I have a single PDF file. It contains 500 pages. Although the pages are in order, the file consists of over 200 documents, each 1-10 pages long.

Is there any Windows software that will allow me to break up the big PDF file into smaller PDF files, each with pages that I specify?

I have tried PDFTK Builder, but it seems to only allow splitting the 500 page document up into 500 individual pages. Yes, I could then merge pages one by one, but - at least with PDFTK Builder - that's a slow and tedious process. I need something fast and efficient.

Prefer gratis software, but will consider software that is the cost of several cups of coffee.

4 Answers 4


If you make a note of the page numbers and desired titles you can quickly produce a batch file to do this with pdftk just using the syntax:

pdftk inputfilename.pdf 1-11 output outfilename1.pdf
pdftk inputfilename.pdf 12-20 output outfilename2.pdf


Where 1-11 are start and end pages of a given document, (counting 1 as the first page of the file), and outfilename is the desired name for that section, presumably the section title.

The free command line program pdftk is available gratis for most platforms from here.


You could do this with pdftk itself, rather than PDFTK Builder, and a short script, like the Python program below. (Both of pdftk and Python are free software and available for Windows.) Add and delete ranges to doc_page_ranges to specify how to split the input document. The settings given here put pages 1 through 3 in a file named output001.pdf, pages 4 and 5 in a file named output002.pdf, and pages 6 through 9 in a file named output003.pdf.

from subprocess import check_call

input_file = "input.pdf"
output_fmt = "output{:03d}.pdf"
doc_page_ranges = """
   1-3  4-5  6-9

for i, page_range in enumerate(doc_page_ranges.split()):
    check_call(["pdftk", input_file, "cat", page_range, "output",
        output_fmt.format(i + 1)])
  • 1
    If I were going the python way, I was tempted, I would use pyPdf, I suspect that it would be a lot faster in this case. Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 5:54

Sejda PDF can help with splitting PDF files, breaking up big documents into smaller ones, each with pages that you specify.

Split PDF by pages you specify

  1. Open https://www.sejda.com/split-pdf
  2. Choose 'Select pages to split'
  3. Visually select the pages where you would like a separate document to be split.
  4. Alternatively you can just type the page numbers to split at.
  5. The preview shows the resulting documents, each coloured differently.

Sejda PDF is free to use for files smaller than 50Mb and 200 pages. Pricing starts at US $5 per week.

Sejda Desktop is available if you'd rather not use the online services and process the files locally on your computer.

  • That looks fantastic. Thank you. Do you know what you get with the free version of Sejda Desktop (or does it require immediate payment)? Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 16:27
  • 1
    Sejda Desktop is free to use within the free tier limits (3 tasks per day, 50Mb per file, 200 pages per doc).
    – Edi
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 5:32
  • Thanks so much Edi. Where did you find that info? Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 7:07
  • @RockPaperLizard he is the developer of it
    – Ooker
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 18:05

PDFsam Basic does what you need. If you're on Windows, get the .msi installer, and not the .exe downloader, which is bloated with unwanted third party software. Or head directly on GitHub for clean releases.

Using its Split module: - Select and fill the Split after the following page numbers option (i.e.: 10,15 to cut after 10th and 15th pages)

Note you'll need to install Java 8 Runtime Environment as dependency.

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