Thursday, January 6, 2011

Using to Convert PDF Files to JPG Images

When I wrote My Christmas Present Came Today - Oh Boy! about receiving the Isaac Seaver Civil War Pension File from NARA on a CD, I was in a quandary as to how to convert the PDF file to individual images of the 81 pages so that I could store and share them as page images. 

My readers had many excellent ideas in comments, and I want to highlight two of them that I'm using:

1)  Linda McCauley commented that:

"You can clip from a PDF file. Go to "Tools" > "Select/Zoom" > "Snapshot Tool". Then highlight the area you want to save as a photo file (similar to how you crop a photo in a photo editor). You will get a message that it's been copied. Then go to your photo editing software and paste it to a new file."

I didn't know that - it works very well and I will use it for one-off clipping from PDF files. 

2)  Eileen noted that:

"There are several PDF to JPG (or other image formats) converters available for free; just do a Google search on PDF to JPG."

and Diane Bowen suggested in an email that:

"That snapshot tool is a pain in the neck - I have to use it at work.  I just googled 'pdf to jpg' and came up with this - sounds good!

I followed Diane's link and quickly found a list of articles and websites that will do the job.  I tried and had great success.  Here was the process:

1)  At the Zamzar site, I browsed my files and selected the name of the NARA PDF file sent to me, selected to receive JPG files, put in my email address and clicked on the "Convert" button:

2)  It took about a minute to upload my 10 mb PDF file.  The screen below shows the message about the conversion process:

3)  The screen above says that it will take some time to convert my file, and they will send me an email with a link to the JPG files when it is available.  This was Tuesday night, and within two hours I had an email with the link:

4)  The email said that I had to access the files :within one day, so I hopped right to it.   I clicked the link in the email, and the files stored on Zamzar appeared:

5)  I had the choice of downloading a ZIP file of all of the images, or of downloading 81 image files one at a time.  I chose the ZIP file, selected the computer file folder to put it in, and watched the files download (65 mb worth).  The resulting unzipped file folder looked like this:

6)  The individual images are named "page0001.jpg" and so on up to "page0081.jpg." I clicked on one of the images to see if they were really there, and saw:

Yep, they're all there.  I can now rename them to something meaningful, although I'm not sure exactly how I want to do this yet.  Probably something like "Isaac Seaver 1823-1901 CWPF -page0001-date-description.jpg."

My estimate is that from the PDF file to 81 saved JPG files using the clipping tool would have taken about 3 hours of work time, while the Zamzar method took about 10 minutes of work time.  It took me longer to capture the images above than to perform the task.  I love time efficiency!

Now I'm wondering what other files I have that might benefit from the Zamzar treatment.  Zamzar will accept and convert files from or to image formats, document formats, music formats, video formats, e-book formats and other selected formats.  There is a 10 mb limit on the file uploads for unregistered users, and up to 1 gb for users with an account.  This is on my Favorites list now!

Thank you to my readers that commented and provided tremendous suggestions to this technology-limited geneablogger.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog and passing this info on to me! It worked! :)