I want to be able to extract each sheet of a PDF into a separate PDF file. I have looked high and low, but it seems that there is no automated way to do this without reverting to Automator hacks (which I am open to if someone has an example of a really clean way to do this as a service and save the files to the source directory.)

So, for instance:

PDF File:[page 1, page 2, page 3]

PDF File:[page 1], PDF File:[page 2], PDF File:[page 3]


I remember looking to do the same thing a few years ago and lo and behold, I still had the link in deep archive: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1354754

A MacRumors Forums member named Oligarch put together a bunch of command-line pdf tools, which can be downloaded from this link: http://users.skynet.be/tools/

The pdfburst command is what you need:

     pdfburst -- burst (split) PDF documents into single pages

     pdfburst file [path]

     The pdfburst utility bursts (splits) the PDF document file into single
     pages which it writes to path, appended by an underscore character and
     zero-padded page numbers.

     If file is a single dash (-), the PDF document is read from the standard

     If path is omitted, the base name (last path component) of file is used
     and the single page files are created in the current working directory.

     If path ends with a slash (/), it designates a directory and the single
     page files are named with just the page number.

     Missing directories along path are created.

Another option is to use pdftk:

pdftk input.pdf burst

You're looking for pdfseparate. From man pdfseparate:

       pdfseparate extract single pages from a Portable Document Format (PDF).

       pdfseparate  reads  the  PDF  file PDF-file, extracts one or more pages, and writes one PDF file for each page to PDF-page-pattern, PDF-page-pattern should contain %d.  %d is
       replaced by the page number.

       The PDF-file should not be encrypted.


      pdfseparate sample.pdf sample-%d.pdf

      extracts all pages from sample.pdf, if i.e. sample.pdf has 3 pages, it produces

      sample-1.pdf, sample-2.pdf, sample-3.pdf

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