Update: Since this post was originally published, Batch Scale PDF has been renamed PDF-BatchScale.
At NYC Music Services we often receive music ready to print in the form of PDFs. The most common part size we use to print is 9” x 12” (sometimes known as “Concert” size). Many times, though, the music arrives as “Letter” size (8.5” by 11”) or, if it’s coming from Europe, A4 size.
If it’s just one or two parts, it’s easy enough to use Preview’s built-in Scale function to resize the file to the correct size. But if it’s an entire set of orchestra parts – 30 or 40 – and, moreover, if it’s several cues or pieces, scaling each individual PDF gets old very quickly.
Because our printing workflow typically involves imposing booklets and combining PDFs for a large print run, it’s important that the source PDF is the correct size. For quite some time I’ve been looking for a simple way to quickly scale many PDFs to a different size paper at once, To my surprise, nothing existed.
Music engraver and font designer Abraham Lee learned of my search from a post I made on the Finale forum a month ago. A week after my post, he contacted me to tell me that he had cooked up a command-line utility that worked well — indeed, it did, quite brilliantly.
I asked if he’d be willing to turn his code into a proper app, and, lo and behold, in a few short weeks, I’m pleased to introduce the result of his efforts: Batch Scale PDF, a free app for Mac and PC.
Batch Scale PDF is a simple, elegant way to scale the original PDF to the specified size of the output PDF by the largest percentage possible while still fitting within the dimensions of the output PDF. The aspect ratio of the original PDF doesn’t change, so if the output page size is different than the original PDF, Batch Scale PDF will automatically add margins to the output PDF as needed.
To get started, simply drag and drop your files onto the application window, or click the Add button to locate them in your file browser:
Then, choose from many standard page sizes, such as ISO, North American, or music sizes, or input your own custom size in millimeters, inches, or points.
There are a few other options:
- Change the orientation of the page (portrait or landscape);
- Add additional margins to the page (or enter a negative number to reduce the margins);
- Add a prefix or suffix to the output PDFs to distinguish them from their sources;
- Specify the output directory (the default is the source directory if nothing is selected).
Click Process Files, and in barely an instant you’ll have resized all your PDFs.
Batch Scale PDF was originally intended to scale sheet music of different sizes, of course, but it should work on most PDFs, for any purpose. It’s available for both Mac & PC, and it’s free to download and use from the Resources page of the NYC Music Services web site (e-mail registration required to get the download link and to automatically receive any updates to the app).
Many thanks to Abraham Lee for making such a useful, time-saving tool! I’m glad to be able to share it with you. Please share in the comments if you find it useful.