PDFCROP 1.5, 2004/06/24 - Copyright (c) 2002, 2004 by Heiko Oberdiek. ==> 1 pages written on `recommend-fixed.pdf'.
You have successfully compensated for the incompetence of the institution that holds complete control over who can practice US law.
From: Fixing PDF margins