pdfimages: Extract and Save Images From A Portable Document Format ( PDF ) File

Q. How do I extract images from a PDF file under Linux / UNIX shell account?

A. pdfimages works as Portable Document Format (PDF) image extractor under Linux / UNIX operating systems. It saves images from a PDF file as Portable Pixmap (PPM), Portable Bitmap (PBM), or JPEG files. Pdfimages reads the PDF file PDF-file, scans one or more pages, and writes one PPM, PBM, or JPEG file for each image, image-root-nnn.xxx, where nnn is the image number and xxx is the image type (.ppm, .pbm, .jpg).

pdfimages is installed using poppler-utils package under various Linux distributions:
# yum install poppler-utils
OR
# apt-get install poppler-utils

pdfimages syntax

pdfimages /path/to/file.pdf /path/to/output/dir
Extract the PDF file called bar.pdf and save every image as image-00{1,2,3..N}.ppm, enter:
$ pdfimages bar.pdf /tmp/image
$ ls /tmp/image*
Sample output:

image-000.ppm   image-1025.ppm  image-1140.ppm  image-1256.ppm  image-247.ppm  image-374.ppm  image-501.ppm  image-628.ppm  image-755.ppm  image-882.ppm
image-001.ppm   image-1026.ppm  image-1141.ppm  image-1257.ppm  image-248.ppm  image-375.ppm  image-502.ppm  image-629.ppm  image-756.ppm  image-883.ppm
image-002.ppm   image-1027.ppm  image-1142.ppm  image-1258.ppm  image-249.ppm  image-376.ppm  image-503.ppm  image-630.ppm  image-757.ppm  image-884.ppm

Normally, all images are written as PBM (for monochrome images) or PPM (for non-monochrome images) files. With the -j option, images in DCT format are saved as JPEG files. All non-DCT images are saved in PBM/PPM format as usual:
$ pdfimages -j bar.pdf /tmp/image
The -f option Specifies the first page to scan. To scan first 5 pages, enter:
$ pdfimages -j -f 5 bar.pdf /tmp/image
The -l option specifies the last page to scan. To scan last 5 pages, enter:
$ pdfimages -j -l 5 bar.pdf /tmp/image

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.