Using ImageMagick to simultaneously split and convert a TIFF into multiple PDFs

Just sometimes, my wife needs some IT help. The latest occurrence is when she had scanned a number of documents to a TIFF file but really needed every page to be a single PDF file. We’re talking a few dozen files with a few hundred pages each – a manual approach was not going to work. Below, I’ve recorded the solution I came up with using a freeware tool, ImageMagick. This was a while back and I don’t recall if this was using ImageMagick version 6 or 7. Version 6 is still available.

  1. Download the Windows binary from the site above.
  2. Install, no need for the desktop icon.
  3. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder where the TIFFs are saved.
  4. Right-click the folder.
  5. Choose Open Command window here.
  6. Type the following command
    magick convert my.tif my-%03d.pdf

The installer modifies the path environment variable, so the convert command is available from any folder on the system. You will of course change my to the actual TIFF and PDF file name(s) you want.

The -3%d part of the output filename instructs ImageMagick to create multiple files and add a three-digit counter at the end of each file name, so each file name will be unique.

Simply changing the extension to .pdf causes ImageImagick to convert the format while extracting each page.

Limitation: this particular command line only works if every page in the TIFF should become its own PDF.

There are surely more efficient ways to do this, including actually writing a command line script using a FOR loop, but this got her going and got the job done in record time.

Edit 2017-01-24 01:31: Added the “magick” command to the command-line for clarity.

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