3 Easy Methods to Split a Large PDF File into Multiple Files

Last Updated on May 5, 2022 by Tina Clark

What should be the best methods to extract the desired pages from a large PDF? It is not difficult to split up a PDF file with the Print feature or the Split Document feature in Adobe Reader. But it does not always work when you need to use bookmark names as the file names, you might find the error message that the document is either read-only or currently in use by another user. If you need to find a workable method to separate PDF files, you can find the details in the ultimate guide.

Split a Large PDF File

Part 1: The Easy Method to Split a PDF into Multiple Files

PDFelement is a powerful PDF editor that enables you to split a PDF into multiple pages. Just enter the page quantity of the split PDF file, you can always extract the desired pages. If your PDF documents contain bookmarks to mark each section, then you can extract the files according to how the bookmarks are set up.

  1. Split up a large PDF by bookmark, selected range of pages, and averagely.
  2. Separate the standard PDF file and the encrypted PDF without a password.
  3. Allow entering the maximum or the minimum pages you need to extract.
  4. Remove the PDF protection if you have difficulty splitting the protected PDF.
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Step 1: Launch PDFelement on your computer and click the Open files button in the main interface to access the file directory window. You can browse the target form and click the Open button to import the large PDF file into the program.

Open PDF for Conversion PDFElement

Step 2: Once you have uploaded the PDF file, you can scroll through them to see if there is any modification option that you may need. After that, you can go to the Page tab and select the Split option from the menu to separate one PDF into several files.

Split PDF Pages PDFElement

Step 3: Choose the desired mode to split your PDF. You can choose to split according to page numbers or top-level bookmarks. To save the file, you need to browse the save location for splitting the file. Once you are satisfied with the selections, click the OK button to finish.

Split PDF PDFElement

Step 4: It will start splitting PDF form and extracting the desired page of the PDF file. Monitor the progress on the screen and you will see a notification of successful splitting. Click on the Output Folder option and specify the path to save the split files before confirming with the OK button.

Save PDF PDFElement Win Download Mac Download

Part 2: How to Separate Pages in PDF with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a versatile and default PDF tool to split PDF files. You can separate PDF pages on Mac or Windows with this tool but it requires more steps. If you are using the DC version, the split PDF files will also upload to the Cloud service automatically.

Step 1: Open the Organize Pages tool by using the shortcut in the right pane or from the Tools center at the left upper corner of the program. Click the Select a File button to import the PDF file.

Open Organize Files Adobe

Step 2: In the Open dialog box, select the file you want to split into multiple documents. Then, at the top menu, select the Split function to separate the PDF into several files.

Select Split Adobe

Step 3: In the secondary toolbar that opens, use the Split by drop-down menu to choose the mode. You can choose to split the PDF file by the number of pages, maximum file size, or top-level bookmarks.

Select Split File Adobe

Step 4: Click Output Options to specify a target folder for the split the PDF files and set file labeling preferences. If you use the default options, you can save copies of the new split PDF files in the original folder.

Select Mode Adobe

Step 5: Just add labels to the end of the new file name and click the Split button and click OK to confirm the splitting. Acrobat will automatically save the files to the target folder.

Split Button Adobe

Part 3: How to Extract Pages from PDF Online

If you don’t want to download any apps to extract PDF pages, you can choose an online PDF splitter. iLovePDF is an easy-to-use online PDF solution tool. It includes all the essential PDF editing tools for free, including merge, split, compress, convert, rotate, and so on.

Step 1: Use your browser to visit the iLovePDF homepage and select PDF Split option in the main interface.

Online PDF Page iLovePDF

Step 2: You can directly drop a PDF file into the page or click the Select PDF file button to choose a PDF file to upload.

Select PDF Online iLovePDF

Step 3: On the right side, you can choose range mode or extract mode. The former includes custom ranges, which allow you to select the page, and fixed ranges, which will split the PDF into average pages. For extract mode, you can extract all separated pages or select pages to extract. Click the Split PDF button at the bottom to save your work.

Split Online iLovePDF

Part 4: FAQs about How to Split Pages in PDF

1Is it possible to split pages in password-protected PDF?
If you just forgot the password of the PDF files, you can remove or decrypt the password of the PDF file. After that, you can use the same process to split up the PDF file. The professional PDF splitter enables you to get the desired file within one program.
2Where do the new PDF files saved after I split a PDF?
After you have selected pages and set up separator lines, you can click the Save button. Acrobat will save the split PDFs in the original Adobe Document Cloud folder or a new folder. You can also customize the destination folder for the output PDF files.
3Should I split and extract the PDF pages online?
Unlike DOC and DOCX, PDF prohibits copying the contents without losing the format and quality, so you need to split PDF. But you should pay attention to your privacy and choose the online PDF splitter that will delete the files immediately after the process.


Here are the best choices for extracting pages from PDF. PDFelement not only splits the PDF files but also provides decrypting and editing features. Of course, you can also use the default Adobe Acrobat or the online service to extract the PDF pages from the guide.

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