Unless you are a dab hand with an image editor, having a utility that can extract images from a PDF is a useful thing, for the maybe three times a year you need it. Fortunately, 4dots Software provides their PDF Image Extractor free of charge, so if you need to extract an image that's locked within a PDF you won't need to also extract your wallet from your pants pocket.
Free PDF Image Extractor is easy to use. Simply add as many PDF files as you want--created by any PDF creation software--to the extraction window. Or right-click them in Windows Explorer and choose "Extract Images from PDF" (if you checked Integrate with Windows Explorer at installation; if you unchecked this add-on, you won't have this option). Set your options for saving the images in PDF Image Extractor's Output tab, and advanced image options in the Image Actions tab.
Like some costlier image extractors on the market, Free PDF Image Extractor will only extract the size of the image embedded in the PDF, not the original image. For example, if the original is 4 inches wide at 300 dpi, but it was shrunk by the person who created the PDF to 2 inches at 72 dpi, Free PDF Image Extractor will collect the smaller version. However, Free PDF Image Extractor offers some useful options that can be applied to your extracted images in a batch.
The Image Actions tab includes options for resizing and setting the resolution; adding a watermark, text, or frame; changing the image format; rotating, flipping, and cropping the image; and making adjustments to color and color depth. Free PDF Extractor's success with these options depends greatly on your expectations, plus making any specific adjustments is tricky because PDF Image Extractor provides its own image as a "preview" rather than a real preview of the image you want to extract.
The Free PDF Image Extractor installer is bundled with 4dots Software's own Search Suggestor, a browser toolbar and the Babylon Toolbar. I highly recommend choosing the custom setup and declining the installation of Search Suggestor, proceed with the installation, then also decline the installation of the Babylon Toolbar. Both Search Suggestor and Babylon may cause multiple reports of ad-ware to appear next time you run your anti-malware software.
Of course, Adobe Acrobat X Standard (the $300 version, not free Acrobat Reader) includes a built-in image extractor, as do many other PDF creators. If you're on a budget, Nitro PDF Reader 2 (available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions, both free) can perform the magic of extracting images, as can many of the more expensive (but cheaper than Adobe) PDF-XChange applications available from Tracker Software: the Pro version of PDF-XChange Viewer ($38), PDF Tools ($45) and PDF-XChange Pro ($74) all include the extraction feature.
If you don't need a new PDF reader, are in a big hurry, or just want to get down and dirty with image extraction, 4Dots Software's Free PDF Image Extractor is a no-nonsense tool that won't make a dent in your wallet.
If you don't have software that can read or annotate PDF, or are still using free Acrobat Reader, try Nitro PDF Reader 2. It's fast, safe, and as a bonus it will extract images like a pro.
This story, "Free PDF image extractor offers easy way to unlock images" was originally published by PCWorld.