Scaling your beamerposter with cpdf

1 minute read

I’ve recently been working on a poster to present at SPIE. I’ve made a few posters in the past using this great LaTeX template from Nathaniel Johnston. The template as is makes a 48”x36” poster, which from my experience is fairly standard.

This is where I ran into an issue. SPIE requires posters no bigger than 45”x45”. After trying to change the template to use a custom size and failing I searched for a way to rescale a pdf. While I’m sure you could use ghostscript to do this I didn’t find any good instruction to do so until after I found a solution. (What I’m saying is I’d proabbly prefer to use ghostscript.)

The solution? A binary called cpdf. Using cpdf one can scale any pdf they have by some arbitary factor. In my case I wanted to scale 48” down to 45” and thus wanted to scale by 0.9375. To do this in cpdf:

cpdf -scale-page "0.9375 0.9375" poster.pdf -o scaled.pdf

This scales x and y by 0.9375. You can find the documentation for cpdf here (pdf).

SPIE has now gone by, and it was a great conference. The poster looked great and was well received. If you’d like to see how it came out you can download a copy here.