I have a PDF that was created by someone else and I cannot contact them. One of the images runs off the side of the page and is cut off. When I tried to copy/drag the image to various programs (paint, paint.net, gimp, word) they all just had a black section the size of the image. I was opening with Adobe Reader X. I tried to open with Foxit to see if I had any luck there, I did not. I tried converting to pdf directly to a word document, but that just gives you pages in word of what you can see in pdf (the image is still cut off).

The reason this is not like other questions here is others seem to be able to see the entire image/text and use the snapshot feature. I cannot since the image is cut off.

I looked at the properties of the PDF, there is not any security turned on, but I read something about enabling image copy. Does anyone know how to enable image copy, if there is such a feature? Does anyone know of a way that I can retrieve the image in another way?

  • 3
    Do you have any reason to believe the rest of the image actually exists in the PDF? I would be surprised if the document retained information that would not be visible under any circumstances.
    – user55325
    Jan 8, 2014 at 21:44
  • @user55325 There is a border that goes off to the right when I click on the image. Based on that I am assuming the image is still complete in the PDF. The black paste size is also larger than the width of a PDF document. Jan 8, 2014 at 22:04
  • it is unclear if this is the case with your image, but it is possible that the image is black with an alpha channel or transparency applied. I have seen SVG files (graphs, charts) which wrap a raster image in an SVG container and use that image as a mask on a black rectangle. (this defeats the purpose of using SVG vector files, but there it is)
    – horatio
    Jan 8, 2014 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


There are several methods to extract the images from a pdf.

I suggest you try any of the online tools as they are cross platform and do not require installation of any software


If you use Linux, try pdfimages http://ubuntugenius.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/how-to-extract-images-from-pdf-documents-in-ubuntulinux/

Windows try http://www.somepdf.com/some-pdf-image-extract.html

OSX has a free trial software here : http://www.iskysoft.com/pdf-converter-mac.html


Try to find a virtual printer that might help you print something as a PNG or a JPEG and then crop the result as required. Something like this: http://sourceforge.net/projects/imageprinter/

Which emulates a printer that might help you print stuff as some image format

  • Good idea, I gave that a try, it still just cut off the image. I also tried to send it to XPF. Same thing. Jan 8, 2014 at 22:23

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