How Do You Extract Photos From a PDF Without Losing Resolution?

Answered by Jay Nelson, Editor and Publisher, Design Tools Monthly

A client wants me to re-use some photos from an older project in new project, but doesn't have the original project files -- just the press-ready PDF. Is there an easy way to extract the photos from that PDF without losing resolution?

First, let's assume that your client has the rights to use those photos in a new project, which often isn't the case. Watch your back -- get it in writing. Once that's handled, you can extract the photos in either Acrobat Professional or in Photoshop.

The easiest way is to use Photoshop's hidden ability to extract images from PDF documents. Just choose File> Open, select the PDF, then click the Open button. In Photoshop CS3 you can then click the Images radio button to see all the images in the PDF. (In Photoshop CS2, the Images option is hidden under the Select pop-up menu.) Choose the one you want and click the OK button to open it. You can then save the image in any file format you like.

You can also use Acrobat Professional to copy one image and paste it into Photoshop. First, select the Select tool (Tools> Select & Zoom> Select Tool). Click on the image you want. Choose Edit> Copy. Switch to Photoshop. Choose File> New. A new document will be created at the size of what's on the clipboard -- in this case, it's the image you just Copied. Choose Edit> Paste to drop the image into the new Photoshop document. You can then save it in any file format you like.

This question was answered by Jay Nelson, Publisher & Editor, Design Tools Monthly. We love DTM's tips and advice and think you will, too. For a free sample PRINTED issue, contact Design Tools Monthly at 303-543-8400, e-mail, or go to their website:

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