PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

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jritchie
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Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:56 pm

PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

Post by jritchie » Fri May 08, 2020 11:08 pm

Hi!
I've been using the supplied action "Crop to Visible" on a bunch of pdf's that are created daily by a legacy system for print production. The system creates a "full page" pdf with content based on what a layout team ads. I use the crop to visible to trim the pdf down to just the content so we can flow it into a different system. What I'd prefer to do is crop the top and sides, but leave the white space at the bottom. The content size is different on every page, but since the legacy system starts 0 at the bottom, I need the bottom not to crop. Currently, I'm able to crop to visible, which also crops the bottom but then have to go into the crop tool and set the bottom measurement back to 0. Is there an addition I can make to the Crop to Visible that will allow me to not crop the bottom of the pdf? I tried placing a temporary element on the page aligned with the bottom, but that won't work as the art isn't always on one side of the page... I've attached an example.
Thanks for any help or feedback.
James.
Attachments
Screen-Shot-2020-05-08-at-4.53.15-PM.jpg
Screen-Shot-2020-05-08-at-4.53.15-PM.jpg (77.29 KiB) Viewed 2434 times

abailescollins
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Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:28 pm

Re: PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

Post by abailescollins » Mon May 11, 2020 12:12 pm

Hi James
Interesting challenge!
Maybe first to explain how the crop to visible works.
Firstly it selects everything you want to crop to, in this case everything (all)
Then it makes a grayscale image (32dpi) of that content as a copy
Then it crops the white edge pixels away from that image
The the Crop box is resized to the bounding box of that image.
Then the Media box is resized to the size of that Crop box.
Then the grayscale image used for all of this is deleted.
Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 12.08.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 12.08.33 PM.png (129.22 KiB) Viewed 2397 times
PitStop Product Manager @ Enfocus.
andrewb@enfocus.com

abailescollins
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Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:28 pm

Re: PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

Post by abailescollins » Mon May 11, 2020 12:17 pm

So the challenge is how to keep the bottom measurement, or how to reinstate it after the cropping.
The ideal way would be to have an option on the Resize Page Box to allow you to work on different sides independently. I'll write that up as a feature request.

I'm interested in the part where you say 'I'm able to crop to visible, which also crops the bottom but then have to go into the crop tool and set the bottom measurement back to 0.'
Where do you do this?
This would seem to mean there is somewhere that the original dimensions are retained. Maybe we can work with that?
PitStop Product Manager @ Enfocus.
andrewb@enfocus.com

abailescollins
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Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:28 pm

Re: PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

Post by abailescollins » Mon May 11, 2020 12:31 pm

Well that was fun. I think I have an approach that will work.
What I did was I added a small rectangle at the centre bottom of the page in a spot color called 'Placeholder'.
This means that when the image is created for defining the cropped area, the bounding box included the bottom of the page (based on the Media box).
After the cropping was finished I simply deleted that spot color.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on. I made this in PitStop 2020, but it should work in older versions as well.
Crop to Visible - Keep Bottom Dimension.eal.zip
(2.58 KiB) Downloaded 125 times
PitStop Product Manager @ Enfocus.
andrewb@enfocus.com

jritchie
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Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:56 pm

Re: PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

Post by jritchie » Mon May 11, 2020 3:48 pm

Thanks abailescollins!
As for your question about setting the crop back to 0, I just do that by double clicking the page with the crop tool. The dialog that opens is actually titled "Set Page Boxes". I had tried your same method. In theory that works perfect, but unfortunately the content doesn't always go through he centre of the page. As you can see in my (crappy blurry) example, the smaller ad block on the left doesn't go all the way to centre so when I use your action or the similar one I made, you end up with extra white space on the right. Unfortunately putting the swatch on the bottom left wouldn't work either as sometimes the content is right justified... At this point, looks like I might need to wait until hopefully your change request goes through and a new version allows this, or I will have to create 2 actions depending if the content is right or left aligned. (it will always be right or left aligned depending on what page the content is for.) Actually, I may work from your action and create multiple actions depending on number of columns the content is and which side it's aligned to... fun! Time to start experimenting with some of these ideas. Thanks so much for your help!

jritchie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:56 pm

Re: PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

Post by jritchie » Mon May 11, 2020 6:11 pm

Well, it's not pretty but think I've found something that works. Since the boards can't be negative numbers, if we run the box off the bottom, it will keep the bottom measurement 0. Not the perfect way of doing it but the side crops will always align with the elements and the bottom will be 0. A reasonable workaround for now. I've attached so you can see what I've done. Thanks again for your help!
Attachments
Crop to Visible - Keep Bottom Dimension (2).eal.zip
(3.02 KiB) Downloaded 121 times

abailescollins
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Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:28 pm

Re: PDF cropping with PitStop Pro

Post by abailescollins » Mon May 11, 2020 7:19 pm

I'm trying to think of how we can improve this.
I guess it's just allowing the crop to visible to work independently of top/bottom/left/right..

but in the background it's the resizing of the page boxes to a selection that needs some more options.
PitStop Product Manager @ Enfocus.
andrewb@enfocus.com

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