Shifting PDF’s using gs

Some time ago I was reading the 18.785 analytic NT notes
to try and figure out some sections of Davenport that I couldn’t understand.
These notes looked nice enough that I decided I should probably print them out,
But much to my annoyance, I found that almost all the top margins were too tiny, and the bottom margins too big.
(I say “almost all” since the lectures 19 and 24 (Bombieri proof and elliptic curves) were totally fine, for inexplicable reasons).

Thus, instead of reading Davenport like I told myself to, I ended up learning enough GhostScript flags to write the following short script,
which I’m going to share today so that other people can find better things to do with their time.

    for file in $@
        echo "Shifting $file ..."
        gs \
            -sDEVICE=pdfwrite \
            -o shifted-$file \
            -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress \
            -c "<</PageOffset [0 -36]>>; setpagedevice" \
            -f $file

The arguments 0 and -36 indicate to not change the left/right margins, but to shift the content vertically downwards by 36pt (a half inch).
Of course, they can and should be adjusted depending on specific task.
Invocation is the standard ./ *.pdf (or whatever).

(Aside: ironically, this decreased the file sizes of the affected PDF’s.)


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