Split Your PDF File Online and Offline

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Understanding the process of how to split PDF documents can be a useful skill to have for both personal and business use. Splitting a PDF file allows you to separate PDF pages from larger documents into more compact pieces.

This is especially helpful when you need to share only certain pages or sections of a document with someone. In this article, we will show you how to divide PDF files with offline and online tools on any device.

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How we picked the PDF splitters

To come up with the best PDF page cutters, we evaluated programs and online platforms based on the following criteria:

  1. Ease of use. Programs and services should be easy to use and don't require any technical expertise.
  2. Splitting options. Tools that offer a range of splitting modes: split by page range, bookmark, or file size.
  3. Speed and efficiency. Applications and utilities that could quickly split PDF files without compromising the quality of the document.
  4. Device and OS compatibility. PDF dividers that are available on multiple devices and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and mobiles.

By evaluating each tool, we were able to identify the top PDF splitters that would be the most useful for a wide range of users.

Read on to find the best PDF separator for your needs and operating system.

How to split PDF offline

Icecream PDF Split & Merge (Windows, Mac)

If you downloaded a large PDF file and don’t need its entire content, you can split it into several elements and use them separately.

Icecream PDF Split & Merge gives you a wide range of options here: you can split a PDF document into two or more parts, or separate it page by page.

Check out this manual to understand how to split PDF files quickly and easily:

  1. Download free PDF splitter for PC, run the setup file, and open the program to skip straight to splitting your PDF docs.
  2. Press on the "Split" icon in the main window to divide a large document into pieces.
  3. To add a file to split, simply press on the "+" icon or drag and drop the document into the working area.
  4. If the file is protected, click on "Enter Password" and type it in a new window. You can’t cut encrypted PDF files without entering a password.
  5. Configure splitting parameters. Read the description of each mode below.
  6. Specify the output location.
  7. Click on the "Split PDF" button and wait until the program completes the process. A popup report window will show you how many files the document was split into. It will offer you to either open them in the containing folder or merge them back together.

Splitting options

The program allows you to split PDF files in 4 different ways:

ModeAction
Into single-paged files.Choose this option to break your PDF into a number of individual files that correspond to the total quantity of pages in the original document.
By groups of pages.Specify the size of page blocks and the number of pages to start from.
Delete certain pages.In case you just want to remove unnecessary pages, check this box and enter the number of pages you want to delete.
By page ranges.Enter the start and end points of the range and hit "Add range". The preview of the added interval will show up as a red label below.

You can only apply one type of splitting PDF at a time to a file. As soon as the chosen type of split is successfully finished, you can proceed with further splitting of the current document.

Pros:

  • Free PDF splitter is available on Windows and Mac devices.
  • No Internet connection is required.
  • 3 modes of splitting PDF files.
  • The program has the functionality of removing the password.
  • No limit on the number of pages or file size.

Adobe Acrobat DC Pro (Windows, Mac)

Adobe Acrobat is a comprehensive PDF editing software that provides advanced features like modifying text, combining and separating PDF files, creating forms, and adding digital signatures. It also offers such security features as password protection and document permissions.

Learn how to divide PDF pages utilizing Adobe:

  1. Install Adobe Acrobat and open your PDF file in it.
  2. Select the "Tools" tab, then hit "Organize Pages". You will see the "Split" option. Click it.
  3. You'll see a few options for splitting your PDF document. You can choose whether you want to split by number of pages, file size, or even by top-level bookmarks. Select your preferred option and hit "OK".
  4. Your document will now be divided into separate files based on your chosen criteria.
Adobe Acrobat

Pros:

  • Several splitting modes.
  • You can manage all your PDFs in one place, with the same software.
  • Users can split multiple PDF files at once.
  • Easy to navigate tabbed user interface.

Cons:

  • The PDF splitter is not free and requires a subscription to use all its features.
  • The program uses a lot of system resources.

Google Chrome (Windows, Mac)

Google Chrome is one of the most popular browsers in the world, and it is available for all major operating systems. It is known for its speed, reliability, and security, as well as its ability to run web applications and services.

With Chrome, you can rapidly separate PDF pages without having to install any added applications.

Check how to use it:

  1. Open the PDF you wish to separate in Google Chrome. You can do this by right-clicking on the file and selecting "Open with".
  2. Select the "Print" option from the menu and change the "Destination" setting to "Save as PDF".
  3. In the "Pages" section, pick out the pages you would like to divide and click "Save".
  4. When prompted, select a place and title for your fresh PDF document.
Chrome

Pros:

  • It is free and easy to use way to split PDF pages.
  • It requires no additional software or downloads.
  • You can also delete pages from the document.

Cons:

  • You cannot split encrypted PDF documents.
  • If you need to reassemble multiple PDF files, merging files into a single file is not possible.
  • The new file may not have the same formatting as the original.
  • No preset splitting modes.

Preview (Mac)

Preview is a pre-installed PDF viewer and editor that comes with all Mac devices. It allows you to annotate and convert PDF files. Also, the tool offers features like merging and splitting PDF files.

This is how to split PDF into multiple files:

  1. Open the original file in the application.
  2. Check the pages you plan to separate from the original document. To select multiple pages, hold down Command while clicking each page.
  3. Once all the pages are selected, drag and drop them onto your desktop.
  4. You now have separate files for each page of your original PDF.
Preview

Pros:

  • The PDF separator is pre-installed on macOS.
  • No extra cost is involved in using this method.

Cons:

  • In case your PDF document is very large, it may take a lot of time to cut pages from the PDF.
  • Due to the lack of split PDF modes, you have to drag and drop all files manually.

CutePDF Writer (Windows)

CutePDF Writer is a free PDF converter that allows you to convert any printable document into a PDF file. It functions as a virtual printer that can be accessed from any application's Print menu. As a part of its functionality, it is able to split PDF pages.

Here's how it works:

  1. Download and install CutePDF Writer for free.
  2. Open the file you desire to split in any PDF reader.
  3. Tap "File" and then "Print".
  4. Choose CutePDF Writer as a printer.
  5. In the "Pages" field, type the desired page number.
  6. Hit "Print" to save the PDF.
CutePDF

Pros:

  • The program is free for everyone to use, making it accessible and cost-effective to split PDF pages.

Cons:

  • You need an installed PDF reader to use it.
  • Does not split large PDF files well, so it may not be suitable for such cases.
  • No additional features.
  • Works only on Windows.

How to split PDF online

IlovePDF

Splitting a PDF file may be an intimidating challenge for those unfamiliar with the process. Fortunately, IlovePDF is here to help you divide your PDF files quickly and easily.

It is an online PDF editor that offers a wide range of features like converting PDFs to other formats, compressing them, joining and separating PDF files.

Follow the instructions:

  1. Open the website in your web browser.
  2. Click the "Select PDF file" button and browse the PDF document you wish to divide.
  3. Choose the range mode: custom or fixed.
  4. Tap "Split PDF" to start processing your file.
  5. Once the process is complete, click "Download".
IlovePDF

Pros:

  • In this online PDF splitter you can set several ranges for one document at once.
  • Merging all ranges into one PDF is possible.

Cons:

  • There is a file size limit of 100MB.
  • Batch PDF splitting is not supported.

PDF24

Converting files to PDF and manipulating them can be made much easier with PDF24. This online PDF splitter, developed by Geek Software GmbH, offers a free and user-friendly solution for splitting PDFs.

Follow the tutorial:

  1. Visit PDF24 and go to "Split PDF" tool.
  2. Click "Select files" and choose the PDFs from your computer. You can also drag and drop the file onto the page.
  3. Select the mode: Pages per PDF, Even/odd pages, Half pages, or Custom.
  4. Press "Split" and wait for your documents to be generated by the PDF divider.
PDF24

Pros:

  • Separating PDF files requires only a few seconds.
  • You can split both scanned and non-scanned documents, as well as various image formats like JPG and PNG.
  • Can split several files simultaneously.

Cons:

  • Crashes when you split large file sizes.
  • The interface of the PDF splitter is overloaded with ads.

SmallPDF

Managing documents can be a breeze with SmallPDF, an efficient tool to split PDF that streamlines both personal and professional tasks. With its comprehensive set of features, splitting PDFs is as easy as 1-2-3.

Here's how:

  1. Go to the Small PDF's tool.
  2. Click "Choose files". Upload the PDF files you intend to separate.
  3. Pick the pages to separate or use the "Split after every … page" function.
  4. Hit "Split".
SmallPDF

Pros:

  • Rich customization options: you can duplicate, delete, and rotate pages while splitting the PDF.
  • PDF divider with batch processing.
  • Integration with cloud services.

Cons:

  • You are restricted to two operations per day for free.

Tips

  1. Split by page range. Most PDF dividers allow you to split a PDF file into multiple documents based on the page range. This is a great option if you wish to take out only a certain section of the document.
  2. Split by pages. If you want to save each page as a separate file, then this is the best option for you.
  3. Break up into individual files. If you need to split PDF into multiple one-page files, then choose this option. This way, you can easily manage and store the files separately.
  4. Split into odd and even pages. This is useful if you need to print out the document in two separate batches or to manipulate different parts of the PDF independently.
  5. Preview changes before splitting. Before actually splitting the document, it's always a good idea to preview the changes first, just in case there are any unexpected results that require further adjustments.
  6. Use bookmarks. Use bookmarks to quickly access specific parts of the document and segment it into different files without having to scroll through pages manually.
  7. Join documents that have been divided. After splitting your PDF, you can also merge all of the resulting files back together into a single document if needed.

FAQ

Can I split a PDF file into multiple files based on bookmarks or other criteria?
Some advanced tools offer the ability to cut PDF based on bookmarks, file size, text content, or other criteria.
Is splitting PDF files a reversible process?
While you can merge PDFs that you've split back together to recreate the original document, the process of separating itself cannot be undone.
Is splitting documents legal?
Yes, cutting PDFs for personal or professional use is generally legal, as long as you have the right to access and modify the files in question. However, it's essential to respect copyright laws and any usage restrictions or permissions associated with the documents you're splitting.

Conclusion

When it comes to splitting PDF files, it is important to keep in mind the process that's involved. Whether you're using an online tool or a desktop application, make sure you take the time to get familiar with the features and settings available.

All things considered, separating PDF files doesn't have to be complicated. With the right tools and knowledge, you can easily break your PDF documents into separate pages with just a few clicks.

So if you ever find yourself needing to work with PDF files, keep these key points in mind and you'll be good to go!

Tamal Das

Expert Tech Writer

Tamal is a tech writer at Icecream Apps. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies. Now, he’s a professional content writer of B2B and B2C software products and also a meticulous software reviewer whose reviews on applications and web apps have been published in reputed technology websites. He has already been published on such reputable sites like MakeUseOf, Geekflare, AddictiveTips. When he’s not writing, he researches the internet and technology journals to stay updated about the latest happenings in the SaaS industry.
7 min read
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