How to Separate Pages in PDF

November 17, 2020
16 min.

To split a PDF into multiple files, follow these 4 steps:

  1. Download and install PDFChef by Movavi.
  2. Run the program and add the PDF you want to split.
  3. Click Manage Pages and select pages.
  4. Click Extract in the right-hand pane. The pages will be saved as a separate PDF.

Now you know how to split a PDF. Read the full guide to explore the topic in more detail.

By clicking the button, you’re downloading the free version of PDFChef by Movavi.*

How to separate pages in a PDF document with Movavi PDF Editor

How to Separate PDF Pages and Save Them as Individual Files

We often need to break a PDF into parts – for instance, you may need to extract an image or a chart from a PDF document or split large documents into smaller chunks to make sharing easier. It’s generally preferable if the file can be processed fast and accurately. If you are new to splitting PDFs, it can be tricky to figure out which PDF splitter will work best for you and is compatible with your computer’s operating system.

Movavi provides solutions for both Windows and Mac computers and an online platform for Linux and portable devices. Using our software, you can join or export pages from existing PDF files without the risk of losing quality or data.

Keep reading to learn how to separate pages in PDF using PDFChef by Movavi or its online cousin PDFChef Online.

How to Split PDF Pages Using the Manage Pages Mode

  • Step 1. Acquire the Application

    To start working with PDFChef, download and install the application.

  • Step 2. Set the Range of Pages to Extract

    Launch the app and click Open File to open the large PDF you need to break into two or more files. Click the Manage Pages button to activate the page management mode. For multiple consecutive pages, hold down the Shift key while clicking on the first and last pages. If you want to select several non-consecutive pages, click each page you want to extract from the document while holding down the Ctrl key (Cmd if you're using a Mac).

  • Step 3. Save Pages as a Separate PDF

    Click Extract on the right-hand side of the program window. Choose the folder in which you want to save the new file and enter the file name. Click Save. The selected pages will be saved as a new PDF.

Extracting pages using the Manage Pages mode is one way you can use to split a PDF with PDFChef by Movavi. The program’s interface is really versatile. It lets you extract pages in the Preview mode too. Here’s a guide on how to do this.

How to Extract Pages from a PDF Using the Preview Panel

If you want to export just one page from a PDF file, there is no need to use the page management mode. You can do it directly in the Preview panel.

  • Step 1. Download PDFChef by Movavi

    Run the file you’ve downloaded and wait until the installation is complete.

  • Step 2. Open a File and Specify the Source Page

    Start the program, click Open File, and specify the file from which to extract the page. Then, right-click on the required page and choose the Extract option from the context menu.

  • Step 3. Save the New File

    Select the destination folder you want to save the new PDF file to, enter a name for the new file, and click Save.

Extracting pages using the Preview panel is even easier than using the Manage Pages mode if you only want to pull a few pages or if the source file is tiny. But what if you want to save pages from a PDF file as images? PDFChef by Movavi has a solution for you, too. Check out the section below.

How to Split a PDF into Multiple Images

If you want to know how to cut PDF pages into multiple BMP, JPG, or PNG images, this step is for you.

  • Step 1. Download the Program

    Download, install, and activate PDFChef by Movavi on your computer.

  • Step 2. Specify the Pages for Extraction

    Open the file you need to process in PDFChef, go to the Manage Pages mode, and select the pages as described above.

  • Step 3. Save PDF Document Images as Separate Files

    Then, choose the Convert to JPG, PNG, BMP option from the right-hand menu. Choose the desired output format, locate the target folder for the images, enter a file name for the pictures, and hit Save. The PDF will be divided and saved as multiple image files.

As you can see, PDFChef by Movavi lets you extract pages and split PDF files in just a few clicks without having to enter page numbers. Using this software, you can also merge PDF files, convert files from PDF to other formats and vice versa, add signatures, and even edit text directly in a PDF. Download the installation file for your computer’s OS and check out all the features by yourself.

PDFChef by Movavi

Everything you need from PDF Software!

  • PDF creation from scratch
  • Different PDF-editing modes (4-in-1 page arrangement,
    text editing, and object editing)
  • Electronic signature solutions
  • One-click file export and print output

How to Split PDFs Online

For those who prefer working online, we suggest PDFChef. PDFChef is a simplified web-based version of the PDF Editor, which lets you split PDF files right in your browser without downloading any software. However, note that it supports only the PDF format, so you cannot extract individual pages as image files.

  • Step 1. Go to the Website

    To split your PDF files online, first, browse to the PDFChef website using the link below.

    Online PDF splitter

  • Step 2. Upload a File

    To upload a PDF file for processing, click the Choose Files button or drag and drop a file into the workspace.

  • Step 3. Set the Page Range to Extract

    Select the range of pages to be extracted using the mouse and the Ctrl or Shift keys.

  • Step 4. Save Pages as a New Separate File

    PDFChef will automatically display the first and last page numbers of the range. Extract the selected pages to create a new PDF file using the Export selected button.

At the beginning of the article, we’ve mentioned that Movavi’s software works on different platforms, including Mac. Although the online platform works on any computer, phone, or tablet, Mac computers have their installable version of PDFChef by Movavi. Mac users get the same experience as Windows PC users. Respectively, you can also use the Mac version to split a PDF. To learn more about splitting PDFs on Mac computers, check out the next section of the article.

How to Separate PDF Pages on a Mac

PDFChef by Movavi for Mac has the same functionality as the Windows version. Using it, you can separate a PDF into several files and extract pages from a PDF one by one. However, there’s also a default PDF-editing tool called Preview. Here’s how it works.

  • Step 1. Open the File You Want to Split

    Open your file in the Preview app or just double-click the PDF if you haven’t changed the default settings.

  • Step 2. Select the Pages You Want to Extract

    Open the View menu and mark the Thumbnails options. You’ll see pages’ preview on the left. Mark all the pages you want to extract. Use Shift or Cmd to mark several pages.

  • Step 3. Save the Extracted Pages as a File

    Right-click on one of the marked pages and choose Export As... from the menu that appears. Specify the new file name and where to put your new PDF. Hit Save.

Now you know how to split PDF pages with Movavi's software and default tools. But what about other popular programs? To make our software better, we check out what other programs have to offer. One of the programs worth highlighting is Google Chrome. Even though it’s a browser, it can help you split a PDF. If you want to know what Google Chrome suggests for you, check out the section below.

How to Split PDF Pages Using Google Chrome

If you have Google Chrome installed on your computer, you can use this browser to separate PDF pages. The main advantage of this option is that it’s free. Let’s see how you do it.

  • Step 1. Open the PDF in Google Chrome

    Right-click the PDF file you want to split, hover over Open with, and select Google Chrome. Wait until the browser opens the file.

  • Step 2. Select the Pages for Extraction

    Click the Print icon in the left part of the navigation bar.

    In the window that opens, select Save as PDF as a destination, then open the Pages drop-down list and choose Custom. Now, enter the pages you want to save separately. Scroll through the preview on the left-hand side and write down the pages’ numbers following the rules in the placeholder. For example, if you want to select pages from 1, 2, 3, and 5, enter “1-3,5”.

  • Step 3. Save the Result

    When the list of pages is ready, click Save. Locate the folder for the new file, enter a name for it, and click Save. Warning: Google Chrome won’t show the file on the Download bar as it does with files you’re downloading, so you’ll have to locate the saved PDF by yourself.

The main difficulty of using Google Chrome is that you’ll have to list all the pages you want to extract. This means you’ll have to focus on page numbers and not only on which pages you want to choose. It is a standard solution for many programs out there. If writing down each page seems too tricky, check out Adobe® Reader®’s paid version – Adobe® Acrobat® Pro DC. Here’s how extracting pages works in this software.

How to Extract Pages from a PDF with Adobe® Reader®

Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® is a popular PDF viewer. Even though it has editing options in the interface, the program itself doesn’t let you edit PDFs. Extracting pages is only available if you purchase the Pro version, which is called Adobe® Acrobat® Pro DC. To see how splitting a PDF works in the software, read the instructions below.

  • Step 1. Launch Adobe® Acrobat® Pro DC

    Go to the Adobe® website and download the installation file.

    Adobe® Acrobat®’s main page

    Launch the downloaded file and follow on-screen instructions to finish the process. After that, launch the program.

  • Step 2. Open the File and Mark the Pages You Want to Save Separately

    Open the Tools tab and select Organize Pages. In the window that opens, select the file you want to split, click Open. You’ll see an overview of the pages in the document. Click the ones you want to extract.

  • Step 3. Save the PDF Pages

    Click Extract. If you want to save the selected pages in one document, just click the blue Extract button on the bar that appears. The new file will open in a new tab. To save it, click the floppy disc icon in the top-left corner. If you want to save each chosen page as a separate PDF file, tick the Extract pages as separate files option before clicking Extract. In the window that opens, select a folder for extraction, and click OK.

We’ve checked out some of the most common requests online. However, if you’re looking for a good PDF splitter, it pays back to look deeper into what the market has to offer. There’s plenty of software available: online and offline, free and paid, from big companies and small startups, for computers, phones, and tablets. So, if you want to check out more options, the following section has many options to choose from.

Other PDF Splitters

If you’re not satisfied with any of the options above, here’s a list of software you can try. Hopefully, you’ll find a program that will satisfy you. All the picks below are listed in no particular order. All of them are worth your attention equally.

    CutePDF Editor

    CutePDF is a free online PDF editor. It lets users extract, rotate, resize, and delete pages. Other features are merging several PDFs into one, changing security settings (like adding passwords for viewing and changing a PDF file) and document properties (a title, author, keywords, etc.). The main advantage of this editor is that you don’t need to sign up or install anything. CutePDF has a paid program that’s called CutePDF Professional. This software has more editing features than the online version; for example, it can replace the contents of a page and downsize large PDF files. However, for exporting pages from PDF documents, the free online version works great.
    Here’s how to extract pages from a PDF with CutePDF Editor:

    1. Go to the CutePDF website.

      CutePDF Editor online

    2. Click Start to Edit Your PDF File Now - FREE!

    3. Drag and drop your PDF into the highlighted area of the browser’s window.

    4. Click the Extract Pages tool.

    5. Select one of the range-defining options and enter the pages you want to save separately.

    6. Click OK and wait for the program to process your file.

    7. On the top bar, click the Save button. The edited file will be downloaded to your computer.

    PDFsam

    PDFsam is a free, open-source desktop application. It has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Its main features are merging and splitting PDF files, rotating and extracting separate pages. The application supports batch processing, so if you have several files of the same pattern, this program will serve you better than the rest of this list.
    The program has a free version called PDFsam Basic and a paid one called PDFsam Enhanced. The advantages of the paid versions are more advanced editing tools and an ability to convert PDFs to other formats. But to extract several pages from a PDF document, having the Basic version is enough.
    Here’s how to extract pages from a PDF with PDFsam Basic:

    1. Go to the PDFsam website and download the PDFsam Basic installation file.

      PDFsam Basic download page

    2. Follow the installation instructions and launch the program when the process is over.

    3. On the program’s dashboard, click Extract.

    4. Click the Add button in the top-left corner, locate and select the files you want to extract pages from, and click Open.

      Warning: all the files you upload at once will be treated as a batch. The program will export pages with the same number from all the uploaded files. Since you can’t define the extraction range for each file separately, don’t use batch processing unless you know that you need the same pages from each item in the batch (e.g., you only need the title pages from several theses).

    5. In the Extract settings, define the page range following the rules in the tooltip. It’s almost the same rules as in Google Chrome, with an addition of a rule for a range that starts with a defined page and ends at the end of the document (for example, if you want to save pages from 3 to 5 in a 5-page file, enter “3-”).

    6. In the Output settings, pick the folder where you want to save the extracted file. You can select the same folder as your source file. If you wish to add a specific prefix to your extracted file, enter it in the field below. If you don’t, the software will add a numeral in front of it by default (it won’t overwrite the source file).

    7. Click Run in the bottom-left corner. In the warning window, click Overwrite. Wait until the program completes the extraction. To view the resulting file, click the Open button.

    Split-a-PDF

    Split-a-PDF is a free online PDF splitter. The best feature of the splitter is visualization. While the previous PDF-splitters make you enter page numbers, Split-a-PDF lets you select pages from a preview. However, you can only select pages that are following each other. For example, you can’t export pages 1 and 3 and skip page 2.
    The monetization of the platform is done via ads on its pages and a voluntary donation banner. The team that designed the platform wants no money or registration from the users. They also promise never to share any of their users’ data, which is really sweet of them to mention in their mission statement. So, although using the platform is completely free, you can be sure that your data won’t lend into the wrong hands.
    Here’s how to extract pages from a PDF with the Split-a-PDF online platform:

    1. Enter the Split-a-PDF website:

      Split-a-PDF main page

    2. Click Start Splitting, then drag-and-drop the file you’re going to edit into the frame in the browser window.

    3. In the preview, select the pages to extract by clicking the first page from the range and then clicking the last one. If you want to choose one page, click it twice. Alternatively, you can enter page numbers in the fields below the preview.

    4. When the range is defined, click the Split button in the bottom-right corner. Wait until the program processes your file. Then, click the Download button to get the edited file.

    Foxit PhantomPDF

    Foxit PDF software is very popular among users. You may have tried Foxit Reader – a free PDF reader with advanced viewing features. Unlike Foxit Reader, Foxit PhantomPDF is a paid program with two purchasing plans: Standard and Business. The Business plan has more advanced editing features, but it’s more expensive (Standard costs $139, Business is $179). There’s also a Mac version for $139. Foxit PhantomPDF has many PDF-editing features, and it lets you customize your files to fit your needs. You can add comments, convert PDFs to other formats, add signatures and other graphic objects, edit text, check spelling, change security settings, etc. So, you get good value for your money. If you’re unsure whether to invest your money or not, the program has a free 14-day trial version. To get it, you’ll have to provide your personal info, including your email and phone number. If you’re okay with this, check the software out.
    Here’s how to extract pages from a PDF with Foxit PhantomPDF Standard:

    1. Go to the Foxit PhantomPDF main page:

      Foxit PhantomPDF website

    2. Click any one of the Download buttons on the page. On the Download Center page, select a suitable option and click Free Trial Download. Enter your data (you have to fill in every field) and then click Download Free Trial.

    3. Launch the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install the software. During the installation, you’ll have to select a plan option once again, be mindful of this.

    4. When the program launches, click the Open File button on the left-hand panel. Select the file you want to extract pages from and click Open.

    5. Open the Organize tab and click Extract. In the window that opens, list the pages you want to extract and select the extraction mode (extracting as one PDF, extracting each page as a separate file, etc.).

    6. When all the settings are selected, click OK. The program will open the extracted files. To save each new file, click it on the tab panel, then open the Files tab, click Save As, select a target folder, and click Save.

    PDFs Split & Merge

    PDFs Split & Merge is a PDF editor for iOS devices. It lets you do necessary edits to your PDF-files without having to open your laptop or launch a desktop computer. Split and merge PDFs, delete specific pages, and manage the PDFs you have on your device.
    Using a free trial version, you can edit two documents. If you decide to go on using the app, you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro version. Luckily, getting Pro requires a one-time purchase of $6.99 and not a monthly or yearly subscription. If you often work with PDFs on your iPhone or iPad, this app will prove really helpful.
    Here’s how to extract pages from a PDF with PDFs Split & Merge:

    1. Find the app in the App Store:

      PDFs Split & Merge page

    2. Download and launch the app on your device. Don’t forget to give the app permission to access your files.

    3. Tap Split PDF, choose the file you want to edit, and then select Split Options.

    4. In the Split Options list, click a suitable option. The one that should suit you best is Extract a single document using a custom range.

    5. Enter the range of pages you want to extract following the rules above thу text field. When the range is set, click Submit. The app will open the list of files saved to the device, and the file with the extracted pages will have a "Split" prefix.

    PDF Utility

    PDF Utility is a multifunctional 17-in-1 app for owners of Android devices. PDF Utility allows users to merge multiple PDF files into one, rotate, delete, and extract pages, and even create PDF files from pictures. Of course, the app’s functionality includes a fast and effective splitting tool, too. Even large PDF files can be split in a matter of seconds. PDF Utility is a free app with some really unobtrusive ads appearing from time to time.
    Here’s how to extract pages from a PDF with PDF Utility:

    1. Download PDF Utility from Google Play:

      PDF Utility page on Google Play

    2. Launch the app. A pop-up will appear saying you need to permit the app to access files on your device. Tap Allow to grant this permission.

    3. On the main screen, tap the Split PDF icon.

    4. On the next screen, tap Select File and choose the document you want to split into several files. Then select a split type: in the Numbers field, specify the number of pages or files your document will be divided into. You can also enter a specific range of pages to extract.

    5. Finally, tap Split File. A window will appear saying that your document was successfully split. You will find your files in the folder specified by default.

    Now you know about a big variety of programs you can use to split a PDF file and extract pages from it. You can try any of them and see which one is more suitable and convenient. However, we suggest you try PDFChef by Movavi first. During the 7-day trial period, you can test the functionality and the interface and set your mind about the software.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Splitting a PDF means dividing a PDF file into several groups of pages and saving each group as a separate PDF file. Some PDF-editing programs have two different separating features: split and extract. The difference between the two is that the split mode leaves you with basically the same document but separated into several files. The extract mode lets you save some pages separately from the rest of the document.

    In PDFChef by Movavi, you can split documents in the same way as you split PDFs:

    1. Open the PDF in PDF Editor.
    2. Select the pages to extract.
    3. Right-click the selected pages and select Extract from the context menu.
    4. Enter a name for the file, choose the folder to save it in, and click Save. The selected files will be saved as a separate file.

    Repeat the steps to extract other groups of pages from the PDF.

    1. Run PDFChef by Movavi and choose the Merge tool.
    2. Click Select Files to add the documents you want to combine into one PDF.
    3. In the Merge window that appears, click Merge. The program will combine the files.
    4. To save the PDF document, click File in the menu bar and choose Save As.

    Now you know how to merge PDFs! To learn more, read the full guide:
    How to merge PDF files

    There are two ways to extract images from PDF files: extracting entire pages as images or extracting separate images from pages.

    For extracting pages as images, use PDFChef by Movavi. Open your PDF file in the program, click the preview of the page you want to save as an image and select Convert to JPG, PNG, BMP. In the window that opens, locate a target folder, enter a name for the picture, choose one of the four file types listed, and click Save.

    For extracting separate images from pages, use PDF Candy. This free web service can extract all the pictures from a PDF document in just a couple of clicks. Go to the PDF Candy website, drag and drop the PDF file into the browser window, and wait until the software processes your file. When it’s done, you’ll see the Download file button. Click it to save images to your computer. If the PDF file only has one image, it will be downloaded as a JPG file. If there is more that one image, you’ll get a ZIP folder with all the pictures from the document.
    Go to the PDF Candy website

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    * The free version of PDFChef by Movavi has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output PDF. Learn more