Linux Commands Examples

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Portable Document Format (PDF) image extractor (version 3.03)

see also : pdfdetach - pdffonts - pdfinfo - pdftocairo - pdftohtml - pdftoppm - pdftops - pdftotext


pdfimages [options] PDF-file image-root

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Pdfimages saves images from a Portable Document Format (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,, where nnn is the image number and xxx is the image type (.ppm, .pbm, .jpg).


-f number

Specifies the first page to scan.

-l number

Specifies the last page to scan.


Normally, all images are written as PBM (for monochrome images) or PPM (for non-monochrome images) files. With this option, images in DCT format are saved as JPEG files. All non-DCT images are saved in PBM/PPM format as usual.


Instead of writing the images, list the images along with various information for each image. Do not specify an image-root with this option.

The following information is listed for each font:


the page number containing the image


the image number


the image type:

image - an opaque image
mask - a monochrome mask image
smask - a soft-mask image
stencil - a monochrome mask image used for painting a color or pattern

Note: Tranparency in images is represented in PDF using a separate image for the image and the mask/smask. The mask/smask used as part of a transparent image always immediately follows the image in the image list.


image width (in pixels)


image height (in pixels)

Note: the image width/height is the size of the embedded image, not the size the image will be rendered at.


image color space:

gray - Gray
rgb - RGB
cmyk - CMYK
lab - L*a*b
icc - ICC Based
index - Indexed Color
sep - Separation
devn - DeviceN


number of color components


bits per component



image - raster image (may be Flate or LZW compressed but does not use an image encoding)
jpeg - Joint Photographic Experts Group
jp2 - JPEG2000
jbig2 - Joint Bi-Level Image Experts Group
ccitt - CCITT Group 3 or Group 4 Fax


"yes" if the interpolation is to be performed when scaling up the image

object ID

the font dictionary object ID (number and generation)

-opw password

Specify the owner password for the PDF file. Providing this will bypass all security restrictions.

-upw password

Specify the user password for the PDF file.


Include page numbers in output file names.


Don’t print any messages or errors.


Print copyright and version information.


Print usage information. (-help and --help are equivalent.)

exit codes

The Xpdf tools use the following exit codes:


No error.


Error opening a PDF file.


Error opening an output file.


Error related to PDF permissions.


Other error.

see also

pdfdetach pdffonts , pdfinfo , pdftocairo , pdftohtml , pdftoppm , pdftops , pdftotext


The pdfimages software and documentation are copyright 1998-2011 Glyph & Cog, LLC.

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