I scan all my important incoming physical-mail to PDF. I am trying to move this activity to Linux as part of the process of eliminating my dependence on Windows - where I used to use the excellent but deeply proprietary NitroPDF to do the scanning and conversion.

So I have moved to using gscanpdf v 1.2.3 under Ubuntu 14.04 x_86_64 with a Canon LiDE scanner. If I scan an image in as 300DPI line-art it gives me a sensible file-size per page (about 150 kB) but for some reason although I have the page-geometry set to A4 in gscan2pdf the image always comes out as A0 (i.e. massive) which confuses a lot of readers and also makes printing of stuff awkward. So to illustrate I scanned a single page of A4:

tim@MERLIN:~/Documents/Scanned$ pdfinfo sample.pdf
Title:          LabourLeaflet
Subject:        NONE
Keywords:       NONE
Author:         001-MCC
Creator:        gscan2pdf v1.2.3
Producer:       PDF::API2
CreationDate:   Mon Aug 18 00:00:00 2014
ModDate:        Mon Aug 18 00:00:00 2014
Tagged:         no
Form:           none
Pages:          1
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      2380.8 x 3366.7 pts
Page rot:       0
File size:      117573 bytes
Optimized:      no
PDF version:    1.4

which as you can see gives page geometry of A0. Now I can convert the page geometry using ImageMagick's convert command thus:

tim@MERLIN:~/Documents/Scanned$ convert sample.pdf -page A4 -compress zip sample1.pdf
tim@MERLIN:~/Documents/Scanned$ pdfinfo sample1.pdf
Title:          sample1
Producer:       ImageMagick 6.7.7-10 2014-03-06 Q16 http://www.imagemagick.org
CreationDate:   Tue Aug 19 10:04:36 2014
ModDate:        Tue Aug 19 10:04:36 2014
Tagged:         no
Form:           none
Pages:          1
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      595 x 842 pts (A4)
Page rot:       0
File size:      689083 bytes
Optimized:      no
PDF version:    1.4

which as you can see gets the geometry right but causes the file to bloat to six times its original size.


  1. Is there any way I can get gscan2pdf to respect the A4 page geometry I've set (ideal); or
  2. Can I get ImageMagick to change the page size without bloat; or
  3. Is there some other package I should be thinking about other than gscan2pdf and convert?
  • I think you should ask in the ImageMagick forum for quicker respond.
    – Ooker
    Aug 19, 2014 at 9:28
  • Strange, I use gscan2pdf to scan as well, and I get A4 with no problem (India here). I assume you are also using 1.2.5. I think this is a client-side problem, and the scanner has no bearing on this, but in any case, what is your scanner hardware exactly, and what driver are you using with it? Aug 19, 2014 at 10:48
  • 2
    @Ooker personally, I'd try and fix this problem at the gscan2pdf level. Aug 19, 2014 at 10:50
  • Check your setting in ~/.gscan2pdf. Does it show A4? I have "Paper size = A4" there. Aug 19, 2014 at 10:53
  • Faheem. Yes, the ~/.gscan2pdf file definitely contains the Paper size = A4. It's actually v 1.2.3 of gscan2pdf I'm using (that was the one that Ubuntu installed from the package manager when I did an apt-get...)
    – TimGJ
    Aug 19, 2014 at 11:39

2 Answers 2


This bug appears to have been fixed in version 1.2.5 (I've upgraded to 1.2.5 and used the program several times and it has always selected the correct paper-size).


got the same problem, and after fiddling a lot with the settings, an essential one is when saving, to have the compression (under the checkbox downsample) set to JPEG, and a reasonable quality (75 for instance). This really does the difference

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