Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Monday, January 25, 2016 at 20:18

This tutorial contains instructions about converting PDF into bitmap image (jpeg & png). The instructions consist of pdftoppm command lines. Fortunately, pdftoppm command (packaged in poppler-utils package) is already included built-in since Ubuntu 12.04 and above. Thanks to Poppler Project ( and Glyph & Cog ( for providing this pdftoppm utility.


We give command line syntax below with this single example of usage. We use a 8 pages long PDF magazine as example here.

  • Syntax: pdftoppm -png -f 1 -singlepage <pdf_filename> <image_name>
  • Example: pdftoppm -png -f 1 -singlepage rootmagz-042015.pdf mycoverpage
Explanation: command above will invoke pdftoppm, to convert into PNG, starting from page number 1, convert only 1 single page (so it will not convert all pages), from <pdf_filename> (your pdf file name), into <image_name> (your desired image file).

1. Convert First Page

pdftoppm -png -f 1 -singlepage <pdf_filename> <image_name>
pdftoppm -jpeg -f 1 -singlepage <pdf_filename> <image_name>
Explanation: first command will export to png, while second will export to jpeg. Both will export only the first page.

2. Convert Selected Pages

pdftoppm -png -f 1 -l 4 <pdf_filename> <image_name>
pdftoppm -jpeg -f 1 -l 4 <pdf_filename> <image_name>
Explanation: both will export 1-4 pages. Option -f (first) and -l (last) should be used for page range.

3. Convert All Page

pdftoppm -png <pdf_filename> <image_name>
pdftoppm -jpeg <pdf_filename> <image_name>
Explanation: both will export all pages, png and jpeg, respectively.

4. Adjust DPI Quality to Conversion

pdftoppm -png -f 1 -singlefile -r 300 <pdf_filename> <image_name>
pdftoppm -png -f 1 -singlefile -r 50 <pdf_filename> <image_name>
Explanation: first command will export first page with 300 dpi quality, while second will export with 50 dpi.

5. Convert Only All Odd Pages

pdftoppm -jpeg -o <pdf_filename> <image_name>
Explanation: this will only export odd pages (i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8).

6. Convert Only All Even Pages

pdftoppm -jpeg -e <pdf_filename> <image_name>
Explanation: this will only export even pages (i.e. 1, 3, 5, 7).