How To Crop a Picture out of a PDF

PDFs or portable document files are a good way to share information online because there are lightweight and compact. More importantly, PDFs will display information to the recipient in the format defined by the author. It's not like a .DOC file that will require the reader to have fonts and other formatting features on his computer in order to view the document.

PDF files can also contain pictures and images. In most cases, these images cannot be extracted directly from the PDF reader itself. However, if you need to take an image from a PDF file, you can easily make a screenshot using your Operating System, and then crop it using a photo editing software.

On a Mac

Cropping photos from a PDF file on the Mac is easy. You have several ways to do this. First, you can take a snapshot of the image, which is automatically saved as a PNG file.

  • Open the PDF file you want to get the picture from.
  • Scroll through the file such that the image is in full view.
  • Press CMD-SHIFT-4. Your cursor will change into a crosshair or "target" like image.
  • Drag your cursor from one corner of the image to another. You will hear a snapshot-like sound, like a camera shutter taking a picture.

Your image will now be saved on your desktop as a "Picture X.PNG" where "X" is the numerical sequence in which the snapshot was taken. You can rename this to any other name you wish. PNG files are, by default, viewable on web browsers, so you can directly use this online if you wish.

On a PC

You have several ways of cropping photos from a PDF on a PC. First is similar to the Mac. If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can easily open the Snipping tool.

  • Open the PDF document and scroll down to an area where the image is in full view.
  • Press the Win key.
  • On the search box, type "snipping tool." Click the "Snipping tool" icon in the results under "Programs."
  • Click the New button, and select Rectangular Snip.
  • Drag your cursor from one corner of the image into another, so that you get the image just as you like it.
  • Save the file.

If you're using Windows XP, you can simply copy the desktop image into your clipboard, and edit from there.

  • Open the PDF document, such that the image is in full view.
  • Press Print Screen to capture the screenshot into your clipboard.
  • Open an image editing software. You can use Adobe Photoshop, or even the basic Picture Manager that comes with Microsoft Office.
  • Create a new picture with dimensions similar to your desktop. If you're using Adobe Photoshop, the software will automatically adjust the size to accommodate the image in your clipboard.
  • Paste the image by clicking Edit then Paste. Or simply press Ctrl-V.
  • Crop the picture using your photo editing software's cropping tool.
  • Save the image.

Cropping an image from PDF is easiest in the Mac, Windows Vista and Windows 7, because of easily available snipping tools.


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