How to convert a PDF to JPG

While PDF files are standard for text plus image documents, compatibility requirements make them second-best to JPG in many instances. Converting to JPG can help you save space and easily share files. Doing so isn’t always simple, though—until now.

You can choose from a web-based conversion tool or an app that’s specific to your Microsoft or MacOS computer. Either way, converting documents from PDF to JPG is faster than ever with these versatile tools.

Use a conversion site

Step 1: Go to Zamzar’s conversion site

The best part of using an online tool is that it can be used from any computer or mobile device, anywhere in the world (and won’t take up space on your computer). The only downside is that they tend to be a little limited in the amount of data you can convert at one time, which makes them difficult to use for larger PDF files. However, it’s incredibly straightforward.

There are all sorts of different conversion websites on the internet, but we like Zamzar’s trusty conversion tool, which has a clean interface and avoids annoying ads.

Navigate to Zamzar’s PDF to JPG conversion tool in your web browser and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also download the Zamzar Chrome extension. Zamzar includes descriptions of all file formats in case you aren’t quite sure if JPG is what you need, or if you’d prefer a different format.

Step 2: Select your PDF

Zamzar select link option screenshot
Screenshot

While Zamzar’s website does say that you can drag and drop files to instantly upload them to the site’s converter, the drag and drop feature doesn’t seem to work. At least not on Firefox. But not to worry there are two other easy ways to upload your files. First, you can select the green Add Files… button. This will open a file search window so that you can select your file from your computer. Second, you can choose the select link option underneath the Add Files… button. This will take you to another page in which you can upload your file by entering a URL.

Step 3: Choose your output format

On the second step, you can pick what format you want the file converted to. Simply select the drop-down menu under the second green check mark, and look for the option that says jpg under image formats. To make it easier on you, the link we included up top will automatically set the format to JPG, but if you start at Zamzar’s home page you will need to complete this step too.

Step 4: Choose how you want to download

The final Zamzar button is Convert Now. However, before you select this, take a look below to see the Email when done? option. If you prefer to get JPG by email, then check this box, which will pop up an email form right below. Fill this out, and then choose Convert Now to begin.

Step 5: Finish the conversion!

When you’re ready to finish, click the Convert button to begin the conversion process. It will take several seconds to convert your file (Zamzar promises faster conversions if you create an account with them, but this is absolutely unnecessary for most projects). When everything is done, select Download to download the file to your local hard drive. Select Convert more files to continue with other PDFs. Zamzar will hold files for 24 hours, after which they are securely disposed of.

Zamzar can do pretty much anything to PDFs, so if you want to convert your PDFs to HTML5, BMP files, DOCX, or anything else that your project might require, you can. Just pick your choice from the drop down menu we mentioned in Step 3.

Windows alternative: PDF Conversion Tool

PDF Conversion Tool

If you prefer an app that has a home on your Windows 10 desktop, consider downloading the PDF Conversion tool. It’s a popular app with a sleek interface and multiple image conversion options for PDFs, including JPG, TIFF, and PNG. It’s also, depending on sales, only $4 to $10, a small investment for a very useful tool.

To begin, simply open the app and choose Convert PDF to file from the welcome window. Then choose Select File, and choose your format. Compression and protection options are also available for the files you create.

MacOS alternative: PDF Preview

Out of all the platforms, MacOS offers the easiest and most direct option for converting PDFs natively — in other words, you don’t have to download any extra tools to get the job done. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Open a PDF in Preview. In most cases, PDFs should automatically open in Preview unless you’ve chosen another program for the job. You may have to find your PDF file and right-click to open in Preview if necessary. Here’s how to right-click in MacOS.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.37.27 AM

Step 2: In the File tab, choose the Open… selection.

Step 3: Change the name, add tags, choose the export location and, most importantly, set the Format to JPEG. Select Save to finish up. That’s it!

Preview Save As

If you only want to save part of the PDF, then head over to View and make sure Thumbnails is turned on. This allows you to select particular pages via the Thumbnail sidebar.

This process works great for simple conversions. However, you can’t really tweak the PDF in any meaningful way, which could be annoying for more complex projects. If yours falls into that category, we suggest you try the online tools suggested above.

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