How to Convert PDF Files to JPG Files

By Katelyn Kelley

The portable document format (PDF) can be converted to JPG, a compressed graphic format, a few different ways. The application Preview on the Macintosh can read and save in both PDF and JPG formats, which makes conversion easy. The Windows screen shot Snipping Tool can create JPGs of any content on the screen. Online and commercial conversion software are also available for free or for purchase that can do the job for you.

Things You'll Need

  • PDF file
  • Snipping tool (Windows users)
  • Preview application (Macintosh users)

Convert with Snipping Tool (Windows)

Step 1

Open the PDF file with your PDF viewing software. If you don't have a PDF viewer, Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free from Adobe.com.

Step 2

Open the Snipping Tool application, located in C:\Windows\System32\.

Step 3

Click the "New" menu and pick the type of screen shot you want to take. A "Window" screen shot will collect all the visible text on the PDF page you're viewing. A "Rectangular" screen shot will allow you to drag over the part of the PDF file you want to turn into a JPG file.

Step 4

Select "Save As" from the "File" menu in "Snipping Tool" and your PDF page is now a JPG.

Step 5

Repeat steps 3 and 4 for other pages in the PDF file you want to convert to JPG.

Convert with Preview (Macintosh)

Step 1

Open the PDF file in "Preview," the PDF viewer application that comes with OS X.

Step 2

Select "Save As..." from the "File" menu.

Step 3

Choose "JPEG" as the file choice in the drop down menu and click "Save."

Step 4

Click to the next page of the PDF and repeat steps 2 and 3. Preview saves each page of the PDF as a separate JPG file. Repeat for as many pages of the file you wish to convert.

Online File Conversion

Step 1

Navigate in your web browser to a free online document conversion utility such as ZamZar.

Step 2

Browse for your PDF file to convert, then choose JPG as the format type if it's available, or PNG if it's not. PNG is a newer graphics file type and any graphics program that can read PNG can read JPG as well.

Step 3

Enter your email address to receive the file and click the "Convert" button.

Commercial Conversion Software

Step 1

Navigate with your web browser to the website of a commercial document conversion product.

Step 2

Purchase and download the software to your computer. Some products offer a trial period where you can test if the product works for your file type before buying. A watermark is placed on the output until you purchase a license for the software.

Step 3

Open the conversion software and follow the directions for the specific software to complete the conversion process. A typical conversion program asks you to identify the original file and file type (PDF), then choose an output type and destination.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchasing a commercial product to convert files gives you the ability to convert many different types of files, not just PDF.
  • Online conversion companies are not responsible for the loss of your file if something happens to it during conversion, so never delete your local copy after submitting it for conversion, and read their terms of use carefully before submitting your file.
  • Free online conversion companies tend to have slow turn around times, and your email system may block their communications as spam.