PDF Q: Can I split pages in the middle somehow?

I have recently scanned a number of long-out-of-print books that I obtained through interlibrary loan, or rather, I obtained them and had them scanned by an assistant, who, in any effort to save labor, scanned them with adjacent pages making up one page of the PDF, instead of page-by-page:

p(1 | 2), p(3 | 4), p(5 | 6) etc…,

Since I want to be able to print them and bind them as books again, I’d like to be able to separate them out, so I can get one book page per PDF page again. Is there any program that does something like it? Acrobat doesn’t seem to have an automated option, although I COULD (but won’t) do it manually.

Is that even permissable under the original publisher’s copyright?

I’m sure you could dig up Joseph Dennie and ask him, but then he’s been dead since 1810, and I’d guess he’s got more pressing issues to worry about…but thanks for asking.

You can script this with Automator. On OS X, of course.

Including cutting the scanned images in two as you put then on the new pages?

The only way I know involves using Adobe Acrobat Pro and doing a little bit of manual work

  1. Open the “Pages” panel of the document (usually found along the left side of the window).

  2. **The tedious part: **Manually select each page individually and with the (Option/Alt) key held down, drag the page icon down between the space between where it used to be and the page right below it. **This will make a copy of the page spread. ** Once you’re done, you should have two copies of each spread, one directly after the other.

  3. Use the “Crop Pages…” command to crop to the the left-hand pages. Use the “Page Range” controls to specify “Apply to Odd Pages Only.” Hit “OK”

  4. Do the same thing to crop to the right-hand pages. Instead this time, use the “Page Range” controls to specify “Apply to Even Pages Only.” Hit “OK”

  5. Save and you’re done.

I don’t see why not.
After thinking about it, I’d probably print them to a new PDF, and set the page size to 1/2 the image size. That should crop the PDFs to the desired size.

It might take a bit of playing to get it right.

They do this all the time on Distributed Proofreading.

Ask your question here, and you will soon have answers from very experienced people.

You can do this with Ghostscript and psutils, which are Free Software. I used to do exactly what you’re doing, but unfortunately I’ve forgotten the name of the exact command used to do so—it was probably ps2ps.