Almost all my printing, including web pages and emails works fine and has done so for years, but ...

When I print web pages and emails, I routinely run into a few that print in something like 1 point type and are unreadable. I usually print them to a file first anyway, so I have the generated PostScript or PDF files available (until I delete them after they're printed).

For these cases, it doesn't seem to matter whether I print to a PostScript or PDF file or direct to the printer. I can select any of these options.

When this happens, I have some workarounds like copying and pasting the original content into LibreOffice writer or into kate, but these don't always have the desired effect. Sometimes writer hangs completely and has to be killed and while using kate always works, the formatting can be ugly and, of course, all graphic elements are lost.

Is there any tool/method which can magnify the print file for printing?

I imagine ghostscript can do things like this, but I have no idea how to use it.

Programs all seem to have zoom options that work on the display, but have no effect on what prints.

This is a generic question, but I will detail my system particulars in case it makes a difference.

kubuntu precise (12.04) 64-bit on a notebook
Firefox 25.0.1
Thunderbird 24.1.1
HP LaserJet 1020 and HP LaserJet p1006

  • What happens if you try opening the pdf's with LibreOffice?
    – jthill
    Nov 26, 2013 at 3:13
  • Imagemagic can work with PDF files.
    – phemmer
    Nov 26, 2013 at 6:22
  • @jthill I know I've done that in the past, but I can't figure out how to load/import it into LibreOffice at the moment. I think there used to be a Sun extension for that.
    – Joe
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:19
  • @Patrick I just tried that, but I have no idea what to tell it. I tried convert in.pdf -resize 300x300^ out.pdf , but it just totally blurred everything.
    – Joe
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


In my experience the better way to manipulate PDF is via Inkscape.

If the PDF is well structured (not true everytime...) you can select the elements and manipulate them, like zooming or changing the font size:

not-so-well-behaved PDF

(This example is from a not-so-well-behaved PDF, though).

  • Wow! Something that might actually work. I'll try it and then get back here. I've spent a few minutes with Inkscape, but I really don't know much about it yet.
    – Joe
    Nov 27, 2013 at 9:36
  • That works, but I'll have to learn Inkscape before I can use it effectively. So far, I got a 20% size increase without blowing everything outside of the print margins and that improved it up to barely readable - a big improvement.
    – Joe
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:42

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