How to Split PDF Files In Windows

There are many different applications one can use to split pdf files. This article will examine the use of a few of these – PDFsam, PDFBUrst, and an online-only web application by FoxyUtils – SplitPDF.

In PDFsam, spliting PDFs is a straightforward process. Start the application and select Split from the plugins list.

In the right hand panel, click the Add button, browse for the PDF you wish to split, then select your split option. The most simple split option is Burst, which will split the pdf into single pages. You can choose to split the odd or even pages, or even split after a certain number of pages or at bookmarks. It’s really a very powerful app. Finally, you need to select your destination folder, then a filename prefix and hit Run.

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As you can see in the screenshot below, the final output was 12 pdf files, the start of the filename being the page number, then the prefix that was set in PDFsam, then the name of the original PDF. Simple.

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PDFsam is a free open source application, available from here.

In PDFBurst, splitting PDFs is even easier. You run the application and it shows you a window that says “Drag & Drop PDF Here”. You can drag and drop a PDF, or just click on the picture and it will load a file browser for you to select a PDF.

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Once a PDF is selected, you will see a dialogue box appear (assuming all has gone well), indicating that the file has been split in the current folder. This basically means the folder in which you ran PDFBurst in, so perhaps that’s not so convenient. You also cannot set any filename options in the program.

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PDFBurst is a freeware application, available from here.

Being a web application, FoxyUtils SplitPDF is quite straightforward. It is, however, a little different to the other two applications. It lets you extract a specific page range from a PDF into one file. For example, we can select pages 1-3 for extraction which will output one single pdf file with pages 1-3.

To do this, you would browse to the site here. Then click Browse and select the PDF. You must then select the page range to be split (e.g. 1 to 3). Then click Split PDF. At this point be careful! A box pops up with an ad inside, the ad may try to mislead you into downloading some adware – the download bottom is in the bottom right hand corner. This will then save the single pdf file with the page numbers your selected.

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Out of the above applications, the most flexible option is PDFsam. It’s still very straightforward but allows you to set various useful options to make sure that you extract what you want, where you want, with the filenames you want from a pdf file. The others simply don’t offer you that level of flexibility. Plus it’s an active open source project, so it should support the latest PDF format with no issues.

Image credit: 3d rendering of a road splitting with road blank signs by BigStockPhoto