How to Extract Images from PDF

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Still, resorting to screenshots to extract images from PDFs? While that method might suffice for a quick grab of one or two images, it’s hardly efficient when dealing with multiple images across countless documents. Imagine the hours you’d be spending if you did it this way!

If you’re just trying to get one or two pictures, I don’t see the problem with zooming in and taking a screenshot, that works! However, if you are doing this for several PDFs with numerous images, then you might want to optimize your workflow. Especially if you will do this on a regular basis for work.

Fortunately, there’s a more streamlined approach available.

Cases When Image Extractor Is Needed

Extracting all images from PDF documents, believe it or not, is a common task in various professions. Here are some cases when pulling images from PDFs might be needed.

1. Archiving and Document Management

In large organizations, thousands of documents are created and received monthly. For example, reports and presentations from employees, and documents sent by clients or partners that include charts, graphs, illustrations, or photographs.

Extracting these pictures and categorizing or simply archiving them for safekeeping can be a huge pain if you just screenshot them one by one. That could easily be the job of several full-time employees if done manually.

2. Repurposing Content

This one has something to do with ROI on content creation. Repurposing content across various platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, and others can help provide better exposure to your content creation. This is also important for fast-paced workplaces where the turnaround time for new visual content is vital.

3. Legal Needs

For those in the legal industry, images from PDFs can be important evidence, whether they're photos, screenshots, or scanned paper. Having it in its original and unedited form might be crucial for presentations.

4. Recovery of Original Content

Unfortunately, losing original image files does happen. But if you have them saved in PDF documents, you can easily extract and recover photos for further safekeeping or reusing.

Although the quality might differ from the original, it could still serve as a useful alternative.

5. Workflow Optimization

For professionals working in graphic design, print publishing, marketing, and related work, the ability to quickly extract PDF images can significantly improve the workflow. In the creative field, being able to share files, in this case images, is important, especially in fast-paced environments.

6. Educational Purposes

If you are a teacher and you regularly work with PDF documents, you might, at one point, find the need to extract images from academic papers, textbooks, or existing presentations to use in assignments, demos, and the like.

7. Printing and Production

This involves doing quality assurance on images before they get sent for printing. Making sure that the resolution and quality are high, the color consistency, as well as the scaling and sizing is important even before the files hit the printers.

When images are downscaled and saved in PDF format, there are chances that the quality might get skewed. In this case, spot-checking the images individually without all the text can help with ensuring their quality.

how we test products

How Are These Tools Selected?

I followed a few criteria when selecting these image extractors, and made sure to test them as well before shortlisting them.

  • All applications mentioned here work on Windows.
  • The PDF apps should have a free trial, free version, or should be 100% free.
  • It should be trusted by people online, with the majority of positive reviews.
  • The cost of their paid plans should be reasonable.
  • It should prioritize security and privacy.

5 Desktop Apps to Help Extract Images from PDF

Now when that’s out of the way, let’s hop right on to the programs you can use to get images from PDF!

1. Icecream PDF Editor

Icecream PDF Editor is a user-friendly and robust software that allows you to easily edit your PDF documents on Windows. It provides a diverse set of features, such as the capability to save image from PDF files.

With its intuitive and modern interface, users can navigate the program effortlessly. All instruments are conveniently accessible from the main window, ensuring a quick and efficient search for the desired features.

To export all images from PDF, download and install the program on your computer. Open the document, and navigate to the "Manage Pages" tab at the top of the program window. There choose the needed pages and hit "Extract".

Icecream PDF Editor 1

From the drop-down menu select "Images from the selected pages". You are done! The extracted images will be saved as individual files in your chosen folder.

Icecream PDF Editor 2

The image extractor offers a great choice for anyone who needs a versatile and user-friendly program to edit their PDF documents. With its easy-to-use features, you can quickly extract pictures from your files in a matter of moments.

Icecream PDF Editor generally provides users with a free version that comes with basic features and a paid Pro version offering enhanced capabilities. The Pro version is available at a cost of 59.95€ for a 1-year license and 99.00€ for a lifetime license.

Summary of Features:

  • Provides a set of tools for editing PDF documents.
  • Can manage pages, including rearranging, rotating PDFs, and deleting them as needed.
  • Supports annotation features, such as adding comments, highlighting text, and drawing shapes.
  • Allows users to modify and customize text within PDF documents.
  • Makes filling out PDF forms electronically possible.
  • Provide options for securing PDF files, such as password protection.

2. Sejda Desktop

Sejda is an online and offline app that can also extract photos from PDF documents. Compared to other PDF tools, Windows version of this PDF software appears to be relatively new. But it has all of the options that you’ll probably imagine using, whether you are a casual user or just going to use it for business.

Sejda

Aside from saving images from a PDF, it can also edit, compress, split, and convert files to DOC and various image formats.

The free plan is limited to 3 tasks per day of up to 50MB and 200 pages per document. It can also process images up to 5MB per day.

For a 7-day access for the Pro plan, you’ll have to pay $7.95 which is on the premium side when compared to others. They do offer annual access for $63, which even things out in the long run.

Summary of Features:

  • 3 tasks per day on the free trial.
  • Works offline for Mac, Linux, and Windows.
  • Has a free web version that shares most of the features and limitations.
  • Pro plan can help repair corrupted or damaged PDF files.

3. PDF Candy Desktop

PDF Candy Desktop is an all-in-one PDF software for Windows PCs that does it all and does it well. Aside from the obvious feature that lets you save images from PDF in bulk, you can also extract text, convert PDF to other formats, as well as edit, unlock, compress file size, and more.

PDF Candy Desktop

Safety and privacy are prioritized too, since you don’t need to upload your confidential documents to their server. The image extractor itself works offline, no need to connect to the internet.

On top of PDF image extraction, the program can also get text from the PDF, eliminating the need to highlight and copy everything.

The application has a free trial that you can utilize to assess its performance. Once your trial is over, you can decide whether to upgrade to their paid plans to unlock the full potential of the app.

Paid plans start from $4/month, or $99 if you’d rather pay for a one-time license. Compared to several online and offline solutions, PDF Candy appears to offer the most affordable plans. If you’re a business or a heavy user, you might want to consider PDF Candy to save costs.

Summary of Features:

  • Offers free trials for all of its features, including extracting images from PDF.
  • Working offline is possible, which also increases security and privacy to the maximum.
  • Batch processing of files.
  • Has a whole slew of features like merging, password protecting, unlocking PDF files, conversion to and from different formats, and more.
  • Desktop application works on Windows.
  • Paid plans include both Web and Desktop features.

4. I Love PDF Desktop

I Love PDF is a desktop PDF tool that can also extract image from PDF as part of its several features. It can also convert file formats to and from PDF, process files in batches, as well as act as a native PDF reader.

I Love PDF Desktop

Since the service works offline, files processed are not sent to their server, which increases user privacy by several-fold.

The program works for MacOS and Windows and has a limited trial in case you want to check it out first. The online version is free, with limitations, and the desktop app is paid, starting at around $6.25 per month.

Summary of Features:

  • Free trial for Mac and Windows users.
  • Web version is costless for all tiers with certain limitations.
  • Can pull images from PDF in just a few seconds.
  • Has an entire set of features for every PDF need.
  • Has a built-in PDF reader.

5. PDF24 Creator

PDF24 Creator Desktop is a 100% free PDF image ripper that works on Windows. It has all of the features you’ll need to edit and annotate a PDF document, convert, compress, as well as extract images.

PDF24 Creator

While the desktop version only works for Windows systems, the web-based one obviously operates on all devices.

The best part of this app is that it can be installed on Citrix.

Citrix is used in businesses where security and privacy are required since all access and applications are installed in a virtual workstation.

Summary of Features:

  • 100% free PDF software, no limits.
  • The desktop version works on Windows only.
  • Supports Citrix.
  • Works offline, so privacy is guaranteed.

6. PDFCreator

PDFCreator by pdfforge is a powerful PDF suite with several features. It is open source, meaning it’s 100% free, and it is enough for regular users who need to do something quick and easy. It also advertises a professional license, however, which is affordable at $26 per year per workstation.

PDFCreator

What makes this image ripper different from the rest is its features that are geared toward advanced users like software engineers, businesses, and others.

For example, the program has Actions as one of its features. This is a workflow creator to help optimize and expedite your workflow, either through full or partial automation of pulling images from PDF. If you are familiar with C# (C sharp), you can also code and implement your own custom scripts.

Summary of Features:

  • Open source but also has paid plans for advanced features.
  • Can extract images from PDF, as well as convert files to and from PDF.
  • Has features for advanced users.
  • The Professional plan is priced at $26.29 per year.
  • Works on Windows computers.

Extract PDF Images Online

We’re not done yet! I mentioned a couple of times above that some of these tools allow you to save image from PDF online, without needing to install anything on your computer. So let’s jump straight to it!

1. PDF Candy (Web)

First on the list is PDF Candy. Pretty straightforward to use, actually. Simply drag and drop your file, or click the "Add File" button, and the magic will start. Saving images from a PDF will only take a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on your document’s file size.

PDF Candy Web

One nifty feature is once your file is done processing, you can directly save it to your Dropbox or Google Drive account! And of course, you can also add your files directly from cloud storage. It works both ways!

2. I Love PDF (Web)

I Love PDF also has an online image extractor that you can use to export all images from PDF. For the online tool, you can load your PDF file directly from your computer or straight from Dropbox.

I Love PDF Web

3. Sejda (Web)

Much like the first two items in this list, Sejda also has a web application for extracting images from PDF files. The only difference is that aside from Google Drive and Dropbox, you can upload PDF documents directly from OneDrive or via URL.

Sejda Web

4. PDF24 (Web)

PDF24's online version is very straightforward and promises that it is 100% free without limits, much like its desktop counterpart.

PDF24 Web

One difference from other image rippers is that you can email the extracted images directly to the people you want to share them with, from the very same platform, as shown in the screenshot above.

5. PDFCreator Online

With PDFCreator Online, extracting pictures takes a different approach compared to the rest. When extracting images, it will give you an option of whether you want to save them in PNG or JPEG. It also has the feature of combining small images that are placed close together into one image. You can turn this option off, of course.

PDFCreator Online

FAQ

Are there any limitations or considerations I should be aware of when extracting images from PDF files?
Some PDF files may have images that are embedded in a way that makes extraction difficult or impossible. Additionally, pulling images from PDF files can result in a loss of quality, especially if the original file was created with downsampling.
Can I extract images from a password-protected PDF file?
In most cases, you will need to know the password to unlock the PDF file before you can save images from it.
How do I ensure that I am not infringing on copyright when getting images from PDF files?
It is best to err on the side of caution and seek permission before extracting or using the images for any purpose.
What are the image formats I can expect when extracting pictures from PDF?
You may encounter various formats, including JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and sometimes even vector formats like SVG. The format of the extracted images depends on how the pictures were originally embedded in the PDF file.

In Conclusion

PDF documents are everywhere. Doesn’t matter if you are working as an individual or in a professional capacity, at one point you will definitely end up wishing you could extract pictures from your PDF documents.

Whether it’s for meticulous archiving, strategic content repurposing, or making sure that your pictures are compatible with different devices, the utility of knowing how to extract images from PDF is evident.

With the tools mentioned above, I hope I was able to help you improve your workflow!

No more screenshotting for hours!

Rean Uehara

Expert Tech Writer

Rean is a tech enthusiast, digital marketer, operations specialist, and eCommerce coach who focuses on distributed teams. He began working remotely on web-related projects in 2010 and has never looked back. His articles published on Hongkiat, so his authoritative opinion on technology can be fully trusted.
8 min read
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