The PDF (Portable Document Format) helps preserve created documents to retain the formatting during its creation. It is also a common practice to send documents as PDF email to avoid the receivers are not editing the original content. Sometimes when you are going through a PDF document, you may want to use the images, graphics or visuals found there for different purposes. In this article, we will explain how to extract images from PDF files using different options in Windows and Mac. If you want to extract text from password protected files, check this article.
Images in PDF Document
PDF files by default open with Microsoft Edge and Preview apps in Windows and Mac respectively. Unlike saving images from other applications, you can’t save the images in a PDF document by simply right clicking on them. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (not reader) is the best solution for editing content in a PDF file. Though you can get this for one week free trail, after the trial expires you need to subscribe for $14.99 per month. This will be too costly for extracting images from your own tutorial PDF documents that you have prepared and forgot on your computer. When considering free solutions, there are many ways to extract images from PDF files depending on the software installed on your computer system or you have access to internet. Pick any method that works well for you from the following ways.
1. Take a Screenshot of Image
The easiest way to capture an image in any PDF document is using Windows Snipping Tool built-in in Windows. Open up the document with any PDF reader in question first, click the “Start” icon and search for “snipping tool”. Then, select the application, and it will display. Tap on the “Mode” dropdown menu to choose the snip form (free-form, rectangular, window or full screen).
Since it’s a particular image within a section of the PDF document, then free-form or rectangular capture is preferable. Click on the “New” menu in the snipping tool and use the mouse to drag and drop the portion of the image. As you now have the image captured in your tool dashboard, click on the “Save Snip” menu to have it stored on your computer. You can also choose to share the captured image as an email attachment, print or copy to paste it into another application for use. Another alternative that works the same way as this tool is the old “Snip & Sketch” default application in Windows. Both can be stressful when the work requires extracting a batch or several images as you have to repeat this process for each image.
On Mac, you can simply press “Command + Shift + 5” keyboard shortcuts to open the Screenshot app. Similar to Windows Snipping Tool, you can use the “Capture Selected Portion” option to take the screenshot of the image in PDF. The screenshot will show in the floating window, you can click on the image and annotate if required before saving on your Mac. You can also directly share the taken screenshot of the image with others using Email or Messages app.
2. Copy Image with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview
It’s an application software you shall install from the Adobe official website before use. Most Windows based laptop models also by default comes with Acrobat Reader app. Open your PDF with the Adobe Acrobat Reader App (free version) and click the “Selection tool for text and images (arrow icon)”. Then, locate the image in the document you want to extract and click on it to select.
Right-click on the selected image and click the “Copy Image” option to have it on the clipboard to paste into an image editor or any application software in your computer system. Paint is a default App to use as a Windows OS user. So, open it up, and click on the “Paste” icon or press “Control + V” on your keyboard. Now save the image in any format of your choice in your local storage.
PDF documents will open in Mac with Preview app. You can right click on the image and select “Copy” option to get the image into your clipboard. Then you can paste the image anywhere you need instead of saving to your Mac. You do not need Acrobat Reader in Mac for copying images from PDF.
3. Online Image Extraction Tools (Upload)
The easiest way out is using websites that allow you to upload the PDF and extract the images found in them. Their interface is easy to follow, and most are free with restrictions on the document size, time limit for use, becoming a registered user factor or the number of batch images it can extract. For instance, using the PDFCandy would require visiting the official website.
Click the “All PDF Tools” dropdown button and select the “Extract Images” menu option. Tap the “+ Add file” button to select the PDF you want to extract images in your system or use Google Drive / Dropbox option. Afterwards, allow the file to process, and the output that comes has a zip folder containing all the images, click on “Download” and extract the folder later.
Other recommended Web PDF image extractors that are likened to this one and follow similar procedures are ExtractPDF, ILovePDF, HiPDF, Pdf-Online, or PDF24 Tools. Once launched into their website, locate the “Extract Images from PDF” feature and use it to achieve your aim.
4. Windows Microsoft Word App
Using Microsoft Word is another option that works both in Windows and Mac. This is a preferable option when you don’t want to use the online tools for extracting images from confidential PDF documents. It’s also an easy-going option as you can get all the images after conversion as they are without the need for sizing or editing. However, to some extent the graphics or images found in the PDF has the potential to be a bit blurry after opening the file with MS Word. Also, sometimes the images may not be extracted in Word properly due to compatibility issues between the two document types.
To still utilize it, right-click on the PDF in question and click on the “Open with” option, then “Choose another app”. Further, click on “More apps”, select “Word”, and a converting message appears to ask if to continue, then click the “Ok” button and the text with images in the PDF at your disposal.
On Mac, you can right click and select “Open With” option and then choose Word app from the list. If Word app is not showing in the list, select “Others” and choose Word app from your Applications folder.
Word will take some time to process and convert the PDF into a Word document. When you have the converted document, right click on any image and select “Save as Picture…” option to get the image to your computer. If there are plenty of images in the document, save the document as a webpage. This will help you to get all the images in a separate folder which you can use it for your own purposes.
We carefully put together this guide with the exemption of almost all third-party image extraction tools that require installation since they often have an association with adware or spyware and can implicate document confidentiality. Premium tools such as Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Pro or Adobe Photoshop can serve well and are recommendable if you don’t mind sparing some money. If Microsoft Word works, that will be the go-to option as it works for both single and batch image extraction in all operating systems. And when single-handedly extracting images one after another, the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or screenshot tools can do the task well.