Crop PDF Files for Amazon Kindle

It has been one month since I got my Amazon Kindle reader and I really like the little device. Now I find myself read more and more on Kindle than on my laptop. The main reason I bought the Kindle is to use it for some PDF documents which until a month ago I can only read on my computer. That usually means hours everyday sitting still in front of the computer, which I really don’t like. Now, with the 6″ Kindle that’s also very light, I can read anywhere and most of the time, I prefer to stand up.

But there’s a problem. The latest version of Kindle supports native PDF, but it’s not optimized for that format, meaning that the device takes the document and just displays it without any processing. For PDF documents, there are usually plenty of empty spaces on each page around the texts and displaying the pages on Kindle, the texts are rather small because the useless white spaces also take up a large part of the 6″ screen. Even though I set the Kindle in Landscape instead of Portrait, the texts are still not that easy to read some times. If only I could get rid of all the margins and make the texts bigger.

Then I did some searches and found a few free tools that can crop the margins of PDF documents while keeping the texts intact. After some quick testing, I think I got the perfect tool to solve my problem. It’s a free, open source software called Briss. What it does is cropping PDF files (single page or hundreds of pages) as long as it can load the PDF file you want to crop. As you can see from the screenshot below, after loading the PDF file into Briss, you can define the regions you want to crop (the whole page or a portion of it) and how much space you want to keep, for odd and even pages. And after you apply the action, crop that is, the software will automatically save the cropped document using the same file name as the original one but adding “croppped” at the end, so you have both the original and the processed documents.

Crop PDF Files for Amazon Kindle

Here’s what the original PDF document looks like on my Kindle. As you can see, there are a lot of empty spaces on the sides and top and bottom (the blanks on top and bottom don’t really matter though) and the texts are quite small.

Crop PDF Files for Amazon Kindle

And here’s what the same page looks like after the margins are removed using Briss. Much better isn’t it?

Crop PDF Files for Amazon Kindle

If you have the same problem, you may also want to try Briss (you canĀ download the latest version on Sourceforge.net). There’s no installation required, just download, extract the files and use it. But you do need the latest version of Java Runtime Environment to run the software. The software will prompt you to download (also free) and install it if you don’t have the right version installed in your computer.

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This post was written by Sun You can find out more about Sun and his activities on Facebook , or follow him on Twitter .

2 Responses to “Crop PDF Files for Amazon Kindle”

  1. Peter |  May 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for the tip, i had noticed that some of the PDF files on my Kindle that I’ve had for a couple of weeks now were a bit hard to read. This should definitely help.

    • Sun |  May 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      I am glad you can use it. Removing all the spaces does make the texts easier to read.