How to split huge PDF documents for free

How to split PDFs for free

At work, one of the attorneys had a humongous PDF document she needed to email a lot of other attorneys outside the office. I tried extracting pages with an old version of Adobe Acrobat (v5), but the original file still kept the same size (despite having deleted the pages).

With open source (free) software, I split the document into two separate files in a couple minutes.

Required: PDFCreator

Once you install that, open your PDF document (original_superlongdocument.pdf) in your preferred reader. Now, go to File > Print. Change your printer to PDFCreator, then change your page range so you’re only “printing” half the document. If you have a 1,000 page document, set it to 1-500.

Follow the prompts and save that new PDF file — just not over your original. (superlongdocument_a.pdf)

Now, repeat for pages 501-1000 and save that one with a different filename. (superlongdocument_b.pdf)

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. Cat whisperer. Sometimes, a photographer and card magician.

6 thoughts on “How to split huge PDF documents for free”

  1. Woohoo! German engineering at its best! PDFCreator is actually developed by a German who went to the same college for media computer science as I did 🙂

    But I am suprised that this method works for you, because I so far had problems printing a PDF file into a new PDF file: Resulting PDF has just an error code written on it. I’ll have to check if I use the newest version.


  2. well, I’m 3 years later than you guys and it simply froze everything up. I tried it on my netbook that has windows 7a starter and pdf reader 9.1. I was afraid to try it on my regular notebook. I will go to my regular notebook and scan only half the number of pages into my pdf files so that I can email them.

    I wish it had worked, but I wasn’t able to open the files after I created them with pdf. When I tried to open them with pdf creator, it froze everything up. I wish I was a bit smarter on this kind of stuff; but unfortunately that isn’t the case.


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