The Portable Document Format was created by Adobe, but has now been open sourced, allowing others to more easily work with the PDF file type. That has enabled a bit of innovation, and one thing that is possible is the ability to convert the files to other formats, including turning one into an image file.
There are a number of reason you may wish to do this — the main one, at least for me, is to get one of the images from the document. Many instruction manuals today are available via PDF on the manufacturer’s web site, which is great, but it also means you will be carrying your laptop or tablet to the location in order to view that diagram, or printing the whole thing. That’s not the best solution. How about copying out that part of the image and printing it?
To do this, we will use a free web app called SmallPDF. This works about as simply as you can possibly hope for. Browse to the site and then open an Explorer window and locate the file you wish to convert.
You can now drag that PDF file to the box seen above and drop it right where the instructions tell you to. Once you do, you’ll receive a choice of two options — “extract single images” and “convert entire pages”. Choose whichever you wish, but if you just need a single image, then pick the first, and you’ll only have to print that one thing you need.
Once the extraction is done, and it’s very quick, you can download the results as a ZIP file. That’s all there is to it, you now have all of the files.
It doesn’t get much simpler or quicker than this. It’s not a service you will need everyday, of course, but it’s great to have it available for free when the need arises. Plus, it doesn’t matter what browser you are using, as this is cross-platform.