Convert PDF to image on iPhone

On the iPhone, I can covert an image to a PDF (go to print, then when you see the image you’re going to print, use two fingers to enlarge it. It’s now a PDF). On the Mac, I can convert a PDF to an image via Preview.

However, on the iPhone, I can’t convert a PDF to an image (jpg or gif). This is important since several apps can take images, but not PDFs. For example, I can text a picture to someone who doesn’t have an iPhone, but not a PDF.

Is there a built in way I haven’t discovered or is there a preferred utility. I don’t mind paying for one, but I don’t want to pay for one that stinks.

Might Shortcuts be able to do it? I know there’s a Convert Image action, but I’m not sure if it will take a PDF as input.

If you’ve got the subscription version of Acrobat, you can convert .pdf to .jpg in Document Cloud.

I was looking into using Shortcuts, but wasn’t able to figure it out.

It’s so frustrating because the Mac comes with the tools to do this via the Preview App, but on the iPhone and iPad, much of the Preview app is backed into the OS, but converting one file type to another isn’t.

You would think it could be handled via a shared sheet. A save to images option when you open a PDF.

Unfortunately, a lot of services allow you to post images, but not PDFs.

Does this help?


This appears to no longer be available.

If the pdf can fit on one screen, you can just do a screenshot.

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I looked at the blog post about how the app works. The link in the post to the app takes you nowhere, but I found the app in the App Store anyway. The problem is that the post made doing the conversion look so complicated.

I ended up paying $2.99 for an app called PDF to JPG mainly because it didn’t say it was free (with in app purchases if you want it to actually work), and it looked simple to use.

In most places on the iPhone, I can do the conversion via an app through the share sheet. I have an CSV file I want to open in Numbers? Share sheet. I have a picture I. want to email? Share sheet.

Creating a PDF is a bit harder because it’s not obvious. You need to print it, and before you actually send it to the printer, you use two fingers to zoom in on the document. It’s now a PDF. You can use a share sheet to save it or email it.

You’d think it’d be simple: I have a PDF displayed. I pull up a share sheet and save the image to my photos. But no. Doesn’t work that way.

On the Mac, Preview has the option to export a PDF to a JPG as well as other image formats. It’s handy when I have a PDF of a flyer and I need to post it to Facebook since Facebook doesn’t let you post a PDF.

But on my phone where I constantly get PDFs that I need to tweet or send out as a MMS or to Facebook, there is no built in way to do it.

One more thing I tried: I tried importing the PDF into pages, then trying to export the Pages document as an image. I think I can do this in Pages on the Mac, but not on the iPhone.

Maybe Apple needs to make a Preview App for iOS and iPadOS.

I was able to do it in Keynote.

  • Open a new project
  • Add a blank slide
  • Change the format of that slide
  • Add PDF to the slide
  • Export that one slide to an Image.
  • Save it either in Photos or in Files.

A lot of work.

Yes, but I lose resolution.

I was able to write a very simple Shortcut that can do this. It just adds an extra share step.

Open the Shortcuts app, tap the Plus. In the bottom search for the action called “Convert Image” and tap it to add to the shortcut. That should put the action that says “Convert [Image] to [JPEG]”. Tap the word [Image] and change it to [Shortcut Input].

Next, in the search bar at the bottom, search for “Share” and add that to the shortcut. That should add the Sharing action with the words “Share [Converted Image]”. This one you can leave alone.

Tap the three dots next to “New Shortcut” at the top. Give the shortcut a name at the top (maybe “Convert PDF to JPEG”), turn on “Show in Share Sheet”. After turning that on, it will show just below that “Share Sheet Types” set to “Anything”. Tap that, tap “Deselect All” at the top, and then turn on only “PDFs”. Go back and tap “Done” on the Details screen and “Done” to finish creating the shortcut.

It should look like this.

Now anytime that you share a PDF file, that shortcut will show in the Share sheet. Tap it and it will quickly bring up the share sheet again to allow you to share the converted JPEG image.


That did it. Thanks.

I was also using the same convert to image step, but in a much more convoluted way. I had a step where you selected the file and then tried to save it.

I use to do Python and Perl scripting all the time. I really need to learn shortcuts. This is way easier than the app I have.

I wish you could have shown all the pages. The instructions play out differently in iOS 15. (Don’t ask. I had to go to the 15 beta to get my data from iOS 14.7).

No more three dots. It is now an icon of three adjustable sliders.

ACCEPTS isn’t there. Instead I got this:

Receive PDF’s input from Share Sheet. If there’s no input, Ask For Files

Convert Shortcut Input to JPEG

Share Converted Image.

Seems to work, but there isn’t a .PDF received in Step #1, so I am taken right to a file chooser, that only shows me PDF files.

Can you help please? This is such a good idea and much needed.

Is there a way to see the details of the shortcut? That’s where you set Accepts

Here’s mine: Note no accepts box.

Press that blue circle with the three dots.

See that Show in Share Sheet Switch? Flip that and below it will show Share Sheet Types setting below. Select that, and select PDF only. There’s a Deselect All option on the top right. You can select that, then select PDFs.

Now when you press Done, you’ll see Accepts PDFs on top.