PdfRipImage Documentation




Welcome to the documentation for PdfRipImage.

PdfRipImage is a utility to extract images from PDF files and convert them to a format of your choice. You can choose to extract whole pages or just the images contained in them.

The program comes in two flavours: a simple shell script which does the work from the command line; and a GNOME fronted graphical version which is a little prettier. Both are "works in progress" and are not always at the same stage in development.

PdfRipImage has been developed under Linux and should work on most Unix-like systems. It will also run quite nicely on Windows using CygWin.

Typeface Conventions

Throughout this document, commands to be typed into your computer will appear as below:

These commands are typed in.

Commands to be typed as a normal user are prefixed with a "$":

$ pdfripimage brochure.pdf

Commands to be typed as the super-user (i.e. root) have a "#":

# make install

Do not type the "$" or "#" yourself. They are only included for guidance.


The program and this documentation has been written by myself, Neil McPhail. I am a programming hobbyist and value (constructive) criticism. Feel free to email me at liahpcm@users.sourceforge.net. Reverse the "liahpcm" for my real email address.

Obtaining PdfRipImages

The project is hosted at Sourceforge.net. From here you can download the GUI version or script:


General Points

The utility relies on some other programs to do the hard work. These may not be installed by default on your Linux distribution. The images are extracted by pdfimages and pdftoppm from the Xpdf package. They are then converted by various pnmto routines from the netpbm package. The easiest way to obtain these programs should be from your Linux distribution. Alternatively you can obtain and build from source from the websites.

Installing the GUI Version

The source code is presented in a compressed format. Move the file to the required install directory and type:

$ tar -xvzf pdfripimage*.tar.gz
$ cd pdfripimage

The program is compiled with:

$ ./configure
$ make

If there are any significant errors, you are probably missing some important libraries or programs. Ensure you have installed the GTK+2 and GNOME2 libraries and header files. All being well, you can install the program by becoming "root" and typing:

# make install

Installing the Script

The script is presented in a compressed archive. Unpack it and move it somewhere in your path. E.g.:

$ tar -xvjf pdfripimage_script*.tar.bz2
$ cd pdfripimage_script/
$ su
# cp pdfripimage /usr/local/bin/

Using the Graphical Version

After installation, PdfRipImage may appear on your applications menu. If it does, click on this to launch the program. If not, launch it from the command line:

$ pdfripimage

You can pass a file to rip via the command line:

$ pdfripimage /home/me/Documents/my.pdf

The interface should be very straightforward. Use the file selector in the top left corner to pick the PDF file to rip. Several ripping and converting options can be selected to control the final output.

The default values may be suitable, but most people will want to adjust the output to suit their requirements. For example, the quality setting for a JPEG may be turned down to reduce file size and the smoothing turned up to compensate for the reduction in image quality.

Of note, PNG images can be made transparent by picking a colour in the selector box which corresponds closely to the colour of the image to be made transparent. Experiment with this setting for the best effects.

Finally, click on the "Rip It" button to extract the images. Please be patient while the program does its work. It will create a new directory for the extracted files, so please make sure you have write permissions in the directory you are ripping from.

Using the Script Version

The script version can read options from the command line or from a file called .pdfripimage in your HOME directory. The .pdfripimage file can be created by copying the example.conf file from the installation archive. Reading this file will tell you all the options to over-ride the default values. The format is quite simple, and the same options can be passed from the command line e.g.:


Have Fun!