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What is considered the best way to convert a multipage PDF into single page JPG's with photoshop CS3?

I'm looking for a (semi) automated process since it's a 150 page pdf so a little cumbersome to do manually.

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Do you have Adobe Acrobat or is that just a mistag? If you open the PDF in Acrobat, you could choose File > Export > Image > JPEG and it will export all the pages as JPG with the settings you've set. – koiyu Mar 4 '11 at 22:27
@koiyu: I can appreciate the convenience of using Acrobat to create raster images, we do it for specific cases in my department, I still wouldn't recommend doing so for general use as it can output images of questionable quality for a variety of reasons. – Philip Regan Mar 5 '11 at 20:55
up vote 19 down vote accepted

I know you asked about Photoshop but... If you have a Mac this is very easy to do using Automator. You just need three actions:

  1. Ask for finder items
  2. Render PDF pages as images
  3. Move finder items

You can even select the color model, format (12 available), resolution and compression quality. Just to test it out, I converted a PDF file I have here with 207 pages:

Using "600dpi/RGB/best quality possible" it took an hour to convert to JPEG.
Using "300dpi/RGB/60% quality" it took about 5 minutes to convert to JPEG.
(My laptop have a Core 2 Duo 2.26Ghz)

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didn't even think about that, automator is a damn advanced tool that i don't know half about ... thanks! This made my day! – ChrisR Mar 8 '11 at 15:17
Indeed, it is a great tool! I keep a few ready to use workflows for image editing, it helps a lot. Glad the answer worked out – pcattai Mar 8 '11 at 16:19
I just had to add that this method worked beautifully for me! I have never so much as opened Automator before, and I got this to output a PDF with 140 pages into separate files for me. Thanks prct!! – ckpepper02 Aug 11 '13 at 23:49
this worked perfectly! thanks. – Sandeep Raju Prabhakar Jun 5 '15 at 3:17
This answer worked great and had the added benefit of introducing me to my Mac's "Automator" application which I have always been curious about but hesitant to learn - now i feel comfortable using it for all kinds of stuff. Hey, I love stack exchange! – nocarrier Sep 11 '15 at 17:28

There doesn't seem to be a well working default solution available. But the solution is actually quite easy.

To do this, we will need to create our own photoshop action.

  1. Open up a sample image (or the first image of your PDF)
  2. Bring up your "Actions" menu
  3. Create a new action. Name it "Save to JPG"
  4. Save your sample image, as a JPG in a certain folder.
  5. Close your image.
  6. Stop recording the action.

  7. Open up your multiple page PDF file (you select which pages to open; each page will open as its own image)

  8. File -> Automate -> Batch
  9. Under "Action" your "Save to JPG" action should be there, select it.
  10. As your source, select "Opened Files"
  11. Set your destination folder
  12. Press OK.

This should save all open files as JPGs and then close the files. (for better performance I would suggest doing 25-50 pages at a time instead of all 150)

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The problem is that it's one big file with 150 pages and not 150 files. Any suggestions on that? Perhaps split the pdf first somehow? – ChrisR Mar 5 '11 at 21:29
My method is designed for a single file with multiple pages, Chris. I used a multiple page PDF when writing up this tutorial. In step 7 I mention the single file. – Johannes Mar 6 '11 at 0:53
This method worked for me, but some slides contained transparency which will save with the image (with PNG at least, I bet JPG would save with white background which could look bad depending on your PDF). I did 107 pages at once and it only took about 30 seconds. – RadGH Sep 17 '12 at 2:50
Glad to hear this worked out well for you. – Johannes Sep 17 '12 at 18:49
Just to add that on Acrobat XI it's under Save as other > Image > JPG – Miro Jan 30 at 4:18

I know you asked about Phosothop, but with ImageMagick:

$ convert output.pdf pages.jpg

will produce pages-0.jpg, pages-1.jpg, ..., pages-n.jpg.

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this will not always work unfortunately. At least in my case. If the underlying pdf was composed .jpgs it works wonderfully, but when it was composed of .tiffs it failed miserably. +1 though, as the command line is my ideal solution. -- found this answer through google. – matchew Apr 10 '13 at 2:51
@matchew: For each format, you need the right libraries. E.g. jpeg, libpng, libtiff, ghostscript for PDF, etc., so make sure that you have them. E.g. on OSX check brew info imagemagick what you have, or what you haven't. – kenorb Oct 1 '14 at 16:17

Maybe in Acrobat you extract single pages (under Document→ Extract Pages, you can do all of them, or a range), and then use an Action in Photoshop to Open→ Save as JPG → close, and Batch all the files.

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  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro and open your multipage PDF
  2. Next, select all (Ctrl + A) the pages in the page thumbnail pane
  3. Finally, click File → Save As → Image → JPEG, choose your settings and save.
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If you are on windows, you can do this with PDF-XChange Viewer (

File - Export - Export to Image...

Advantages over the other solutions:

  • You can specify a subset (Odd pages or Even pages)
  • You can choose all important file formats
  • You can add not only page number into the filename but also the date and time
  • You can specify a range (e.g. from page 45 - 123)

Export To Image in PDF-XChange Viewer

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protected by JohnB Nov 25 '13 at 17:33

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