Imagine that you make a letter by cutting and pasting both texts and images on a sheet of paper, and then laminate it. You could see, in this way, all its content … but without being able to do much with it. A PDF file would be something like this.
Of course, that is one of its advantages: the same thing that makes it difficult to edit is what allows files to look the same regardless of the device where they are opened. But sometimes we need to access those ‘cuts’.
It is easy to extract the images and texts from a PDF file using a paid PDF editor, such as Adobe Acrobat (as long as the text is not scanned and is nothing more than an image, which would force us to resort to OCR technology). If we are satisfied with extracting the images, we could also resort to opening the PDF from Adobe Photoshop, and the program will offer us the option to extract them.
But what if we do not have such tools and we prefer to opt for free alternatives? Well you’re in luck because we have compiled some for you:
pkPdfConverter (text and images)
PkPdfConverter is a small free software that stopped updating 4 years ago, and whose website does not exist anymore. However, it is still available on SourceForge and works flawlessly on Windows 10, allowing us extract both the images and the text from the PDF files that we load in the program (in addition to converting them to HTML).
PDF Shaper Free (text and images)
Similar to the previous one in functionalities, but in Spanish and with a much more modern look (Note that PDF Shaper Free does update). Most of the options it offers are reserved for PRO version buyers, but the two that interest us for this article are free to use in the free version.
PDFAid.com (images only)
PDFAid is a simple web tool that allows us to load a PDF file, select the file format in which we want to extract the images (PNG, JPG, GIF and BMP). Then, we will only have to press ‘Extract images’ and a ZIP file will be generated with all the images generated.
ExtractPDF.com (text, images, fonts, and metadata)
This web tool, on the other hand, has several more functionalities. First, we can upload a file (up to 25 Mb) both from our hard drive and from a URL.
Second, although it generates a zip with all the extracted images, it also makes it easy for us to preview and download them one by one.
In second place, also extract text: the web will show us only the first 100 lines of it, but it will make it easier for us to download it in its entirety as a PDF file.
And, unlike the rest of the tools listed here, ExtractPDF allows us to download the embedded fonts in the PDF file, and check its metadata.