Extracting Images from PDF Files for InDesign via PDF2DTP, FlightCheck

Extracting Images from PDF Files
For Re-Use in Adobe InDesign!

Extracting images from PDF files is something many need to do. Often, all you have left is “that” print PDF. So how can we extract images, pictures or graphics from PDF files? Easy, if you are an InDesign user. Just use data conversion.

Extracting Images from PDF Files for re-use in Adobe InDesign – YouTube

Extract Images from PDF Files with Markzware PDF2DTP data conversion software

Extracting Images from PDF Files. Here I have a PDF with many rich and unique images embedded inside of it. If this is all I have left of this content, is this PDF, how could I get these images out? I can’t drag them out of the PDF into my InDesign file. I can’t drag them onto my desktop, but there are many images in here that I may want to use. Perhaps, I need to make a new presentation, or I want to make a web page, or I want to make a new layout, but the fact is I need to get at these images. How can we do that? Well, within Adobe InDesign and Markzware‘s new PDF2DTP plug-in, that is one way to extract images from your PDF files. Now, before I do that, you might be tempted to say, hey, let’s now assume that you also have, not only this PDF, but you have the native file of this PDF. And if I drop this PDF on Markzware’s FlightCheck …

FlightCheck is a tool that will preflight fifty file formats to let you know problems before they occur. (FlightCheck eagle screeches.) Now, what we get is, first, the Results screen, where you get everything, in plain English, to see what might be the problems. In this case, I just want to skip over to the main window, here, and we see the file info and we have some problems with PDF compliance, see, PDF/X. That aside, what you’ll see is information that can help me find out who was the creator of this PDF. Well, it was myself. But more importantly, the application was PowerPoint. And I found my original content and I now have it open in PowerPoint.

So, you might be tempted to get into PowerPoint and go down to that image you want. Perhaps, I want to use this customer quote, which we have permission to use. Perhaps, I want to use that in InDesign. So I go into InDesign and I make my new print layout. So, perhaps, I want this image of Dirk, here, and I’m going to drag and drop it and I’m going to do Edit > Copy. Then, I’ll go into InDesign and I’m going to do Edit > Paste. And, now, I get the image there. So you could see, I can drag and drop and/or Copy and Paste image into InDesign, and I’ll leave them both there. And, you know, I’m going to get some text here, you know, and I could continue building this, of course.

Now, I’m going to do a File > Save As. I think I’ve got the original content and I’m going to save it as Untitled. I save it to my Desktop. Now, I go to the preflight. It tells me no errors in InDesign. So, I think everything’s okay. I go File > Package. I don’t know why they don’t have Package right next to Preflight, but, anyway, that’s why we have Markzware’s FlightCheck to help you with that. I’m just showing you how a lot of people do it in InDesign and might get a false sense of well-being. Links and Images in InDesign (The problems). Wait a minute. There are no links and images. Colors, Print, Fonts, but wait a minute. No links and images? They’re right here. I just copied and pasted them right from PowerPoint. Well, anyway, let’s see what happens.

Extract Images from Adobe Acrobat PDF
Use PDF2DTP to extract images from PDFs

Extracting Images from PDF Files
I hit Package > Continue, and we’ll package that up. Now, what you see here… Here’s the InDesign Packaged folder. You see we get the document, we get some instructions. Handy. We get the document fonts, but where are the images? Well, let’s see real quick what FlightCheck tells us with this Untitled file here we just created. (FlightCheck eagle screeches.) Right away, we have some problems, including one called Stored, and you’ll see the two images, or two Stored images with no name, and here they are. And these are the culprits, the only two images we used in that file and they’re both marked as Stored, which we have, you know, set up in our Ground Controls to check for.

And that’s a problem, because that means those images aren’t actually on our hard drive, aren’t on our system. They’ve just, you know, they just previewed in the document, because we copied and pasted from PowerPoint, so FlightCheck warns you, in red, right away, “Watch out. Problems with this file. You can’t collect it.” We also collect in FlightCheck and package all fonts and images. And you’ll see we can even compress the folder, and you’ll see, if we collect it, (computer chimes) what FlightCheck tells us is, “Watch out. This file’s got big problems.”

And we see in there, we also get a preflight report, the file and the fonts, but no images, because FlightCheck warned us, at least, that those aren’t really images. It’s a preflight error. InDesign doesn’t even warn you about it. And, now, we just want to get those images out of that PDF, because we know we can’t… We see, now, we can’t drag and drop images into InDesign from PowerPoint. I can’t copy images out of Preview on my Mac from the PDF into InDesign. How can I get the native, high-resolution image out of the PDF?

Well, that’s where Markzware’s PDF2DTP, a new product from Markzware, in addition to FlightCheck and PageZephyr Search and many other award-winning products we have, like Q2ID, for converting Quark files into InDesign. And PDF2DTP works in both Quark and/or InDesign. You can buy for either/or, and it’s a tool that will convert your entire PDF into InDesign or Quark (InDesign in this case). And you’ll see, here, an important part, you get a job folder and you save that job folder, and that’s going to be where we actually extract the image out of the PDF. And we go up to Markzware > PDF2DTP > Convert PDF to InDesign. We select the PDF on our desktop. We click Open.

It’s now converting the entire PowerPoint PDF into an InDesign layout, but also extracting all the images, high resolution, as embedded. And there we go. You get the entire document, images, text, the whole works, and, most importantly, in this little example, is there’s Dirk, his lovely quote on PDF2DTP, and we can now go in and get out of this document and see in the job folder we just saved out, what we see are all the images. Now, it extracts image per image, page per page, so you get a lot of duplicates, but what you see is, you know, you get the full image at size used and resolution embedded. Now, this is fantastic! And then we can get down to the image we need, Dirk. There it is.

And, now, if we go back into that InDesign file… I should have not put it in my Trash. I take it out of my Trash. And if I now go in there, as they say, three is a charm. If I File > Place, or you can also drag and drop an image from the proper location into the document, and I can put it in there, and that’s when, you know, in InDesign, File > Place is a proper way to place an image, not Copy and Paste from Word, or PowerPoint, or from the internet. We have a whole video on that. Please watch it.

A lot of people are doing these mistakes, and it causes files to go corrupt and die on you. Yes, Markzware can fix them, sometimes. So, that’s the whole point of Markzware’s preflight and our file conversion and InDesign file recovery service, but you can better preflight and do things properly from the beginning than be fixing bad files. Alright. So, now, we have the third Dirk in there. It’s located in this. It’s image55-p15, extracted from PDF to DTP. We now save this file. And, now, if we go to InDesign > Package > Links and Images, hey, there’s one! Look at that. The other two still don’t show up, though. Isn’t that, kind of, you know…? So, we do Show Problems Only, doesn’t really matter. (FlightCheck eagle screeches.)

Preflight the file. And, now, you see the file shows up and is available for collection, but it is RGB, and it is out of the resolution we need for high-level printing. You know, how the file that’s embedded in PDF depends on the resolution it’ll be extracted at. It extracts at the same resolution and size used. One problem that is not there with this particular image is, when we go to collect it, it’s going to get everything, and we can do that here, collect. (computer chimes) Yeah, we still get the “Watch out. Your file has certain problems, but if we go inside of there, and we now go in to see the Images folder, and there’s Dirk with the exact name used.

Well, as you saw, that’s how you can extract images from a PDF file. Matter of fact, get your entire PDF back into InDesign or QuarkXPress. Dirk and many others use this, and don’t be tempted to use drag and drop, or Copy and Paste from PowerPoint or Word into your InDesign file. It can be very tricky, as you saw, and even misleading. Use proper preflight with FlightCheck and extract the images properly for proper, high-res usage. Folks, that’s been how to extract images from a PDF file.

For more information on PDF2DTP (PDF to InDesign) or FlightCheck, go over to markzware.com and, under the Markzware Products section, you can get more valuable information. David Dilling from Markzware, wishing you a great day!

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Extracting Images from PDF Files with Markzware’s PDF2DTP!


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