Dave! I need to save one specific page of a huge PDF to its own file and have no idea how to do so. Is there a PC app that offers this capability without costing too much or is there some way to hack my printer setup to output PDF instead of printouts?
You don’t have to buy any new software to extract individual pages from a larger document, print one photo of a range, or even just save an Excel spreadsheet as its own standalone PDF (that the other party can’t edit or change). All of those capabilities and quite a bit more are baked into the Windows 10 print system. Problem is, the printer dialog window is rather dense with information so it’s easy to miss some of its features and capabilities.
What you need is a guide to Windows printing features, and that’s just what I have here with this answer. First off, the short answer: You can print any range or set of pages from any document in any Windows program, and you can save that “printout” as a new PDF document with just a click or two. It’s surprisingly easy once you know how all the pieces work together.
I jumped into Adobe Acrobat Reader [it’s free in the Microsoft Store and does a great job with PDF documents, which is logical since Adobe invented the format] and identified the PRINT icon on the toolbar. It’s fourth from the left:
The document in question is “Legends Untold.pdf”, as shown in the tab, and you can see just below it that it’s 6 pages long and that I am viewing page 1 of 6.
If the program you’re using doesn’t have a print icon you can find the print feature at File > Print. Click or tap and you’ll be looking at a window you’ve likely seen plenty of times before:
Let’s have a quick tour. Look closely and you’ll see it’s broken into various rectangles: The top printer selection rectangle spans the entire width, then on the left side is page selection, page size and handling, orientation and, finally, comments and forms which is actually specific to the Adobe program. Yours will vary based on what program you’re using. On the right side is a preview of the document on the printed page. In this case, it’s automatically chosen “94%” and is showing how that will look on a standard US paper size of 8.5″ x 11″.
First thing to examine is the destination printer. In the above case I’ve already chosen “Microsoft Print to PDF“, which is how you get a PDF as output instead of a printed piece of paper, but there are likely a number of choices for you, even if you don’t actually have a printer! My options on this Windows 10 notebook are:
Some of these require additional setup – like “Fax” – but you can see that one output option is actually to automatically just save the document to OneNote up in the cloud. Very cool, actually. If you have physical printers or cloud printers configured, they’ll show up in this menu too.
Now, step two: Choose which page or pages to print. That’s the second region…
The default is always “All” so you get a printout of every page in the document, but you can also just print the page you’re viewing (that’s what “Current”) means, or, the real secret superpower, print a specific page, set of pages, or subrange. That “Pages” box can take a number of specification formats, including “3” for page 3 (as shown), “3-5” to just print – or save as a PDF – pages 3, 4 and 5, or even “3,7,18,21-23” to print out pages 3, 7, 18, 21, 22 and 23 but omit all of the other pages in the document.
Since the destination “printer” is a PDF, every time I mention “print” I really mean “save as a PDF document”, of course.
Trying to simulate a two sided printer but don’t actually have a duplex unit? You can do that with some fiddling: Print all the odd pages, then flip those sheets over, put them back in your printer and print all the even pages. That’s a “More Options” choice, as you can see:
For a PDF it’d be downright weird to just have the odd or even pages, but as you can see, this printer dialog window has a lot of options and features!
Ready to “print” that single page as a PDF document? Make sure you’ve chosen “Microsoft Print to PDF” then click or tap on “Print” in the lower right. Don’t panic that it then looks like you’re going to get a physical printout:
Because it won’t take more than a few moments for a File Save window to pop up:
Here I’m going to save page 3 of the document as “Page3.pdf” by specifying just the first part of the filename. And that’s it. Done. New document created with just the page or subset of pages you want, as a portable PDF you can send to someone on a Mac, Linux system, Android phone or, yes, another Windows user. Not too bad, all in all!
Pro Tip: I’ve been using and writing about Windows 10 since it was in early beta. I have a lot of Windows 10 help here on the site, so please do check it out while you’re visiting! Thanks.