I got a PDF file for which I want to change its pages' sizes; let's call it file.pdf. And I got another PDF file which will serve as the model to file.pdf; let's call it model.pdf.

To clarify: I want file.pdf's pages to be of equal measure as model.pdf's pages.

Using pdfinfo on model.pdf I get the following relevant info:

Tagged:         no
Form:           none
Pages:          22
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      612 x 783 pts
Page rot:       0
MediaBox:           0.00     0.00   720.00   891.00
CropBox:           54.00    54.00   666.00   837.00
BleedBox:          54.00    54.00   666.00   837.00
TrimBox:           54.00    54.00   666.00   837.00
ArtBox:            54.00    54.00   666.00   837.00
File size:      3324788 bytes
Optimized:      no
PDF version:    1.7

I don't really understand what the first two columns of the *Box fields mean, but doing some Googling I got to the conclusion that my target are the last two columns of the MediaBox field. So, I want file.pdf to be 720x891, and I think the units are pts.

So I found this tool called pdfposter which is supposed to be able to change the size of a PDF's pages, and I did this (noteice I already made the conversion from points to inches):

pdfposter -m10x12.375inch file.pdf new_file.pdf

Everything goes well, but when I check new_file.pdf with pdfinfo I get:

Tagged:         no
Form:           none
Pages:          32
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      630.22 x 891 pts
Page rot:       0
MediaBox:          54.33    32.60   774.33   923.60
CropBox:           54.33    32.60   684.55   923.60
BleedBox:          54.33    32.60   684.55   923.60
TrimBox:           54.33    32.60   630.22   891.00
ArtBox:            54.33    32.60   630.22   891.00
File size:      3005203 bytes
Optimized:      no
PDF version:    1.3

Clearly something went wrong since the size of the new PDF's pages is 774.33x923.60 and not 720x891; moreover, the first two columns of the MediaBox changed from 0.00 0.00 to 54.33 32.60 and I got no idea why or what it means.

I also tried using pdfjam but it just adds more white space to the borders, while leaving the content of the PDF untouched.

So my question is: how can I change the size of my file.pdf's pages to that of model.pdf.

Note: It is very important for me that the resized PDF be of the same quality as the original PDF.

  • 2
    I tested and had trouble with the answer below, but then found this one unix.stackexchange.com/a/185224/188451 which uses pdfjam, fantastic. Yes, is not exactly the same as what the OP here was asking but is a very good solution for that kind of issue.
    – cardamom
    Dec 4, 2019 at 10:24
  • 4 years later I find myself commenting on the same post, still resizing and merging pdfs from the terminal... Usually I don't need to resize, but this time, the following ghostscript command did the trick - stackoverflow.com/a/28455147/4288043
    – cardamom
    Jan 29 at 3:17

2 Answers 2


You can use pdfjam with the --papersize argument to set the output paper size. You may also need to use --scale and --offset if you want to do more than resize the page and its contents together.

pdfjam --papersize="$(LC_ALL=C pdfinfo model.pdf | LC_ALL=C awk '/^Page size:/ {printf "{%fbp,%fbp}", $3, $5}')" file.pdf new_file.pdf
  • 1
    Beware that the --papersize format, "{XXu,YYu}", is quite strict : single or double quotes, braces, comma and units are all mandatory. Apr 13, 2018 at 9:53
  • 2
    This is the command that worked for me: pdfjam --papersize '{8.3in,11.7in}' Input.pdf --outfile Output.pdf -- A4 page size
    – Shayan
    Oct 26, 2021 at 14:02

You could try using ghostscript, which has a zillion options, including settings the output size in points:

gs -o output.pdf -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dFIXEDMEDIA -dPDFFitPage \
    -dSAFER file.pdf

Not sure if you want -dPDFFitPage or not, but you can try it both with and without.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.