Tips for Acrobat PDFs: Part 2 – Page Extraction

Acrobat offers many useful page organization features, such as insertion of specific pages or entire chapters, replacement of pages, addition of page labels, extraction of pages, or splitting of a PDF file based on preset criteria.  

This blog covers the two different options (Extract and Split) for removing pages from a PDF to save them as separate PDF files.  

  • It is best to use the Extract option for separating a small number of pages from a PDF. Pages can be selected for extraction based on a page type. 
  • It is best to use the Split option for dividing long books into smaller books (for example, separating the chapters of a book into individual PDF files). Pages can be selected for splitting based on bookmarks, file size, or page count. 

Let’s explore how you can use these two commands: 

How to Extract Pages from a PDF 

  1. In Acrobat, keep the PDF open.  
  2. Click the Organize Pages icon  in the right pane or select Tools > Organize Pages > Extract
  3. Specify how you would like the pages to be selected for extraction. From the Extract drop-down menu (shown in the image below), select the required page type criterion. You can also specify individual page numbers or a page range. 

Here’s a sample showing how even pages alone are selected for extraction when the Even Pages option is selected. 

A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated

Note: If you need to select only a handful of pages, it may be better to click directly on the pages before selecting them. 

  • To select consecutive pages, click on the first page, then hold <Shift> down and click on the last page that you want to extract.  
  • To select random pages, click on any page that you want to extract, then hold <Ctrl> down and click on the other pages one by one until all the pages you want to extract are selected.  

4. Prior to extraction, check out the two checkbox options to the left of the Extract button. By default, these checkboxes are not selected. Select the appropriate option, if required, or leave both checkboxes blank. The options are explained below: 

  • To remove the highlighted pages from the original PDF after extraction, select the Delete Pages after extracting checkbox.  
  • To extract each highlighted page as a separate PDF file, select the Extract pages as separate files checkbox. 

5. Click the blue Extract button to extract. 

6. Save the PDF(s) with the extracted pages.   

How to Split the Pages of a PDF 

  1. In Acrobat, keep the PDF open.  
  2. Select Tools > Organize Pages > Split
  3. In the Split by drop-down menu, specify how you want to split the PDF file by selecting one of the following three options: 
  • Number of pages 
  • File Size 
  • Top level bookmarks 

4. If you select the Number of pages or the File Size option, select the number of pages or the file size as required in the secondary menu. 

5. Select Output Options to specify a target folder for the split PDF files. 

6. In the Output Options dialog, set your file labeling preferences. 

7. Click OK when done, then click the blue Split button to start the splitting process. 

8. Name the new PDF file and click Save

About the Author

Surya Nair

Technical Writer and Editor<br><br>Surya has been writing and editing technical content for over two decades in multiple industries. How do you transform complex technical content into an easy-to-understand document? Ask Surya - technical writing is her passion! She has been with ASCENT since 2018. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature, and a diploma in Journalism, and is a certified Technical Writer.

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