Is there a free way to convert a PDF document to a PNG image?

10 Answers 10


This is overkill for what you need, but in the absence of another answer, GIMP can do this for you. Just install it, open the PDF, and save-as a PNG.

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    No more overkill than the 5 or so 'free' programs I installed that left a watermark on the image. Worked beautifully, thanks! – Raymond Sep 8 '10 at 1:00
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    This is exactly what I needed. I wanted to convert a PDF to a high-resolution PNG file, and using GIMP worked really great! – Mas Sep 6 '11 at 19:27
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    Thanks, have tried several tools, either with watermarks or other limitations. GIMP works fine. – Horst Walter Oct 22 '11 at 0:08
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    Gimp works great for a single page, but I don't see a simple way to export lots of pages automatically. I'm sure if you know gimp well you could use automation tools to get it working. But perhaps pdftoppm is better. – chrishiestand Mar 5 '13 at 23:07
  • @chrishiestand, You should post that as an alternative answer. – Brad Mar 6 '13 at 0:21

If you have imagemagick installed, you can just type:

convert myfile.pdf myfile.png

Though personally I prefer the results obtained from pdftoppm from Poppler utilities:

pdftoppm -png myfile.pdf > myfile.png

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    on mac with homebrew I had to install imagemagick and ghostscript for this to work. brew install imagemagick brew install ghostscript – Andreas Feb 20 '12 at 16:01
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    +1 for pdftoppm: good results and fast. – Olivier 'Ölbaum' Scherler Oct 24 '12 at 12:42
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    Why do you prefer the results of pdftoppm? I notice that the default output resolution is higher than imagemagick (although this can be changed), but apart from that they seem comparable on my test file. – Sparhawk Feb 14 '13 at 4:22
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    converting multipage PDF with poppler will look more like this: pdftoppm -png myfile.pdf myfile – Roman Protsiuk Jul 23 '13 at 15:30
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    See blog.alivate.com.au/poppler-windows for windows binaries of poppler and use pdftocairo -png – kromuchi Jan 9 '14 at 11:51

Windows: Install PDFCreator and open your PDF. Print it to the PDFCreator printer (or whatever you called it) and hit save. When you hit save, after choosing a filename, set the filetype to PNG.

Linux: Install ImageMagick (on Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install imagemagick) and then in a terminal type: convert [Input PDF File.pdf] [Output PNG File.png].

Mac OS X: Open the PDF in Preview and in the Save As dialog, set the filetype to png.

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  • On macOS you can also use the build-in sips tool: sips -s format png the_pdf_file.pdf --out the_png_file.png – goetzc Apr 29 '19 at 0:13

You could also use GS:

"c:\Program Files\gs\gs9.10\bin\gswin64.exe" -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pnggray -r300 -dUseCropBox -sOutputFile="path_to_png_files\pdffilename-%03d.png" "path_to_pdf_file\pdffilename.pdf"

The path to GS should be adjusted based on your installation.

The DEVICE parameter here will specify grayscale. You can also output with color instead. These settings will allow you to output to 24-bit color, 300 dpi PNG files using the RGB.icc color profile:

-sDEVICE=png16m -sOutputICCProfile=default_rgb.icc -r300

Compared to convert, GS seems to run much faster, and it is more suitable for big batches of conversion.

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    Signed up for super user just to upvote this. Now if I only had any hope of remembering it... – joeA Oct 10 '14 at 2:47

Another way is

inkscape -d 300 -e "$filename.png" "$filename.pdf"

(you can omit -d 300 if you only need 96 dpi).

However, inkscape may have problems with the fonts, which is why I prefer convert from ImageMagick (see frabjous' and digitxp's answers).

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    +1 for inkscape. Because you can edit the pages, rework the diagrams and save as svg or even as pdf etc... – Alain Pannetier Oct 22 '15 at 13:31

Which OS do you use?

On a Mac, it's as simple as opening the PDF in the Preview app and saving it as a PNG.

On http://www.zamzar.com/, you can convert many file types for free also.

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If using Windows, I would use Bullzip PDF Printer, simply choose print and then select .PNG as the file type.

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The docupub online tool works quite well, you get an image per page: http://docupub.com/pdfconvert/

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if you don't don't feel like downloading anything just copy the picture and paste in paint then save as PNG and there you have it. no watermarks, not downloading files.. simple

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  • Paint can open PDFs? – Daniel Beck Jun 4 '13 at 17:59
  • @DanielBeck He's saying to open in a PDF viewer, then copy and paste – Canadian Luke Jun 4 '13 at 18:01

This free online tool:


will convert a PDF file to a PNG image inside your browser. You won't need to install anything.

If the PDF is multi-page, it will create a new image for each page.

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