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I have a PDF file that was the result of the scan of a book.

In this file 2 pages of the book correspond to 1 in the PDF. So when I see a page in the PDF file I'm actually seeing 2 pages of the book.

enter image description here


I would like to know if there's any way to convert this file to another PDF where 1 page of the book corresponds to 1 page of the PDF i.e. the normal situation.

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

Try Gscan2pdf, which you can download from the Software Centre or which you can install from command line sudo apt-get install gscan2pdf.

Open Gscan2Pdf:

  1. file > import your PDF file;


    Now you have a single page (see the left column):


  2. then tools > Clean up;

    clean up

  3. select double as layout and #output pages as 2, then click OK;


  4. Gscan2pdf splits your document (among other things, it will also clean it up and deskew it etc.) Now you have two pages:


  5. Save your PDF file if you're satisfied with the result.
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Thank you for your detailed explanation! – JGNog Sep 5 '11 at 23:08
I've been looking for an easier way to use unpaper without having to produce ppm files and this is it. Very helpful answer. – To Do Jan 26 '12 at 9:53
For future readers: this doesn't do what you want with non-image PDFs -- only the images are imported. gscan2pdf looks great for scanning, though :). – Andrew Aylett Nov 13 '12 at 22:00

I would use Briss. It lets you select various regions of each page, each of which to turn into a new page.

enter image description here

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I accepted the answer from Benjamin and not yours simply because Briss is not mature yet. I tried Briss and it looks good. But gscan2pdf installation is much quicker and cleaner. Thank you for your contribution, anyway! – JGNog Sep 5 '11 at 23:04
I've been using Briss for over a year now. Seems reasonably mature to me. – frabjous Sep 5 '11 at 23:12
This one is awesome – user2413 Apr 23 '15 at 15:05

Thanks to @marttt and their answer in Unix & Linux.

You can use mutool (which comes as part of mupdf):

mutool poster -x 2 input.pdf output.pdf

You can also use -y if you want to perform a vertical split.

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Thank you. The quickest way with the least trouble. – Torsten Jul 20 at 23:45

Another option is ScanTailor. This program is particularly well suited to processing several scans at a time.

apt-get install scantailor

It unfortunately only works on image file inputs, but it's simple enough to convert a scanned PDF to a jpg. Here's a one-liner that I used for converting a whole directory of PDFs into jpgs. If a PDF has n pages, it makes n jpg files.

for f in ./*.pdf; do gs -q -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -r300 -dGraphicsAlphaBits=4 -dTextAlphaBits=4 -sDEVICE=png16m "-sOutputFile=$f%02d.png" "$f" -c quit; done;

I had screenshots ready to share, but I don't have enough rep to post them.

ScanTailor outputs to tif, so if you want the files back in PDF you can use this to make a PDF for each page.

for f in ./*.tif; do tiff2pdf "$f" -o "$f".pdf -p letter -F; done;

Then you can use this one-liner, or an application like PDFShuffler to merge any or all files into one PDF.

gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=output.pdf *.pdf

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Here is a python script for this.

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There is a wonderful program scankromsator. It is free and works quite well through wine. More information here.

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