Not everyone understands how PDF files work. A less computer-literate person might not have Adobe Acrobat installed on their computer, or they might not know that Acrobat is required to open PDFs in the first place. To retain a PDF file’s content, but transfer it in a format that anyone can open, we recommend that you convert the file to JPEG (also written as JPG).
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Once your PDF is converted, you’ll be able to open it on any Mac or Windows PC, insert it into another document, or embed it in a website. Best of all, it can be performed without fancy editing software. Below, we’ve outlined three different methods for PDF-to-JPEG conversion.
Using an Online Converter
For Windows users, this is probably the easiest way to convert to JPEG. Most of these web services are free, and they’re all fairly straightforward. First, you’ll need to upload a PDF file to the site. There should be an “Upload” button somewhere on the main page, which will allow you to search through your directory and select a file.
Using this option, you’ll probably have a 25 MB limit for individual PDF files, but that should be enough space for most situations. Before performing the conversion, you’ll also be able to decide on the final image quality, which is typically set at 150 DPI. A higher DPI (i.e. 300) will dramatically increase both the quality and file size, but that may not be necessary.
As the website converts your PDF, every page will be separated into its own JPEG file. Make sure JPEG is selected as your output format before clicking “Convert”. When the JPEG(s) are ready, you’ll be able to directly download them via email or a unique link.
For Mac OS X users, Preview is the way to go. First, open the PDF file by Control-clicking and selecting Preview under the “Open With” section. When converting multiple PDFs, just highlight them all and select Preview. This will open the files at the same time, saving you from excessive clicking.
Next, select Export under the File menu. A smaller box will appear with a “Format” section, where you can select JPEG. You’ll also have a chance to adjust the image output quality before creating the new file. Choose where you’d like the file to go, change the file name, and click Save.
Using an Image Editor
Finally, if you have access to professional image editing software, you might as well use it. Photoshop and Paintshop Pro both have advanced conversion features, but the free GIMP application can also perform many of the same functions.
Using your editor of choice, open the PDF file. Make sure that you load the pages as Images (not Layers), so that every PDF page is displayed as a distinct image. At this point, most of the work will already be done, but you still need to export the images. If you’re using GIMP, select Export from the File menu, and then choose the JPEG format. In Photoshop and Paintshop Pro, select Save As and then JPEG (under “file type”).