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.


You can use mutool, a MuPDF command-line tool (sudo apt-get install mupdf-tools):

mutool poster -x 2 input.pdf output.pdf

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

  • 5
    In ubuntu 16.04 the package name is mupdf-tools (so.. sudo apt-get install mupdf-tools). Nov 3 '16 at 9:49
  • 2
    Did the job very good and very fast! Unfortunatly I couldn't find a way to use it to remove the first, empty page from the output PDF. Nov 18 '18 at 19:32
  • @MartinScharrer mutool clean input.pdf output.pdf 2-N
    – Peque
    Jul 1 '19 at 8:21
  • mutool poster only virtually crops the image. Each page has still has both pages but one is hidden. This can cause problems later when using other tools to OCR. gscan2pdf showed both pages and a bunch of programs crashed.
    – whitis
    Jan 12 '20 at 2:06
  • @whitis - That doesn't make much sense. The size of the output pdf is the same as that of the input, if indeed each separate page in output had both halves of the uncut page of the input, we should have an output of doubled size.
    – cipricus
    Jan 4 at 8:14

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.
  • 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
  • 7
    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 :). 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

  • 1
    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
  • 1
    I've been using Briss for over a year now. Seems reasonably mature to me.
    – frabjous
    Sep 5 '11 at 23:12
  • I've been using briss for years and it's great. It is currently being maintained as Briss-2.0 here: (github.com/mbaeuerle/Briss-2.0). I highly recommend it. (Note that when you load your file, you only have one 'box' per page. You can resize that box and create a second one by simply clicking on the page.) Aug 27 '21 at 17:06

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

  • This is a very good solution when detailed settings are needed (e.g. when the split between pages varies, or is not exactly in the middle. More on Scantailor in this answer and linked ones. To extract pages as jpg pdftoppm is best (see details in links).
    – cipricus
    Jan 4 at 8:30

Here is a python script for this.



A command line solution using ImageMagick:

  1. Split the PDF into individual images:

    convert -density 300 orig.pdf page.png
  2. Split each page images into a left and right image:

    for file in page-*.png;
      do convert "$file" -crop 50%x100% "$file-split.png";
  3. Rename the page-###-split-#.png files to just 001.png, 002.png etc.:

    ls page-*-split-*.png | cat -n | 
      while read n f; do mv "$f" $(printf "%03d.png" $n); done
  4. Combine the resulting page images into a PDF again:

    convert ls -l [0-9][0-9][0-9].png result.pdf

Sources: (also including variations and further tips)


Sejda can do that either using its web interface or command line interface (open source). The task is called splitdownthemiddle


You could use okular or any pdf reader and then use print to file and select options and copies-> pages . Select your interested pages and then give print. It will cut the selected pages . Simple and easy !!

  • Easy for one page, but totally useless for batch work.
    – JayEye
    Nov 25 '19 at 0:01
  • Why would it cut the page by printing?
    – cipricus
    Jan 4 at 8:01

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

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