How to convert a pdf to an image
August 17, 2017 9:37 AM   Subscribe

I have a pdf document that I'd like to convert into an image. The document contains a lot of text, so I think .png would be the best format. I've tried a few online services (like, but the fonts seem to get messed up in the conversion. Is there some way to do this that will reliably convert the document?
posted by Proginoskes to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd go extremely simple with this and use Win10's screen clipper function.
posted by Talia Devane at 9:41 AM on August 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Do you have Adobe Acrobat, or just Adobe's PDF reader? If you have Acrobat, you can do File>Export to>Image, and it will give you the option of image file format.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 9:42 AM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you just have Acrobat Reader, you can use Edit>Take a snapshot.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 9:44 AM on August 17, 2017

If you're on osx, you can hit cmd+shift 4 and you'll get some nice crosshairs to drag across whatever you'd like you take a snapshot of. I believe the default filetype is a .png.
posted by furnace.heart at 9:48 AM on August 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you have a Mac, Preview will also let you save as or export to a variety of file formats. Depending what you want it for, screen capture (and combining images if it's multiple pages) may be the best option.
posted by jessamyn at 9:54 AM on August 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Are all the fonts embedded in the document? If not, zamzar will have to substitute.

If you have Linux or Mac OS + Homebrew, pdftoppm from the poppler package will turn every page of a PDF into nice anti-aliased images with:
pdftoppm -png -aa yes -aaVector yes infile.pdf base
producing base-01.png, producing base-02.png, … at 150 dpi. You can choose different resolutions and page selections. Here's pdftoppm's rendition of the first page of the front page (via WeasyPrint): mefi-01.
posted by scruss at 10:45 AM on August 17, 2017

Did you try I had success with this recently, using the higher-resolution option.
posted by lakeroon at 3:59 PM on August 17, 2017

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