Christian Heilmann

Quick one: converting a multi-page PDF to a JPG for each page on OSX

Sunday, September 30th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I had this great task to convert a PDF to JPGs, meaning a multi page PDF should become a lot of JPGs. I don’t own Adobe Acrobat Pro and I didn’t want to buy an extra piece of software for it. So I went for the thing that hardly ever lets you down – even it it speaks in tongues – the command line.

So here is how to convert a PDF to JPGs:

Install homebrew by going to the terminal and copying and pasting the following:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSkL"

The script explains what it does while it runs. It is not the matrix, although it is green and full of text.

Next get Ghostscript – just go to the command line and do a:

brew install ghostscript

This can take a while, so get a cuppa on. Once you are done, here’s the command to convert a PDF to a lot of JPGs:

gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=jpeg -r144 -sOutputFile=p%03d.jpg file.pdf

The PDF is file.pdf and this will generate files called “p001.jpg” to “p004.jpg” for a 4 page document for example. You can change that with the p%03d.jpg setting above. For example plonk%04d.jpg would create plonk0001.jpg.

Once the conversion is done you are in the GS> prompt, just press Ctrl+C to get out.

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