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Most of us deal with PDF files regularly. There are always instances when you need to extract specific pages from large PDFs — an expense claim from a bulk download, a page from an academic paper, a table from a lengthy report, or even a recipe from a large cookbook.

So, how do you extract a page or a few pages from a PDF? Nobody wants to resort to copying-and-pasting or printing and scanning. These methods are tedious, time-consuming, and can result in loss of quality.

Extract pages from PDFs with our free PDF Splitter!
 

This article will list five different methods to extract pages from a PDF document. We'll guide you through each technique step-by-step so you can choose the one that's right for you or even combine them for maximum efficiency.

Overview of PDF page extraction methods

Method Description Pros Cons
Manual Extraction Use a PDF reader's print function to print desired pages to a new PDF. No additional software required. Time-consuming for large documents.
Adobe Acrobat Use Adobe Acrobat's 'Organize Pages' feature to extract pages. Professional tools and features. Paid software, not free.
Online PDF Splitters Utilize online services to split PDF files and extract pages. Convenient and no installation required. Privacy concerns with sensitive data.
Open-source PDF Tools Use open-source software like PDFtk to extract pages locally. Free and secure local processing. Can be less user-friendly, steep learning curve.
AI-powered OCR Tools Leverage AI-driven tools like Nanonets to extract data based on content. Highly efficient and accurate. Free version is available, but require a subscription for full features.

Why do we need to extract pages from PDFs?

PDF is widely used because it is portable, offers security, and preserves formatting. However, a large PDF can be cumbersome, especially when you only need certain pages. The need to extract pages from a PDF could arise for several reasons:

  • Sharing specific parts of a document
  • Removing confidential information
  • Sending only relevant information to conserve space and time
  • Creating a new document from parts of an existing one
  • Extracting only the summary or brief of a comprehensive report

No matter your reason, extracting pages from a PDF can make your work significantly more straightforward. Now, let's dive into the different methods to extract pages from a PDF.

1. Extract pages from a PDF manually

This is the most straightforward method to extract a page from a PDF. You don’t need to download or install any software. Most PDF readers have a print function that allows you to select the pages you want and print them to a new PDF file.

How to extract pages from a PDF using Adobe Reader
How to extract pages from a PDF using Adobe Reader

Let’s look at how to extract a page from a PDF using Adobe Reader:

  1. Open the PDF file from which you wish to extract pages
  2. Click on ‘Menu’
  3. Choose the 'Print' option
  4. Specify the pages you want to extract in the field next to 'Pages to Print'
  5. Set the ‘Printer’ as 'Adobe PDF'
  6. Click 'Print'
  7. Choose the location where you want to save the extracted pages and rename the new PDF file
  8. Click 'Save'

This will create a new PDF file containing the pages you specified. You can enter individual pages, page ranges, and a combination of both (should be separated by commas).

While this method is simple and doesn't require special tools, it has a few drawbacks. Misaligned page numbers could lead to wrong pages being extracted. Bulk processing may be complicated because you must manually enter each page number.

There's no option to rearrange the pages post-extraction. And the output remains a PDF — you cannot choose a different output format.

Note: This method will not work if the PDF is password-protected or printing is disabled.

2. Extract pages from PDFs using Adobe Acrobat

Now, if you’d like to extract pages from a PDF on a more professional scale, you might want to try Adobe’s Acrobat. This software is not free but offers a 7-day free trial.

The Acrobat Pro plan starts at $19.99/month, and it comes with a suite of features that can help optimize your document-handling process.

How to extract pages from PDFs using Adobe Acrobat Pro
How to extract pages from PDFs using Adobe Acrobat Pro

Here is how you can extract pages using Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Open the PDF file you want to extract pages from in Adobe Acrobat
  2. Click on the ‘Edit’ menu
  3. Choose 'Organize Pages'
  4. Press Control (on Windows) or Command (on Mac) and click on the pages you want to extract
  5. Right-click on the selected pages
  6. Choose 'Extract Pages'
  7. In the new dialog box, check 'Extract Pages As Separate Files' if you want each page as a separate PDF
  8. Choose the location where you want to save the extracted pages
  9. Click 'Extract'

This method works well because it retains all interactive components of the PDF, such as hyperlinks, comments, and forms. It also allows you to extract as many pages as you want and save them as separate files or even split the PDF into multiple PDFs.

However, you have to buy the software after the trial period, and it can be pretty expensive if you only need it for simple tasks. It also does not provide an option to convert the extracted pages into other file formats apart from PDF.

3. Use online PDF splitters

PDF splitters can come in handy if you don’t want to download a reader or pay for Adobe Acrobat. There are numerous free online tools that allow you to split PDF files and extract specific pages.

All you have to do is upload your PDF to the website, specify the pages you want to extract and download the new PDF.

How to use online PDF splitters to extract pages from PDFs
Use our free online PDF splitter to extract pages from a PDF

Some of the popular online PDF splitter tools include:

Here's a general guide on how to use these online PDF splitters to extract a page from a PDF:

  1. Go to the website of the online tool you have chosen
  2. Click on 'Select PDF file' or a similar option to upload your PDF
  3. Once the PDF is uploaded, select the pages you want to extract
  4. Click 'Extract pages' or a similar option
  5. Download the new PDF file with the extracted pages

These online tools are simple to use, and most are free. Many of these tools come with additional features, such as merging PDFs, converting between different file formats, compressing PDFs, and more. But be prepared to explore a bit, as each component usually has its page or tab.

One major downside of online tools is the risk of uploading confidential or sensitive documents to a third-party server. Your file could end up in the wrong hands if the website's security is compromised. So, if you're handling confidential data, quickly check the website's privacy policy.

Speed can be another hiccup. Server or network congestion can slow things down, especially with large files. Also, the free version may limit some features, throw ads at you, or nudge you to upgrade for speedier processing. Take SmallPDF, for example; you can't rename your extracted file without paying up.

The quality of your output can also be hit or miss depending on the tool, and there might be a cap on how many pages you can extract in one go.

4. Use an open-source PDF extraction software

Processing confidential documents or dealing with bulk files? Open-source software might be the solution for you.

Extracting pages from a PDF using PDFtk
Source: PDFLabs

These tools are free, and you can use them on your local machine, avoiding the security concerns associated with online tools. They tend to be much more powerful and flexible, offering many options for handling PDF files.

Some open-source PDF extraction tools include:

  • PDFsam Visual
  • OCRmyPDF
  • PDFMate
  • PDFtk
  • PDFill

Here's a general guide to extracting pages using open-source software:

  1. Download and install the open-source software of your choice
  2. Open the software and load your PDF file
  3. Choose the 'Extract' or 'Split' function (the exact wording will depend on the software)
  4. Specify the pages you want to extract
  5. Click 'Extract' or 'Split'
  6. Choose the location where you want to save the extracted pages
  7. Click 'Save' or 'OK'

With these tools, you can extract, merge, rotate, and perform many other operations on your PDF files. They also usually support batch processing so that you can extract pages from multiple PDFs at once.

One potential drawback of open-source software is that they might not be as user-friendly as online tools or commercial software. You might need to read the documentation, deal with command-line interfaces, and handle occasional bugs. You might need some technical knowledge to get the most out of them.

Also, while these tools can handle most PDF tasks, they may not support advanced features like interactive elements, annotations, or encryption. Some may also lack a graphical user interface, making them more challenging for non-technical users to navigate.

5. Automate data extraction with an AI-powered OCR tool

Most of the abovementioned tools work great when information extraction is based on page numbers. But what if you need to extract pages based on the page's content?

For instance, you want to extract and process all the invoices with a value of over $500 or all the pages with a specific name or term. An AI-powered OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool can be helpful in such cases.

A look at how Nanonets AI-powered OCR differs from the rest
A look at how Nanonets AI-powered OCR differs from the rest

Nanonets lets you automate the process of extracting data from PDFs. With its AI capabilities, Nanonets can recognize and extract specific content from your pages, making information extraction more efficient and precise.

Here's a general guide to automate the extraction of data from PDFs using Nanonets:

  1. Sign up for a free account on Nanonets
  2. Upload your PDF files
  3. Configure the AI model by selecting the data fields you want to extract
  4. Train the model by providing some examples
  5. Once the model is trained, extract your desired data from the uploaded PDF
  6. Download the extracted data in your preferred format (CSV, JSON, etc.)
Using Nanonets to extract data from PDF pages
Using Nanonets to extract data from PDF pages

Upload any number of PDFs and let Nanonets do the heavy lifting for you. The tool can process multiple files simultaneously, saving you considerable time and effort.

Nanonets combines advanced OCR and AI technology to recognize text, numbers, and other data in your receipts, invoices, bank statements, purchase orders, and other documents. It can make your PDFs searchable and process complex documents with multiple layouts, languages, and structures.

A glimpse into how Nanonets extracts data from PDFs

This enables the tool to handle structured and unstructured documents and accurately extract only the information you need. Moreover, it learns from your intervention and improves over time.

What’s more, Nanonets comes with pre-built, low-code automation workflows. You can automate the entire process from extraction, verification, and validation to creating audit trails, processing payments, or any other operation. This allows you to process documents faster, reduce manual errors, and save valuable time.

Nanonets integrates seamlessly with your existing systems like ERP, CRM, and accounting software. Be it Xero, QuickBooks, Salesforce, or any other application, you can directly feed the extracted data into these systems with minimal manual intervention.

It also supports document storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and SharePoint, allowing you to access and manage your documents easily.

For those concerned about data security, Nanonets uses encryption for data protection and ensures that your data is processed in a secure environment. It also respects data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

Wrapping up

There you have it — five different ways to extract pages from a PDF. Hopefully, this guide has given you a clearer idea of how to approach your PDF extraction tasks.

Always evaluate the complexity of your documents, the time and effort you can afford to spend, and the level of accuracy required before choosing a method. The right tool can be a real game-changer. It can save you hours of manual work, prevent errors, streamline your workflow, and help you focus on more critical tasks.


If you're tired of the tedious task of manually extracting pages from PDFs, it's time to explore the power of Workflow Automation with Nanonets. Imagine a world where your PDF management becomes a breeze, thanks to our platform that lets you automate these tasks with ease. With seamless app integrations, you can connect your current tools and transform your document handling into an efficient, error-free process. Start building your custom workflows in minutes and free yourself from the monotonous clicks and drags of yesterday.

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Frequently asked questions

How do I extract pages from a PDF for free?

  1. Upload your PDF to Nanonets' Free Online PDF Splitter
  2. Enter the pages you want to extract
  3. Separate them with a comma if more than one
  4. Click on 'Split PDF'
  5. Download your new PDF(s) after the process finishes

How can I extract specific pages from a PDF?

  1. Upload the PDF to Nanonets' Free Online PDF Splitter
  2. Enter the pages you want to extract
  3. Separate them with a comma if more than one
  4. Click on 'Split PDF'
  5. Download your new PDF(s) after the process finishes

How to extract pages from PDF in Adobe Reader?

  1. Open the PDF file from which you wish to extract pages
  2. Click on 'Menu'
  3. Choose the 'Print' option
  4. Specify the pages you want to extract in the field next to 'Pages to Print'
  5. Set the 'Printer' as 'Adobe PDF'
  6. Click 'Print'
  7. Choose the location where you want to save the extracted pages and rename the new PDF file
  8. Click 'Save'

If you are an Adobe Acrobat Pro Plan user, use the 'Extract Pages' tool under the 'Organize Pages' option.

  1. Open the PDF file you want to extract pages from in Adobe Acrobat
  2. Click on the 'Edit' menu
  3. Choose 'Organize Pages'
  4. Press Control (on Windows) or Command (on Mac) and click on the pages you want to extract
  5. Right-click on the selected pages
  6. Choose 'Extract Pages'
  7. In the new dialog box, check 'Extract Pages As Separate Files' if you want each page as a separate PDF
  8. Choose the location where you want to save the extracted pages
  9. Click 'Extract'

How to extract pages from PDF to Word?

Open the PDF using Microsoft Word and select the pages you want to extract. Then, save these pages as a new Word document. If you are an Adobe Acrobat Pro Plan user, you can extract the pages as separate PDFs, then convert them to Word using Adobe's 'Export PDF to Word' feature.

How to extract pages from PDF on Mac?

If you are a Mac user looking to extract specific pages from a PDF file, you can use the built-in PDF editor called Preview. To do this, simply open the PDF file in Preview, select the desired pages, and click the "Extract" button from the toolbar. After that, you can name the new PDF file, choose a location on your Mac, and save it. To access Preview, look for the "View" icon on the top left side of the Preview interface.

How to extract pages from a PDF using Google Drive?

Google Drive does not have a built-in feature to extract pages from a PDF. However, you can open the PDF with Google Docs and then delete the pages you don't need. 

Can I extract pages from a PDF online?

Yes, you can use online tools like Nanonets' Free Online PDF Splitter to extract pages from a PDF document. You just need to upload your PDF, specify the pages you want to extract and download your new PDF(s) after the process finishes. Always ensure to use reliable and secure online tools to protect your data.

Can I use AI for data extraction from PDFs?

Yes, AI-based tools like Nanonets offer a robust solution for data extraction from PDFs. These tools remove pages from a PDF and convert and organize the extracted data in a structured format. They can integrate with your existing systems like ERP, CRM, and accounting software, feeding the extracted data directly into these systems. They also support document storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and SharePoint and comply with data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

How does an AI-powered OCR tool work for PDF data extraction?

An AI-powered OCR tool like Nanonets uses machine learning and natural language processing to recognize and extract data from PDFs. It can handle structured and unstructured data, converting it into a usable format. The tool can identify different data types, such as text, images, tables, and more. It can also handle multiple languages and special characters — minimizing manual input and errors. 

Once the data is extracted, it can be exported to various formats like Excel, CSV or directly fed into your business software. This automation can save you hours of manual work, streamline your workflow, and help you focus on more critical tasks.