krop: A tool to crop PDF files

What is krop?

krop is a simple graphical tool to crop the pages of PDF files.

  • The functionality of krop is perhaps best indicated by some screenshots.
  • krop should work on any recent Linux distribution, see how to install krop. I don't know if krop can be used on Windows or Mac after a sufficient amount of tinkering: please let me know in case you succeed.
  • It is written in Python and relies on PyQT, python-poppler-qt4 and pyPdf or PyPDF2 for its functionality.
  • It is free software, released under GPLv3+ in the sole hope that you or someone else may find it useful.
  • A unique feature of krop, at least to my knowledge, is its ability to automatically split pages into subpages to fit the limited screensize of devices such as eReaders. This is particularly useful, if your eReader does not support convenient scrolling. (In fact, I wrote krop to be able to read mathematical papers on my Nook.)
  • Possible alternatives to krop include PDF-Shuffler and briss.
  • Please report bugs to Patches with improvements would, of course, be wonderful.


 krop 0.4.9 2015/10/31Armin Straub
*Reading PDF files is less strict now. As a consequence, krop doesn't give up cropping some files which resulted in an error before.
*Fix a possible crash when starting krop.
 krop 0.4.8 2015/07/04Armin Straub
+More options are accessible via command line arguments.
*Mouse cursor now changes when over selections and handles.
*Improved visibility of selections.
 krop 0.4.7 2015/02/15Armin Straub
+Basic options are accessible as command line arguments (run krop with --help to see available options).
*When pressing ctrl-c in the terminal, krop will shut down (not gracefully, though; only intended for when there is trouble).
*Avoid hitting Python's recursion limit in the pyPdf library when working with certain large pdf files (thanks to Victor).
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Download krop

Please read below how to install krop, if you are unsure which file to download.

34.33 KB krop 0.4.9 (source code) 650
800 Bytes krop 0.4.9 (ebuild) 155
17.32 KB krop 0.4.9 (Debian package) 1160
34.13 KB krop 0.4.8 (source code) 482
800 Bytes krop 0.4.8 (Gentoo ebuild) 209
17.24 KB krop 0.4.8 (Debian package) 840
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Install krop

You should be able to install krop on any recent Linux distribution. The following distributions already include krop:

On the other hand, Debian packages are available for distributions based on Debian, which further includes kubuntu, Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Finally, you can install krop from sources on any distribution such as Arch.

After installing krop by one of these methods, it should be available on the command line as krop and you can call it without parameters or with one parameter specifying the PDF file you would like to open. If you install krop using the Debian package (which is recommended as it allows for easy uninstalling), it should also become available in the desktop menu as well as in the context menu of PDF files.

Install from Debian package

The following instructions have been tested using a standard installation of kubuntu, version 12.10 or higher, as well as Linux Mint, version 15 KDE. Little adjustment should be needed for other Debian-based distributions.

For this approach you need to download only a Debian package, say, krop_0.4.9-1_all.deb.

If gdebi is installed (its command line version resides in the package gdebi-core), then

$ sudo gdebi krop_0.4.9-1_all.deb
should be sufficient.

Otherwise, we install the dependencies by hand, that is:

$ sudo apt-get install python-poppler-qt4 python-pypdf
$ sudo dpkg -i krop_0.4.9-1_all.deb

Install from source package

First, you need to install PyQT, python-poppler-qt4 as well as pyPdf or PyPDF2, so that they are each available from within python.

It should then be sufficient to download the source package, say krop-0.4.9.tar.gz, and issue something along the lines of:

$ tar xzf krop-0.4.9.tar.gz
$ cd krop-0.4.9
$ sudo python install

Note that you can also test krop without installing it: extract the sources, change into the krop-0.4.9 directory and execute bin/krop.

If you wish to install krop into the desktop menu, you can either do this by hand or use the included krop.desktop file:

$ xdg-desktop-menu install --novendor krop.desktop
It may take a while for the menu entry to appear.

A few tricks

  • If you press Trim Margins on a page without selections, then krop will automatically create a region for the full page with the margins trimmed.
  • If you are cropping a PDF file with many pages, then you may have some exceptional pages which need to be cropped in a different way then the other pages. In that case, the option Exceptions under Selections apply to will be useful to you.
  • To add the dimensions of your own eReader to the 'Fit screen of device' choices, you can edit the configuration file. The location of this file may differ from system to system, but a good place to start looking is ~/.config/ Don't forget to adjust the counter size= after adding your entries in the devicetypes section.
  • Run krop with --help to get a list of possible arguments (for instance, --initialpage 5 starts krop with the fifth page open).
  • If you run into the error "multiple definitions in dictionary" while cropping a file, then this is because pyPdf is too strict. You can either upgrade to PyPDF2 or proceed as indicated in this bug report.

Some TODOs

+Specify aspect ratio of crop regions
+Clone regions (and keep them linked)
+Support PyPDF2 besides pyPDF
+Preserve meta data, table of contents and bookmarks when cropping
+Allow translations
+Is there a clean solution to shut down on CTRL+c? (see
+Option to overlay pages in order to improve making selections
+Better support for handling a large number of files
Last change: 2015/10/31
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