How to Export a PDF to a JPG

by Payton Pritchard

PDF is a versatile format useful for text documents, images, graphics, video, audio and HTML. Preference for the portable document format grows because it is versatile and maintains the integrity of the file, allowing it to be displayed the same on any computer. The PDF can transform into JPEG files with ease. JPEGs are compressed image formats that successfully achieve smaller file size. Although image compression often yields a loss of quality, exporting a PDF provides options for protecting image quality.


Open your PDF from the File menu if you have not opened it. Click "Export" under File to display a submenu. Select "Image" to get another submenu and choose "JPEG." The export option is found in Adobe software. Exporting takes the data contained in the PDF and formats the data to fit the JPEG format.


The Save As dialog window opens with options for saving the JPEG underneath Settings found on the right and toward the bottom of the window. Select "Settings" to open the Save As JPEG Settings window. You can manage file settings, size, quality and color mode for the JPEG. Settings is only available when you "Export" a PDF. It is not an option when you choose "Save As."


Choose "JPEG Quality: Maximum" for gray scale and color in the file settings section. The maximum settings carry better image quality and large file size. The minimum settings offer lower quality and smaller file size.


Select how the JPEG displays. According to Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard, baseline (standard) downloads the entire image first and displays it; baseline (optimized) improves color quality while keeping the file small; and progressive (three scans, four scans and five scans) downloads a low-quality image and progressively improves image quality incrementally.


Manage a JPEG's color output by turning either on or off RGB, CMYK or gray scale. RGB is best for Web or digital use; CMYK for print; and gray scale for Web or print.


Select a resolution under the conversion section. Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard suggests choosing higher resolutions for small page sizes up to 6.8 inches. Resolution ranges from 72 ppi through 2,400 ppi. Choose "OK" to close the settings window. Then choose "Save." If the PDF has more than one page, each page will be made an individual JPEG.


  • check Adobe Acrobat 9 offers JPEG and JPEG2000. The JPEG2000 is a higher quality image file compared to its predecessor. According to the Joint Photographic Experts Group, JPEG2000 can compress image files and still provide a crisp, clear image.

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About the Author

Payton Pritchard is a writer, graphic designer and adjunct instructor. She got her start in journalism in 1996 writing and designing newsletters and writing for newspaper before switching to radio news for eight years. Pritchard has a Bachelor of Arts and an Associate of Applied Science in journalism and graphic design from Truman State University and Sullivan College of Technology and Design, respectively.