How to Convert PDF to Images in Python

Learn how to use PyMuPDF library to convert PDF files into individual images per page in Python.
  · · 4 min read · Updated jul 2021 · PDF File Handling


This tutorial aims to develop a lightweight command-line tool in Python to convert PDF files into images.

We'll be using PyMuPDF, a highly versatile, customizable PDF, XPS, and eBook interpreter solution that can be used across a wide range of applications such as a PDF renderer, viewer, or toolkit.

First, let's install the required library:

$ pip install PyMuPDF==1.18.9

Importing the libraries:

import fitz

from typing import Tuple
import os

Let's define our main utility function:

def convert_pdf2img(input_file: str, pages: Tuple = None):
    """Converts pdf to image and generates a file by page"""
    # Open the document
    pdfIn = fitz.open(input_file)
    output_files = []
    # Iterate throughout the pages
    for pg in range(pdfIn.pageCount):
        if str(pages) != str(None):
            if str(pg) not in str(pages):
                continue
        # Select a page
        page = pdfIn[pg]
        rotate = int(0)
        # PDF Page is converted into a whole picture 1056*816 and then for each picture a screenshot is taken.
        # zoom = 1.33333333 -----> Image size = 1056*816
        # zoom = 2 ---> 2 * Default Resolution (text is clear, image text is hard to read)    = filesize small / Image size = 1584*1224
        # zoom = 4 ---> 4 * Default Resolution (text is clear, image text is barely readable) = filesize large
        # zoom = 8 ---> 8 * Default Resolution (text is clear, image text is readable) = filesize large
        zoom_x = 2
        zoom_y = 2
        # The zoom factor is equal to 2 in order to make text clear
        # Pre-rotate is to rotate if needed.
        mat = fitz.Matrix(zoom_x, zoom_y).preRotate(rotate)
        pix = page.getPixmap(matrix=mat, alpha=False)
        output_file = f"{os.path.splitext(os.path.basename(input_file))[0]}_page{pg+1}.png"
        pix.writePNG(output_file)
        output_files.append(output_file)
    pdfIn.close()
    summary = {
        "File": input_file, "Pages": str(pages), "Output File(s)": str(output_files)
    }
    # Printing Summary
    print("## Summary ########################################################")
    print("\n".join("{}:{}".format(i, j) for i, j in summary.items()))
    print("###################################################################")
    return output_files

The above function converts a PDF file into a series of image files. It iterates through the selected pages (default is all of them), takes a screenshot of the current page, and generates an image file using the writePNG() method.

You can change the zoom_x and zoom_y to change the zoom factor, feel free to tweak these parameters and rotate variable to suit your needs.

Let's use this function now:

if __name__ == "__main__":
    import sys
    input_file = sys.argv[1]
    convert_pdf2img(input_file)

Let's test the script out on a multiple-page PDF file (get it here):

$ python convert_pdf2image.py bert-paper.pdf

The output will be as the following:

## Summary ########################################################
File:bert-paper.pdf
Pages:None
Output File(s):['bert-paper_page1.png', 'bert-paper_page2.png', 'bert-paper_page3.png', 'bert-paper_page4.png', 'bert-paper_page5.png', 'bert-paper_page6.png', 'bert-paper_page7.png', 'bert-paper_page8.png', 'bert-paper_page9.png', 'bert-paper_page10.png', 'bert-paper_page11.png', 'bert-paper_page12.png', 'bert-paper_page13.png', 'bert-paper_page14.png', 'bert-paper_page15.png', 'bert-paper_page16.png']
###################################################################

And indeed, the images were successfully generated:

Result of converting a PDF file into several imagesConclusion

We hope that you find this tutorial helpful for your needs, here are some other PDF tutorials:

Check the full code here.

Happy coding ♥

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