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pdf2raster: convert pdf files to jpg, png or gif and maybe reduce the file size!

pdf2raster is a small tool for converting pages of a pdf file into raster images (gif, png or jpg).
Instead of using expensive applications just to convert a single pdf file, you can use this free application. The quality of the result is very good, specially when using antialias and the file size is relatively small, when applying a color reduction to 256 colors or less.

This is how the interface looks like:


To convert a file, just follow these steps:

1.- In the source file box, select the file to transform.

2.- Select the color-reduction strategy. 256 colors and antialias is a good compromise between quality and size for lossless formats (png, gif) with texts. Color-reduction of images to less than 256 colors or even photographic images reduced to 256 colors might require dithering. Play with the dithering option and decide by yourself.

3.- Select the image format

4.- Select the resolution in dots per inch (dpi). You can see the resulting image size to the right of the preview window.

5.- Select the page to extract and clic on convert. If you want to extract all pages, clic on convert all. The application will ask you for the destination file name. If you chose to extract all pages, the file name will be appended with a three digit number.

The tool makes use of the GraphicsMagick library and GhostScript. So you need to install them before being able to run pdf2raster. The fastest way to get the Windows version is here for the GraphicsMagick files and here for the GhostScript files. Unfortunately the libraries are quite big (around 6.3MB the first one and 10.4MB the second one).
When you install GraphicsMagick, make sure you also install the OLE control, which is the last option in the following window, which will appear during the GraphicsMagick installation:


Finally, since it is written in VB6 it needs the runtime engine. If you do not have it, you will have to download it from Microsoft.
As with my other applications, if you like the tool and you would like to support further development, you can donate any amount through PayPal. I have to pay for the site... Please, use the PayPal link on the left menu for your donations.

You can also use this tool to reduce the size of a pdf file. Usually, when you scan a document and create a pdf file from that document, the size of the pdf file can be huge. A way to reduce the size of the pdf file is to convert all pages to jpg using pdf2raster with 75% of quality 72dpi without dither and antialias. Once converted you can use a tool such as doPDF or primoPDF to print the set of images back to pdf using the standard print functionality of the Windows image viewer. You may want to play with other options in order to get better quality and depending on the type of pdf file. If the pdf file to convert has drawings instead of pictures, converting it to png might be better.




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