How to crop a PDF without compression quality loss?


I have an issue, I am hoping someone knows how to solve it.

I am trying to print a shipping label on my label printer, which uses 4x6 inch label paper. Unfortunately for me, the shipping labels provided by my shipping company is a full size page PDF file and because of this I have to crop the actual label manually. Here is an example of what the label looks like from my shipping provider.

I have tried cropping the source PDF file using both GIMP and Okular and when I end up printing the label, it looks compressed and very poor quality. The label printer normally prints the labels in very high quality with native 4x6 shipping label files, but in this case I am losing quality in what seems like either the cropping process or after re-saving the file post crop. When cropping in GIMP, I have tried exporting the cropped file in both BMP and also no compression JPG, but I’ve had no success.

Any idea how I can solve this?

Are you opening the file directly in GIMP, or are you importing/positioning to a 4x6 canvas? That would be my first recommendation.

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I was opening the file directly in GIMP.

Let me try that. I’ll report back momentarily.

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Another consideration would be DPI. I’m assuming this is just a screengrab (around 72 pixels per inch, usually), but this is what the example file looks like on a canvas that size:

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Your suggestion helped make the process easier, but now I am noticing a new issue.

When printing from GIMP, the printer says “job cancelled at printer” and won’t print.

When printing from Okular, the quality is still bad.

When printing from Gwenview. It prints perfect.

How can I get the file to print from GIMP? Not sure why it’s being cancelled.

:grimacing: that I’m not sure. I know there’s the gutenprint plugin (I think that comes standard from installing now) specifically because of how bad GIMP is at printing. I’d stick with using Gwenview if it works

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Fair enough. I was hoping to eliminate the extra steps because when running a business, it’s more time wasted. I’ll have to carefully look into this, or maybe someone else can chime in on how to print from GIMP.

Thanks for your help on your initial suggestion!

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Absolutely! I understand wanting to streamline a workflow like that. It’s been a while since I used it for printed media, but Scribus might be a solution to this problem considering it’s more focused on desktop publishing.

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I’ll check it out. Thank you!

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Tweaked some settings in GIMP and got the print function to work.

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Share the settings?

#1. Changed Paper Type to ‘Roll’ from the default ‘Label’

#2. Color Model was empty. I selected ‘Monochrome’

These two changes made it suddenly print.