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How To Split A Multi-Page PDF Document Into Several PDF Files

A family member recently came to me for help dealing with a PDF problem. They needed to send a pay stub to two employees although their scanner automatically combined both pay stubs within the same PDF document. The resulting file obviously wasn't acceptable to send in its current state as it contained confidential information that couldn't be shared with both parties.

Luckily, I was able to solve their problem rather quickly although there are multiple ways you can approach the issue of extracting certain pages from a PDF document and saving them into their own PDF file. I'll run through the first two that I'd choose in this situation and I hope one of them will suit your needs should you be in a similar situation.


Approach #1 (Easiest Though Less Secure)

There is a free online service called which will allow you to upload your .PDF document then extract certain pages or split the document into multiple files. The interface is extremely easy to use and you have the option to save the files locally or upload them to your Dropbox or Google Drive account.

This approach is surely the easiest and quickest to implement although you do take a risk since the website is not necessarily secure therefore your uploaded PDF files have the potential to get into the wrong hands. Due to this, I wouldn't recommend using this option for PDFs that may contain confidential or sensitive information such as the pay stubs in my family member's situation.

Approach #2 (More Work Yet More Secure)

Google's Chrome browser is not only one of the fastest and most user friendly web browsers, it also has excellent built-in functionality for dealing with PDFs. This functionality doesn't just limit itself to reading PDFs, it can also extract or split up pages within a PDF document without much effort. This method is all done locally on your machine so you won't have to worry about the files getting into the wrong hands as a result of this process.

Step #1: Download and install the free Google Chrome Browser (if it is not already installed it on your machine).

Step #2: Open the PDF document with your Google Chrome browser. You can achieve this by right clicking the file and choosing to open it with Google Chrome or you can simply launch the Chrome Browser and go to File -> Open File then locating the PDF.

Step #3: Once the PDF is open, move your mouse over to the bottom right of the browser window and you'll see 6 buttons appear. Choose the one to the farthest right with the printer icon. Don't worry! You won't be physically printing anything, this is where the PDF saving functionality is located.

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 8.15

Step #4: At the next screen, you'll want to be sure to change your printing destination to ‘Save As PDF' and activate the ‘Pages' box of which you can fill in the desired pages you wish to save in a separate file. If you just want to save one page just type in the page number (ex. ‘7'), but if you want to save pages 7 through 10 you must indicate that page spread using a dash (ex. ‘7-10').


Step #5: Once you click the ‘Save' button, you'll be prompt to choose a destination and file name. Once you've done that, the file will be created and you'll need to browse to the destination you input in the previous window in order to access your newly created PDF file.

It is important to note that Mac users can skip using Google Chrome and instead do the save Print/Save As PDF functionality when opening a PDF file with Mac's built-in ‘Preview' application. It virtually the exact same process and may save you time if you currently don't have Chrome installed.

I hope you found these two methods helpful, feel free to let us know if it solved your PDF problem in the comments below!