How to Convert PDF to Image on Mac [Guide]

Easy ways to convert PDF to JPG or PNG

by: - Last updated on: November 10th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Even though PDF is the standard file format for presenting documents in an electronic form, it’s sometimes also used with images.
  • However, since PDF files are larger in size than JPG or PNG files and require a PDF viewer to be viewed or edited, sharing images in PDF format isn’t wise.
  • An efficient way to deal with images shared in PDFs is to convert the PDF to JPG or PNG file.

PDF or Portable Document Format is a standard file format for presenting documents in an electronic form. In addition to being primarily used for documents, you may sometimes also find PDFs in use with images.

convert PDF to image on Mac

But as it turns out, sharing documents—the ones with images—or image files in the PDF format isn’t wise, as the file size of a PDF file is considerably larger than a regular JPG or PNG file and requires a dedicated PDF viewer to be viewed and edited. So unless you specifically need to have an image in PDF format, your best bet is to convert it into one of the popular image formats, like JPG or PNG.

In this guide, we’ll demonstrate all the different methods to convert PDF to JPG or PNG on your Mac.

How to Convert PDF to Image on Mac

If you’re on Mac, you can convert PDFs to images — both JPGs and PNGs — in a few different ways, as shown below.

1. Convert PDF to JPG or PNG Using Preview

macOS’ Preview is a feature-rich image editing utility that lets you perform a bunch of operations on images and documents with ease. And we can use it to convert PDFs into images as well.

Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Right-click on the PDF document you wish to convert to an image and select Open With > Preview.
    converting PDF to image with Preview
  2. Click on File in the menu bar and select Export from the menu options.
    converting PDF to image with Preview
  3. In the Export window, click on the dropdown button next to Format and select either JPEG or PNG, based on your preference. Drag the slider for Quality to Best or Least to adjust the image quality. You can also set the name, choose the destination folder, and the image resolution in this window if needed.
    converting PDF to image with Preview
  4. Hit Save to convert and save the PDF in your specified image file format.

2. Automate Converting of PDF to Image With Automator

Automator is a powerful Mac app that lets you automate simple and mundane tasks on your Mac. Using it, you can automate your frequently-performed actions, such as image resizing, image conversion, batch image renaming, etc.

For the purpose of this guide, we’ll use Automator to automate the PDF conversion process. This can come in handy when you need to convert multiple PDFs to images at once or if you need to perform it very frequently.

To automate image conversion, we’ll create an Automator quick action. Follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Launch Automator on your Mac. Open Spotlight Search (command+space) and search for automator or open Finder, go into Applications, and double-click on Automator.
  2. Select Quick Action and click Choose.
    automating PDF to image conversion using Automator
  3. Click on the dropdown button next to Workflow receives current and select PDF files.
    automating PDF to image conversion using Automator
  4. Tap the text box next to Variables and search for the Render PDF Pages as Images action.
    automating PDF to image conversion using Automator
  5. Drag the action to the empty window on the right.
  6. Tap on the dropdown next to Format and select your desired output format from the dropdown list.
  7. Slide the compression slider to adjust file compression to your needs, and similarly, set the resolution, if required.
  8. Again, tap on the search box and search for Move Finder Items.
  9. Drag it below the current action on the right window.
    automating PDF to image conversion using Automator
  10. Tap on the dropdown next to To and select the output folder where you want to save the converted image. You can check the Replacing existing files option to avoid file clutter.
  11. Click on File in the menu bar and select Save. Alternatively, hit the command+S shortcut to bring up the save menu.
  12. Give your action a name and hit Save to save it. For future references, we’ll call the action PDF to JPG.
    automating PDF to image conversion using Automator

Now, to convert a PDF to JPG (or any other image file format), right-click on it and select Quick Actions > PDF to JPG. Automator will convert your image file and save it to the specified file location on your Mac.

automating PDF to image conversion using Automator

3. Convert PDF to JPG or PNG Using Third-Party PDF Conversion Tools

Media conversion tools let you convert files from one format to another in just a few clicks. A lot of these tools are available for Mac, and you can use them to convert your PDFs into JPGs, PNGs, or other image formats. One of the advantages of using these tools is that they offer greater control over converting files compared to the native utilities.

Following are some of the best media conversion tools for Mac to convert PDFs:

4. Convert PDF to JPG or PNG Online

While the methods listed above can help you convert PDFs to images (JPEG file or PNG file), if you’re feeling lazy or don’t want to take up the hassle of performing the operation manually, you can use online PDF tools to convert your PDF documents.

Below is a list of the best PDF to image converter tools to convert PDFs:

Using these editing tools is fairly straightforward. You simply need to visit their website in a browser window, upload the PDF file you wish to convert to an image, and hit the Convert (or equivalent) button. Depending on the size of your PDF file, the online converter tool may take some time accordingly to convert the PDF. You can then download the file to your Mac. Downloaded files can be found inside the Downloads folder.

5. Convert PDF to Image Files Using Screenshots

Screenshotting is nifty system functionality that lets you capture the contents displayed on the screen, be it from a video, a GIF, or any other file or document.

On Mac, captured screenshots are saved in the PNG file format, and you can then choose to convert them to JPEG or any other image file format you want. As it turns out, we can take advantage of this functionality to convert (more like transform) our PDF document into an image file.

Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Open the PDF document you wish to convert into an image.
  2. Make sure the PDF content (or image) is well-centered on the screen and zoomed to the right size.
  3. Press the command+shift+4 keyboard shortcut to activate Mac’s screenshotting functionality.
  4. Use your mouse/trackpad and drag the crosshair to select the area around the image in the PDF to capture it.
  5. Tap on the floating screenshot at the bottom-right corner.
  6. Press the command+s keyboard shortcut to save the screenshot.

Unless you’ve changed the screenshot settings on your Mac, your captured screenshot will be saved in the PNG format on the Desktop. You can then head over to the Desktop and convert it into any other image file format if you need.

Converting PDFs to Images on Mac Made Easy

All of the methods listed in this guide can help you convert PDF to JPG or PNG format files with ease. In our opinion, the Preview method works well for this operation and should suffice the needs of most users.

On the other hand, if you want more control over the output of the converted PDF files, third-party PDF conversion tools are the way to go, whereas, for simple usability, online PDF conversion tools work best.

Lastly, if you wish to have the entire process automated — or if you need to perform it regularly — you can use Automator to create a quick action for PDF conversion.

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