Split PDF

How to split PDF files with PDFsam Basic

Split modules lets you divide a PDF file at given page numbers. There are three split modules in PDFsam and they let you split PDF files by explicitly specify page numbers, by outline (bookmark) levels or by size.

PDF document selection

The PDF document you want to split, can be selected by drag and drop or using the Browse button. Once the PDF document is loaded you can right click on it to show the context menu where some functionalities are available.

Single PDF selection

Encrypted documents

Encrypted PDF documents show a icon on their right. You can split them by providing the unlock password and to do so just click on the lock icon.

Split by page numbers

When splitting by page numbers you can explicitly tell PDFsam where you want to divide the input PDF document.

  • Split after:
    • Every page to create multiple PDF documents containing one page each
    • Even pages to create multiple PDF documents containing two page each. The split will occur after page 2, 4, 6 etc
    • Odd pages to create multiple PDF documents containing two page each. The split will occur after page 1, 3, 5 etc
  • Split after the following page numbers. You can set a comma separated list of page numbers after which you want to split
  • Split by every "n" page to tell PDFsam to split every "n" pages
PDF split options

Split by bookmarks

PDFsam can split a PDF document based on an outline (bookmarks) level, an example is splitting an eBook at chapters level. You can tell PDFsam to split at the chapters bookmarks level and it will split at pages pointed by them. You can also set a matching regular expression that the bookmark text has to match.

PDF split by bokmarks settings

Split by size

When splitting by size you can tell PDFsam to divide a PDF document into smaller ones of a given size. An example can be a 10 Megabytes PDF split into 3 documents with the size of 4Mb, 4Mb and 2Mb. Given the nature of the PDF documents, it may not be always possible to get an accurate result and sometime the size of the generated documents can be far from what was requested.

PDF split by size settings

Output settings

In Output settings users can choose where the resulting PDF documents will be placed and few other options.

File name settings

This task will usually produce multiple PDF documents as a result from splitting the input one. Special keywords can be used as placeholders in the output file names, to be replaced with dynamic values during the execution. Users can specify a simple string to use as prefix for the generated file names, or add one of the supported keywords to generate more complex file names. An example can be [CURRENTPAGE] to add the current page number to the file name. Right click on the field to find all the available keywords.
More details can be found here

Prefix field


Once all the options are properly set you can split the PDF document by clicking the Run button. If no error occurs, the progress bar will grow until it is fully colored and a friendly ding sound will tell you that the input PDF has been split.