I tried both pdftops and pdf2ps to convert a pdf figure(no text) into eps. pdf2ps created a ps figure same to the original one, but the ps file produced by pdftops contains an extra white padding/margin surrounding the original figure. Is it normal for pdftops ? If so, does that mean I have to crop the extra padding/margin every time after I use pdftops ?

remark: pdftops generates a smaller file(about half size) than pdf2ps.

  • Would you please share the commands you used for printing?
    – user88036
    Sep 23, 2018 at 10:32
  • I did pdftops file.pdf and then just opened/clicked the output ps file in Preview.
    – booksee
    Sep 23, 2018 at 18:03
  • pdftops and pdf2ps are different in there behaviour. You have to adjust the margins. Try the solution below and let me know, we can tweak the command for you ;-)
    – user88036
    Sep 23, 2018 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


The pdf2ps tool is based on Ghostscript, a PostScript interpreter. It is actually a fairly thin shell script wrapper around the "gs" tool. While, pdftops is a tool comes with Xpdf or is successor Poppler (e.g. on Ubuntu 9.10, it's part of the "poppler-utils" package).

pdftops, by default, output is cropped to the CropBox specified in the PDF file. The option nocrop disables cropping. Also, y default, pages larger than the paper are shrunk to fit. so the option -noshrink block scaling on PDF pages which are larger than the paper.

pdftops -paper A4 -nocrop -noshrink <INPUT_PDF_FILE> <OUTPUT_PS_FILE>
  • Thanks for your explanation. Unfortunately, the command didn't work as the output still contains white margin around the original figure.
    – booksee
    Sep 25, 2018 at 21:59
  • Is this problem with all the PDF files? Did you try to convert another PDF to PS and you got corped images?
    – user88036
    Sep 25, 2018 at 22:26
  • Yes, it's independent of which pdf file I use.
    – booksee
    Sep 25, 2018 at 22:39
  • Ah. Is it protected by a password, I mean the PDF file, is it protected? Do you have PDF printer. If so try to print this PDF file to another new PDF then convert the new PDF to PS? let's see ;-)
    – user88036
    Sep 25, 2018 at 22:41
  • Good point. However, weird thing happened as I printed it: the new pdf looks different from the original one with extra white margins added in the new pdf. Does it have something to do with how the original pdf was created? I created the original pdf from a jpg picture which was a screenshot (with selected region). The new pdf just contains unselected part!
    – booksee
    Oct 13, 2018 at 23:58

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