What is a Cropbox?

A PDF describes the content and appearance of one or more pages, and also contains a definition of the physical size of those pages. There can be up to five different definitions in a PDF relating to the size of its pages: MediaBox, CropBox, BleedBox, TrimBox and ArtBox. These are called the page boxes or boundary boxes. PDF boxes describe the page geometry of PDF. They are used frequently in the printing industry.

The CropBox

The PDF CropBox denotes the area into which the displayed or printed page contents would be cropped. The content of this page box is output on the screen and during printing. The default value of the CropBox is the page's MediaBox. Both, Cropbox and Mediabox are important boxes for scripting and handling page geometry. For pre-press use, however, the CropBox is not of great importance.

The Media Box is meant to represent what the user would see if they printed out the PDF page, while the CropBox is what the user sees on the computer screen. The dimensions of the CropBox are usually the same as the MediaBox, but can also be smaller.

Find out more about the other PDF boxes in the following article.