How to crop a PDF on a Windows computer for free

Joaquina Erdmann

You can crop a PDF on Windows for free without having to purchase Adobe Acrobat or a similar paid service. Windows has a built-in tool called the snipping tool that allows you to crop any image on your screen and save it as its own file — including PDF documents. […]

  • You can crop a PDF on Windows for free without having to purchase Adobe Acrobat or a similar paid service.
  • Windows has a built-in tool called the snipping tool that allows you to crop any image on your screen and save it as its own file — including PDF documents.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The PDF format is a great way to save documents with the formatting and text locked in place — but the fact that you can’t alter the text doesn’t mean you can’t alter other things about the document.

If you ever need to crop a PDF for any reason — say, for example, you need the text part of the document without the signatures, or you need to send one specific clause to someone without sending them the whole thing.

There are a few different ways to crop a PDF on a Windows computer, but the easiest way is through the use of the snipping tool — this method doesn’t require you to use any third-party websites or to convert it to a different type of document first.

How to crop a PDF on Windows without a paid service

1. Open the PDF in your computer’s default PDF viewer.

2. Press the Windows key to open the search bar and type “snip” to find and open the snipping tool.

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Open the snipping tool.

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3. In the snipping tool window, select the shape that works best for what you want to do — rectangular will probably work best under most circumstances.

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Select the snipping shape that works best.

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4. Once you choose a snipping shape, the page will gray out, and your cursor will turn into a crosshair selection tool. Click and drag to select the rectangular shape you want to crop from the PDF, and let go to confirm your selection.

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Click and drag your cursor to crop the area of your choosing.

Melanie Weir/Business Insider


5. When you’re finished, a window containing your cropped area will appear. In the top right corner of the window, click “File” and select “Save As…” and choose a name for your cropped image, as well as the type of file to save it as.

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Click “File” and “Save As…” to save the image in whatever format you prefer.

Melanie Weir/Business Insider


How to easily combine PDFs on Windows

Sometimes, you may want to take multiple cropped PDFs and turn them into one consolidated PDF document. This sounds like a complex process, but it’s actually fairly simple.

1. Open File Explorer on your computer.

2. Find the documents or images you wish to combine and hover over them, checking the box in the top left corner of each one you want included.

  • Note: It is easier to do this if you save them all to one folder — that way you can simply select them by clicking and dragging over them all at once.

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Open File Explorer and check all the items you wish to combine.

Melanie Weir/Business Insider


3. Right-click over one of the selected items, and choose “Print” from the dropdown menu.

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Right click the items and select “Print.”

Melanie Weir/Business Insider


4. A Print menu will appear. Click the field labeled “Printer” at the top left of the window, and select “Microsoft Print to PDF” from the dropdown menu.

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Under “Printer,” choose “Microsoft Print to PDF.”

Melanie Weir/Business Insider


5. Change any of the other document settings you may desire, including size — which you can alter by changing the size of the paper you’re “printing on” — and layout.

6. When you are finished, click “Print.”

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