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Author image Steve Simms
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PDF::API2::Page - Methods to interact with individual pages


    my $pdf = PDF::API2->new();

    # Add a page to a new or existing PDF
    my $page = $pdf->page();

    # Set the page size

    # Set prepress page boundaries
    $page->boundaries(media => '12x18', trim => 0.5 * 72);

    # Add an image
    my $image = $pdf->image('/path/to/file.jpg');
    $page->object($image, $x, $y, $w, $h);

    # Add textual content
    my $text = $page->text();

    # Add graphical content (paths and shapes)
    my $canvas = $page->graphics();



    # Set the page size using a common name

    # Set the page size using coordinates in points (X1, Y1, X2, Y2)
    $page->size([0, 0, 612, 792]);

    # Get the page coordinates in points
    my @rectangle = $page->size();

Set the physical page size (a.k.a. media box) when called with an argument. See "Page Sizes" below for possible values. Returns the $page object.

Returns the coordinates of the rectangle enclosing the physical page size when called without arguments.

The size method is a convenient shortcut for setting the PDF's media box when print-related page boundaries aren't required. It's equivalent to the following:

    # Set
    $page = $page->boundaries(media => $size);

    # Get
    @rectangle = $page->boundaries->{'media'}->@*;


    # Set
        media => '13x19',
        bleed => [0.75 * 72, 0.75 * 72, 12.25 * 72, 18.25 * 72],
        trim  => 0.25 * 72,

    # Get
    %boundaries = $page->boundaries();
    ($x1, $y1, $x2, $y2) = $page->boundaries('trim');

Set prepress page boundaries when called with a hash containing one or more page boundary definitions. Returns the $page object.

Returns the current page boundaries if called without arguments. Returns the coordinates for the specified page boundary if called with one argument.

Page Boundaries

PDF defines five page boundaries. When creating PDFs for print shops, you'll most commonly use just the media box and trim box. Traditional print shops may also use the bleed box when adding printer's marks and other information.

  • media

    The media box defines the boundaries of the physical medium on which the page is to be printed. It may include any extended area surrounding the finished page for bleed, printing marks, or other such purposes. The default value is a US letter page (8.5" x 11").

  • crop

    The crop box defines the region to which the contents of the page shall be clipped (cropped) when displayed or printed. The default value is the page's media box.

    This is a historical page boundary. You'll likely want to set the bleed and/or trim boxes instead.

  • bleed

    The bleed box defines the region to which the contents of the page shall be clipped when output in a production environment. This may include any extra bleed area needed to accommodate the physical limitations of cutting, folding, and trimming equipment. The actual printed page (media box) may include printing marks that fall outside the bleed box. The default value is the page's crop box.

  • trim

    The trim box defines the intended dimensions of the finished page after trimming. It may be smaller than the media box to allow for production-related content, such as printing instructions, cut marks, or color bars. The default value is the page's crop box.

  • art

    The art box defines the extent of the page's meaningful content (including potential white space) as intended by the page's creator. The default value is the page's crop box.

Page Sizes

PDF page sizes are stored as rectangle coordinates. For convenience, PDF::API2 also supports a number of aliases and shortcuts that are more human-friendly.

The following formats are available:

  • a standard paper size

        $page->boundaries(media => 'A4');

    Aliases for the most common paper sizes are built in (case-insensitive).

    US: Letter, Legal, Ledger, Tabloid

    Metric: 4A0, 2A0, A0 - A6, 4B0, 2B0, and B0 - B6

  • a "WxH" string in inches

        $page->boundaries(media => '8.5x11');

    Many US paper sizes are commonly identified by their size in inches rather than by a particular name. These can be passed as strings with the width and height separated by an x.

    Examples: 4x6, 12x18, 8.5x11

  • a number (in points) representing a reduction from the next-larger box

        # Note: There are 72 points per inch
        $page->boundaries(media => '12x18', trim => 0.5 * 72);
        # Equivalent
        $page->boundaries(media => [0,        0,        12   * 72, 18   * 72],
                          trim  => [0.5 * 72, 0.5 * 72, 11.5 * 72, 17.5 * 72]);

    This example shows a 12" x 18" physical sheet that will be reduced to a final size of 11" x 17" by trimming 0.5" from each edge. The smaller boundary is assumed to be centered on the larger one.

    The "next-larger box" follows this order, stopping at the first defined value:

        art -> trim -> bleed -> media
        crop -> media

    This option isn't available for the media box since it is by definition the largest boundary.

  • [$width, $height] in points

        $page->boundaries(media => [8.5 * 72, 11 * 7.2]);

    For other page or boundary sizes, the width and height (in points) can be given directly as an array.

  • [$x1, $y1, $x2, $y2] in points

        $page->boundaries(media => [0, 0, 8.5 * 72, 11 * 72]);

    Finally, the raw coordinates of the bottom-left and top-right corners of a rectangle can be specified.


    $page = $page->rotation($degrees);

Rotates the page clockwise when displayed or printed. $degrees must be a multiple of 90 and may be negative for counter-clockwise rotation.

The coordinate system follows the page rotation. In other words, after rotating the page 180 degrees, [0, 0] will be in the top right corner of the page rather than the bottom left, X will increase to the right, and Y will increase downward.

To create a landscape page without moving the origin, use "size".


    my $canvas = $page->graphics(%options);

Returns a PDF::API2::Content object for drawing paths and shapes.

The following options are available:

  • prepend (boolean)

    If true, place the drawing at the beginning of the page's content stream instead of the end.

  • compress (boolean)

    Manually specify whether the drawing instructions should be compressed. If unspecified, the PDF's compression setting will be used, which is on by default.


    my $text = $page->text(%options);

Returns a PDF::API2::Content object for including textual content.

The options are the same as the "graphics" method.


    $page = $page->object($object, $x, $y, $scale_x, $scale_y);

Places an image or other external object (a.k.a. XObject) on the page in the specified location.

For images, $scale_x and $scale_y represent the width and height of the image on the page in points. If $scale_x is omitted, it will default to 72 pixels per inch. If $scale_y is omitted, the image will be scaled proportionally based on the image dimensions.

For other external objects, the scale is a multiplier, where 1 (the default) represents 100% (i.e. no change).

If the object to be placed depends on a coordinate transformation (e.g. rotation or skew), first create a content object using "graphics", then call "object" in PDF::API2::Content after making the appropriate transformations.


    my $annotation = $page->annotation();

Returns a new PDF::API2::Annotation object.


See "MIGRATION" in PDF::API2 for an overview.


Replace with "graphics".


Replace with "rotation".


Replace with "size" if not in a print shop environment or "boundaries" if more complex page boundaries are needed.

If using page size aliases (e.g. "letter" or "A4"), check the Page Sizes section to ensure that the alias you're using is still supported (you'll get an error if it isn't).


Replace with "boundaries".