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Thread: PDF document editing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    in the basement

    Default PDF document editing

    Hello Folks,

    Recently I have come across some really grayish and shadow-filled
    PDF documents. Any suggestions on how to remove the dark areas and
    finish with a bright and glowing document still in PDF format.

    Thank you


  2. #2


    Try this one:

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  3. #3


    use the redaction tools to fill the crazy area with white.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Blog Entries


    If you're of a Linux inclination, remember that LibreOffice Draw has been able to edit PDFs for a couple of years now.

    If you want to break a document down into essentials and change them in a CLI environment, there's also pdftk. There's a GUI frontend for it called PDFChain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Marietta, GA


    Arrrrrraaaag. I hate messy unreadable PDF files.

    However to properly correct them you would need the source images.

    Most PDF files compress images with lossy JPG compression. There are tools that will extract PDF files to individual pages. Then you can use a tool like ImageMagick (mogrify) to adjust things like skew, cropping, highlight, midtone, saturation, contrast, and so on. But when you rebuild the PDF you will loose some image quality as it gets re-compressed. Now that I think of it, I believe ImageMagick itself can extract PDF files.

    You will also need to re-run the images through an OCR tool, if you want searchability.

    So if the images in the PDF have enough resolution, then it may clean up. But if they are really that bad to start with, I'm not sure I would hold out much hope.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    New Jersey, USA


    It depends on how the PDF was made and what tools you have. If the PDF is a bunch of scanned images and you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can use the "Optimize Scanned PDF" option (under View / Tools / Document Processing) to clean things up. If you prefer to clean up bitmap images in an external tool you can use "Export All Images" instead to make a bunch of individual files, use your bitmap cleanup application of choice (preferably one that has a batch or command-line mode), then make a new PDF from the cleaned-up images.


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