Split PDF into multiple files on Mac

When you have a very large PDF file and need to extract certain files from the PDF file as single page PDF files or extract page range selection as new PDF files, you can simply use the Preview app on Mac. If your PDF file is very big, say 100 pages in a PDF file, and you want to extract several smaller PDF files, say 20 pages each, you should use a more professional PDF extractor or splitter app. Check out details below.

Part 1. Extract pages from PDF using Preview

Open the PDF file in Preview, which is the default PDF viewer and editor on Mac. Go to the View menu, select Thumbnails from the drop-down list, you will then see the left sidebar with page thumbnails in Preview. 

Now simply drag and drop the selected PDF page(s) from Preview to your desktop or to Finder. This will copy the selected PDF pages from Preview and save then as separate PDF documents on your Mac. If you need to split only a few PDF as separate files, this is your best option. 

You can even use this way to merge PDF files on Mac. Just drag the pdf page from one PDF file to another PDF file using Preview app.

merge part of pdf files, pages in preview on mac

Part 2. Split large PDF files on Mac with PDFElement

PDF Element is a professional PDF editor for both Windows and Mac users. If you need to split many PDFs with with many pages, or quickly split large PDF into several smaller PDF documents, it is your best choice. In a related guide, we explained how it can help us extract pages from PDF files on Windows PC. Extracting PDF pages with its Mac version involves a similar process.

Run the PDF editor on your Mac. Click Edit PDF from its home screen. Open the PDF you want to split in the editor. 

extract PDF pages on Mac using PDF Element
Extract PDF pages on Mac using PDF Element

Click Pages from the menu bar to view the page thumbnails. Select any pages you want to export. Then hit the Extract button from the top toolbar, choose Extract Pages As One File or Extract Pages As Separate Files, hit the Extract button, choose a target folder to save the PDF files or pages. You can press Control+A to quickly select all pages in a PDF file and extract them in a batch.

If you like to separate a very long PDF into short ones, say 20 pages each PDF, click the Split from the top toolbar, input the max pages in the Number of pages section, then click Split, select a folder on your Mac to save the PDF files.

split PDF on Mac using PDF Element
Split PDF on Mac using PDF Element