How to Save an Image File from a PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) files are very convenient when you want to share fully-customized documents that can’t be modified. Even those people who don’t have Adobe Reader can open these files using any browser that they prefer. This is a testament to how popular this file format is.

How to Save an Image File from a PDF

PDF files support adding various images to the file, but what happens when you then want to download a particular image? Well, you’ll find that it isn’t as straightforward as right-clicking and downloading it.

In this article, we’ll help you better understand how to download image files from PDF documents.

How to Save an Image File as a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat

You’ll quickly learn that saving images from a PDF file isn’t as easy to do as it is on a webpage. Somewhere within a picture-rich PDF document, there are image files to be found but they are difficult to access.

The most straightforward way to save image files from a PDF file is to use the Adobe Acrobat app. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Right-click the PDF file in question.
  2. Open it using Acrobat Reader.
  3. Within the program, navigate to the Tools tab, followed by Export PDF.
  4. You’ll see a list of formats for exporting the PDF file.
  5. Select the image format of your preference.
  6. Select the location where you want the image files exported.
  7. Select Save.

Adobe Reader will export the PDF document in image format. Each page will be saved as a separate image file, appended by the page number.

The resolution of the images is true to the size of the document. If you want to crop out the photos from the document, you can use a simple app like Paint to do so.

However, the problem with this method is that the resolution of the photos is true to the PDF document’s size too. These aren’t original photo files – just high-resolution snapshots of them within the paper.

How to Extract Images from PDF Files Using Adobe Acrobat

Fortunately, Adobe Acrobat Pro does offer an option to extract image files from the PDF document. Using this method, you’ll get the exported image of every page within the PDF document (as explained above), but also each separate image file. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Export PDF screen, following the instructions above.
  2. Select the image file format that you prefer.
  3. Now, select the gear icon.
  4. Under Export All Images As, tweak the settings according to your preference.
  5. Under Extraction settings, select the image sizes to be excluded. If you want to extract all the images from the file, select No Limit.
  6. Return to the Export Your PDF To Any Format by selecting OK.
  7. Go ahead and extract the images.

Using this method, you get the most wholesome solution for picture extraction. Although you might not be allowed to select the one picture that you may want to save from a PDF file, you can still get your hands on it using Adobe Acrobat.

Note that Adobe Acrobat, however, is only free for printing, viewing, and commenting on PDF documents, and you can also select the text and copy/paste it to another document. However, to do what is outlined above, you’re going to need to use the Adobe Acrobat Pro app.

You can use it for free during a 7-day trial, so if your picture extraction needs are more of a one-off thing, you won’t have to pay up. However, if you want to use it for more than a week, you’re going to have to subscribe to it, which comes at a yearly cost.

If the only thing you need to do with PDF files is extract images, there are other solutions available out there.

How to Save an Image File from a PDF?

You may not be a fan of using third-party software, but if you don’t want to pay up for Adobe Reader Pro, you’re going to have to use an alternative method. The most effective method that will provide you with full image files found within a PDF document is using third-party software. Here are a couple of options that you may find interesting:


This portable program (meaning that you can unzip it onto a flash drive and use it on any computer you please) is completely free, lightweight, and simple to use. Extracting images from a PDF file, using the PkPdfConverter, is as simple as this:

  1. Run the app.
  2. Open the target PDF file.
  3. Select the range of pages to include in its image search.
  4. Select Extract images from PDF pages in the dropdown menu.
  5. Go to Advanced Settings to set the image quality.
  6. Click Convert.

Once the extraction is done, you’ll see the output images to the right, inside the app. Every image you see in the right-hand frame is also saved to a folder on your computer.

PDF Shaper

This is a free piece of software that is a full-blown app. Unlike the previously-mentioned tool, this app is installed on the computer. The paid version exists, but you don’t need it to extract images only. It’s also very straightforward to use:

  1. Open the app.
  2. Click the plus symbol and add the target PDF file.
  3. Choose the folder where you want the images extracted.
  4. Click OK to commence the extraction.

To change the extraction options, select the Options tab, and choose the format of the output images, as well as their final resolution.

Taking a Screenshot

The easiest possible option available to get a snapshot of an image from a PDF file is, quite simply, taking a screenshot of it. You can take a screenshot without any third-party software, although free options are available out there that make the whole process quicker.

Taking a Screenshot Without Third-Party Software

The simplest way to take a screenshot doesn’t require using any third-party piece of software. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Navigate to the picture that you want to save.
  2. Zoom in on it within the PDF file to its best resolution.
  3. Push the Print Screen button on your keyboard.
  4. Open the Microsoft Paint app.
  5. Press Ctrl + V on your keyboard.
  6. Crop the pasted result so that nothing but the image is displayed.
  7. Save the image.

Taking a Screenshot Using Third-Party Software

There are many third-party options available out there for taking a screenshot. Lightshot is a great, lightweight app that makes taking screenshots very simple. It also allows you to add various signs and annotations. Here’s how to take a screenshot using Lightshot:

  1. Download and install the app.
  2. Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard.
  3. Select the image area.
  4. Click the Save icon.
  5. Select the save location and confirm.

Additional FAQ

How can I convert images to PDF?

Although you need the Adobe Acrobat Pro app to perform any advanced actions on your PDF file, Adobe offers image conversion to PDF for free. Just go to this link and click Select a file. The web app will then take some time to upload the image and convert it to PDF. Once it’s done, select Download.

How do I convert bulk images to PDF?

Although converting an image file to PDF is free and easy, merging more than one image file into a single PDF will require Adobe Acrobat Pro. The only other option is using third-party software. Thankfully, there are various options available out there that will help you do this–for instance, Smallpdf.

Saving Images from PDF Files

There are various official and unofficial ways to extract images from a PDF file. The most straightforward method is using the Adobe Acrobat Pro app, but this is only a free option for seven days. If image extraction from PDF files is the only thing you need, using a third-party app or another one of the mentioned methods is a much better alternative.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn about extracting images from PDF files. If you’ve run into a problem or have found a better way to perform this, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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