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Quick Tip: How To Save All PDF Pages As Images

Jonny Elwyn
By Jonny Elwyn
By Jonny Elwyn

If you need to turn a client PDF into a series of still images to put into your edit, this this little workflow tip could save you a ton of time!

I was editing at a conference recently where we had to turn around all the videoed presentations, complete with PowerPoint slides edited in, in a short space of time. Most of the speakers duly uploaded their slides in PowerPoint format to a shared folder. Some however handed over their presentations as a PDF. The problem with using OSX Preview to export images is that (as far as I could figure out) it saves the images one at a time.

Using a quick Automator workflow, I was able to quickly export out a 30-40 page PDF was exported as a series of JPEGs. Download my Automator PDF to JPG preset here for free.

Note: This workflow is for Mac only.

Saving PowerPoint Presentations as Images

how to save powerpoint as jpeg

Saving a PowerPoint presentation as a series of images is exceptionally easy and fast. In Powerpoint for Mac hit File > Save as Pictures. From a dialogue box that pops up, you can set the format, size and resolution in a jiffy. Plus it’s pretty quick to export the stills to a named folder in numerical order.

Saving a PDF as a Series of Images

Automator workflow all pdf pages to jpeg

After a not-so-quick Google search I found this post on an Apple discussion board detailing this really helpful Automator workflow, that will turn a PDF into a series of images. As I mentioned above, you can download the free Automator workflow here. Unzip the file, double click on it and then press the Run button to run the workflow. It will open a dialogue box asking you for the PDF you want to convert and then spit out a series of JPG files on the desktop.

If you want to create the Automator workflow from scratch for yourself, simply do the following:

1. Open Automator from your Applications folder.

2. Choose workflow from the first box that appears.

converting a pdf to a series of jpegs

3. Type into the Actions search box to find the three actions you need (as show in the image above) and simply drag them in order to the workflow editor box on the right-hand side. If you want to change the properties of the type of images created – such as their color space, format or resolution, do so before you run the workflow.

selecting automator actions

4. Save your workflow to the desktop (or some where convenient) and you’re done.

This PDF to JPG conversion is especially handy for anyone doing corporate video work or working with live presentations to video. Got your own hacks to share? Let us know in the comments below!