How to Rasterize a PDF on Computer and Mobile

Summary :

Rasterizing a PDF can be useful when preparing for printing or embedding PDF content into web pages. Learn about 4 easy methods for this.

Table of Contents

How to Rasterize a PDF

How to Rasterize a PDF

A PDF file can contain text, images, and vector graphics, as in .ai files. Rasterizing a PDF means converting the contents of the document from vector-based graphics to raster images, also known as bitmaps.

Rasterizing a PDF is typically done when you need to ensure compatibility with devices or software that don’t support vector graphics, or when you want to prevent editing of the document’s content.

In this guide, we’ll explore 4 easy methods to rasterize a PDF using commonly used tools when working with PDFs.

👉 To get started, get PDFgear, the best free PDF rasterizer software.

How to Rasterize a PDF for Free

While rasterizing PDFs is a professional feature, there is indeed a free way for you to do that, which is using PDFgear, the best free PDF editor software.

PDFgear allows you to print multi-page PDF files to printer formats, which flattens PDF layers and reduces PDF file size while preserving the visual quality.

Best PDF Rasterizer Software

Free to rasterize PDF files with customizable page ranges, paper size, and orientation.

Meanwhile, with the powerful printer options, PDFgear even enables you to customize PDF page size, printed pages, and more.

To get started, get PDFgear on your device. PDFgear works on both computers and mobile.

Step 1. Launch PDFgear, and click the Open File button to open the PDF you need to rasterize.

Open PDF File

Open PDF File

Step 2. When the PDF is loaded, hit the Print button from the upper-left side.

Click Print in PDFgear

Click Print in PDFgear

Step 3. From the Printer options menu, customize page range, paper size, orientation, etc.

Print PDF in PDFgear

Print PDF in PDFgear

Step 4. When ready, click the lower-right Print button to start the rasterizing process.

How to Rasterize a PDF in Acrobat Reader

The comprehensive PDF reader Adobe Acrobat provides a straightforward approach to rasterizing PDFs directly within its interface.

This method is particularly beneficial for users looking to convert PDF pages into images without compromising on quality or requiring additional graphic design software.

Adobe Acrobat allows for the export of PDFs to various image formats, offering control over resolution and image settings to ensure the output meets specific requirements.

Step 1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Open PDF in Adobe

Open PDF in Adobe

Step 2. Go to the Menu option in the upper-left corner, and click Save as from the dropdown.

Save PDF As Image

Save PDF as Image

Step 3. In the Save as dialog, click on the lower Convert to button, and select JPG as the output format.

Rasterize PDF in Acrobat

Rasterize PDF in Acrobat

Step 4. Lastly, click Save to save the rasterized image to your desired location.

How to Rasterize a PDF in Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful vector-based graphic design software developed by Adobe Systems.

While Illustrator is primarily known for working with vector graphics, it also has the capability to handle raster images, such as those found in PDF files.

It helps convert the vector elements (such as text, lines, and shapes) within a PDF into raster images (composed of pixels).

Step 1. Launch Adobe Illustrator, go to File > New to create a new Illustrator project.

Create a New Project

Create a New Project

Step 2. Select the PDF file you wish to rasterize and drag and drop it into Illustrator.

Import PDF to Illustrator

Import PDF to Illustrator

Step 3. Use the Selection Tool (V) to select the elements you want to rasterize. You can select individual elements, groups, or everything by pressing Ctrl+A (Windows) or Cmd+A (Mac).

Step 4. With the content selected, go to Object > Flatten Transparency. In the Flatten Transparency dialog, check the option that says Convert All Text to Outlines.

Rasterize PDF in Illustrator

Rasterize PDF in Illustrator

Step 5. To save the rasterized content, go to File > Export > Export As. Choose your desired image format (e.g., PNG, JPEG) in the dialog box.


What does it mean to rasterize a PDF?

Rasterizing a PDF means converting the document from its vector-based format, which includes text, fonts, and vector graphics, into a pixel-based image format. This process turns each page into a flat image, such as a JPEG, PNG, or TIFF.

Why would I need to rasterize a PDF?

You might need to rasterize a PDF for several reasons, including ensuring compatibility across different viewing platforms, preventing text and font issues, simplifying the file for web use, protecting the document’s content from being easily altered, or preparing it for certain types of printing processes.

How can I rasterize a PDF?

You can rasterize a PDF using various software tools and applications, including PDFgear, Adobe Acrobat, GIMP (a free and open-source image editor), or online conversion tools. The specific steps vary depending on the software you choose.

What are the best settings for rasterizing a PDF?

The best settings depend on your intended use for the rasterized PDF. For high-quality printing, you’ll want a high resolution (at least 300 DPI). For web use, a lower resolution (72 to 150 DPI) may suffice. You should also consider the image format (e.g., JPEG for a balance of quality and file size, PNG for transparency support, or TIFF for high-quality archiving).

Can I rasterize a PDF without losing quality?

When you rasterize a PDF, you’re converting it into a bitmap image, which can result in a loss of scalability and potentially some quality, especially if the resolution is not high enough for the intended use. Choosing the right resolution and settings can minimize quality loss.

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