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Extract Images from PDF Files

The accessible e-text version of a book needs to include the original ebook's images. To preserve the original image quality, we need to first extract the images from the original ebook and then insert them into the Word document.

Sometimes you will have a PDF book instead of an EPUB book. The process to extract the images is different from the process for an EPUB.

There are two ways to extract images: taking screenshots, or converting to a .docx file and extracting the images from the new file.


When you save the images from the PDF file ensure they are save as one of the following formats: gif, jpeg, or png. If they are not in this format they will not be compatible with conversion and you will need to redo all the images.

For Mac:

  • Press Shift-Command-4. Your cursor will become a cross-hair symbol.
  • Press down on the left button on your mouse and drag to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the entire selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging.
  • Simply release your mouse, or trackpad button, when done.
  • The screenshot will be automatically saved as a .png file on your desktop.

For PC:

Mouse and Keyboard

  • To open Snipping Tool, select the Start button, type snipping tool, and then select it in the search results.
  • To choose the type of snip you want, select Mode (or, in older versions of Windows, the arrow next to New), and then choose Free-form, Rectangular, Window, or Full-screen Snip. When making free-form or rectangular snips, use your mouse to select the area that you want to capture.
  • To take a new screenshot using the same mode you used last, select New.
  • Use the Save and Copy buttons at the top of the snip to save or copy it to the clipboard.

Keyboard Only

  • To open Snipping Tool, press the Start key, type snipping tool, and then press Enter. (There's no keyboard shortcut to open Snipping Tool.)
  • To choose the type of snip you want, press Alt + M keys and then use the arrow keys to choose Free-form, Rectangular, Window, or Full-screen Snip, and then press Enter. When making a rectangular snip, hold down Shift and use the arrow keys to select the area you want to snip.
  • To take a new screenshot using the same mode you used last, press Alt + N keys.
  • To save your snip, press Ctrl + S keys. To copy it to the clipboard, press Ctrl + C keys.
Alt + M is available only with the latest update to Windows 10

You can learn more about the snipping tool at Windows Support: Use snipping tool to capture screenshots.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

  • Snapshot tool:
    • To use the Snapshot tool first choose the Edit option in the menu and select Take A Snapshot.
    • Drag a rectangle around the area you want to copy, and then release the mouse button.
    • Press the Esc key to exit Snapshot mode.
    • You can then paste the copied image into another application, such as Word.
    • Once pasted you can save it as an image.
  • Export PDF
    • Another option is to export the file so each page is save as a jpeg. This can be useful if it is a children's book.
    • Select Export PDF
    • Choose Image
    • Select JPEG and hit Export
      • Note: there is an option to Export all images but this is not always reliable since not all files have the images properly rendered into single files.
    • Select the location on your computer to save all the images. It is recommended you make a new folder for them.
    • If you need to crop any of the images use PIXLR. It is a free online photo editing tool that is very easy to use.
This option is only available in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and not the online version.

Converting PDF to Word Document

If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or Adobe Acrobat Pro you can easily convert the PDF to a .docx file to extract the images.

First, Convert PDF to .docx

  • Open the PDF in Adobe.
  • In either the Tools tab, or the side menu, select Export PDF
  • Make sure the option for convert to is selected as Microsoft Word Document (*.docx)
  • Select Export to Word
  • A popup window will open showing the conversion is happening, once completed it will ask you to Save As
  • Simply select Save As and then select the folder you wish to save into.

Next Extract Images from .docx

Now that you have your word file you can extract your images.

  • Go to File and select Save As.
  • In the popup window, select the file format as Web page (.htm).
  • Select where you want to save this document.
  • Once saved you will have a new document and a folder with all the images inside.
public/nnels/etext/extract_images_from_pdf_files.txt · Last modified: 2021/06/16 11:34 by rachel.osolen