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PDF to TIFF Made Easy: Top Tools and Techniques

pdf to tiff

A Portable Document Format (PDF) is a format for presenting documents, texts, and images in the intended format, irrespective of the application software used to open it. A PDF file preserves and delivers its content without being changed by the software, hardware, or operating system of the device it is being opened in.

A Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) is a format for delivering multiple pages and images in a single, uncompressed file. It is often used for saving high-quality, detailed images and is less common than a PDF file format but widely popular among graphic artists, the publishing industry, and photographers.

One of the advantages of using a TIFF over a PDF file is that the latter retains image data and produces higher quality imagery. Another advantage of TIFF over PDF is that it’s easier to edit a TIFF file than a PDF file. This is because when you convert a PDF file to TIFF, it becomes rasterized. This allows you to alter each pixel if needed, whereas that would not have been possible with a vector PDF.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can convert a PDF file to TIFF format. We’ll also walk you through how to programmatically achieve the same result using Cloudinary’s Programmable Media Platform.

pdf to tiff

Methods of Converting PDF to TIFF

Converting a PDF file to a TIFF format can be done in different ways, depending on your use cases and considerations. For example, an online conversion tool may be quick and convenient but limiting. At the same time, command line tools can offer you the flexibility to control and modify the conversion process.

Let’s take a look at the common methods available.

PDF to TIFF

pdf2tiff is an online tool that allows you to convert PDF documents into multi-page TIFF files for free. One of the advantages of using pdf2tiff is that it allows you to upload up to 20 PDF files to convert into TIFF format.

pdf to tiff

Converting a PDF file to TIFF with pdf2tiff is pretty straightforward. Upload the PDF file you’d like to convert to TIFF in the upload box as shown below and wait for the conversion process to complete:

pdf to tiff

Once the conversion is done, you can now download the converted TIFF file to your device (note that you’ll only be able to download the result of the conversion as a .zip file from which you can then extract the TIFF file.):

pdf to tiff

Cloudconvert

Cloudconvert is a multipurpose online document conversion tool for converting digital documents and files from one format to another. The interface includes a section for configuring the properties of TIFF files, such as the width and height of the document, pixel density, etc.

pdf to tiff

To convert your PDF file to TIFF, simply upload the PDF file into the upload box by dragging and dropping it or selecting a file from your device. After you upload the PDF, you’ll see another display like the one below to add more files to be converted if you wish.

pdf to tiff

Next, click on Convert. After processing and converting, you’ll see a green download button to save the generated TIFF to your device.

pdf to tiff

Command Line Tools and Packages

Another method you can consider is to use command line packages and tools. One of the advantages of using command line tools is that there’s no limit to the number of conversions you can do, and you can write your own scripts for batch processing. Also, you can configure the result how you like it.

Let’s take a look at some popular options out there.

ImageMagick

ImageMagick is an open-source software suite for creating, editing, and converting bitmap images. It supports a wide range of image formats and provides a command line interface and libraries for various programming languages. To convert a PDF file to TIFF with ImageMagick, use the command below in your terminal:

convert foo.pdf pages-%03d.tiff

Ghostscript

Ghostscript is an interpreter for the PostScript language and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). It is used for rendering and processing PostScript and PDF files. It can also interpret and render PostScript and PDF files to various output formats, such as raster images (e.g., PNG, JPEG) and other printer or display formats like TIFF.

Here’s an example command to convert a PDF file to TIFF using Ghostscript:

gs -dNOPAUSE -q -r300x300 -sDEVICE=tiffg4 -dBATCH 
-sOutputFile=output_file_name.tif input_file_name.pdf

pdf to tiff

Converting PDF to TIFF with Cloudinary

Cloudinary is a cloud-based media management platform offering an API-driven image and video manipulation approach. Cloudinary provides extensive capabilities for resizing, transforming, enhancing, and converting images from one format to another.

In the coming sections, we’ll walk you through using Cloudinary’s Programmable Media to convert PNG files to SVG.

Setting Up the Node.js Application

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use Cloudinary Node.js SDK to convert PNG files to SVG in a Node.js application. This tutorial will show you how to use Cloudinary’s image transformation API to convert images from one format to another.

Before you proceed, we assume you are familiar with JavaScript and Node.js – you can also check out the available SDKs on the Cloudinary Platform if you’d like to learn how to achieve the same thing in another language of your choice.

Also, you’ll need to sign up for a Cloudinary account in order to get an API Key and use other features available in the programmable platform. You can create one here for free.

Initialize a Node Project

To get started, create a new folder on your computer where you’d like to have this project. Next, run the following command in that directory to initialize a Node.js project:

npm init

After running the above command, the NPM command line utility will take you through a few prompts to configure the app. Answer the prompts correctly, and set index.js as the application’s entry point.

pdf to tiff

Install the Necessary Packages

Next, we’ll install the packages we’ll use to build our application. Run the command below to install the packages:

npm i express multer cloudinary
  • Express – A popular and minimalist Node.js web framework for building servers and RESTful APIs.
  • Multer – A Node.js middleware for handling multipart/form-data.
  • Cloudinary – A library of functions and utilities for interacting with the Cloudinary Platform.

After the installation is complete, add the following code to index.js to create an express server:

const express = require('express')
const app = express();app.get('/', (req, res) => {
 res.send("Welcome to the homepage!")
})
app.listen(3000, () => {
    console.log('App is running!')
})

Next, edit the scripts field in package.json to the following:

..."scripts": {    "dev": "node --watch --env-file=.env index.js"  },...

Now, run npm run dev in the terminal and you should see the message App is running! logged to the console indicates that our server is up and ready to use!

Adding Your Cloudinary Credentials

To use Cloudinary, you’ll need to authenticate your requests using credentials from your Cloudinary account. These include your API Key, API Secret, and Cloudinary Cloud Name.

To get your credentials, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Cloudinary account. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for free.
  2. Navigate to the Dashboard menu and copy your cloud name, API Key, and API Secret.

pdf to tiff

Next, create a .env file in the project root directory and update it with your Cloudinary credentials as follows:

CLOUDINARY_API_KEY = 
<YOUR_CLOOUDINARY_API_KEY>CLOUDINARY_CLOUD_NAME = 
<YOUR_CLOUDINARY_CLOUD_NAME>CLOUDINARY_API_SECRET = 
<YOUR_CLOUDINARY_API_SECRET>

Writing the Conversion Code

In this step, we’ll write the actual code to convert any PDF file uploaded to Cloudinary into a TIFF format.

Open index.js and edit its content to the following code:

const express = require('express')
const multer = require("multer");const path = require('node:path');const cloudinary = require('cloudinary').v2;cloudinary.config({
    cloud_name: process.env.CLOUDINARY_CLOUD_NAME,    api_key: process.env.CLOUDINARY_API_KEY,    api_secret: process.env.CLOUDINARY_API_SECRET,    secure: true,});const app = express();app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    res.send("Welcome to the homepage!")
});// A function to check if the uploaded file extension is PDFconst fileFilter = (req, file, cb) => {
    const extname = path.extname(file.originalname).toLowerCase();    if (extname === '.pdf') {
      return cb(null, true);    }
    const error = new Error('Only PDF files are allowed!');    error.status = 400;    cb(error, false);  }
const upload = multer({ dest: 'uploads/', fileFilter });// The endpoint to upload the PDF fileapp.post('/upload', upload.single('pdf'), async function (req, res, next) {
    if (req.file !== undefined) {
        try {
            const pdfFile = await cloudinaryPDFUpload(req.file.path);            const tiffFile = convertToTIFF(pdfFile);            res.status(200).json({
                success: true,                file: tiffFile,            });        } catch (error) {
            res.status(400).json({
                success: false,                error,            });        }
    } else {
        res.status(400).json({
            success: false,            error: "No PDF file was uploaded",        });    }
});// A function to upload the PDF file to Cloudinary for preocessingconst cloudinaryPDFUpload = (file) => {
    return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
        cloudinary.uploader        .upload(file)
        .then((result) => {
            resolve(result.public_id);        })
        .catch((error) => {
            reject(error);        });    });};// Function to convert the PDF file to TIFFconst convertToTIFF = (pdf) => cloudinary.url(pdf, { format: "tiff" });app.listen(3000, () => {
    console.log('App is running!')
})

Let’s go through what is happening above.

  1. Firstly, we import the necessary packages and set up Cloudinary with the required authentication credentials for file upload in the first few lines.
  2. We also created a fileFilter function that checks if the file we want to upload on the server is a PDF.
  3. Next, we configure Multer with the upload variable and the fileFilter option to save the images that are sent to the server to an uploads folder in the root directory.
  4. After that, we specify a POST endpoint, /upload, to receive a single image file called pdf (the PDF file to be converted).
  5. After the PDF file has been sent to Cloudinary via the cloudinaryIPDFUpload function, the convertToTIFF function converts the uploaded file to TIFF format.
  6. Lastly, the server replies with an error message or a JSON object with a link to download the TIFF file and a success status message.

Trying It Out

You can download the Postman extension to test the application if you’re using VS Code as your code editor. The Postman extension allows us to test and make HTTP or API requests inside VS Code.

Make sure to configure the request parameters as shown in the image below, and you should get a link to download the SVG result of any PNG you upload to the endpoint.

pdf to tiff

Final Thoughts

In this article, we talked about how you can convert PDF files to TIFF format using various software and online tools. We also walked you through how to use the Cloudinary Platform to achieve the same thing.

Unlock the full potential of your digital assets with Cloudinary! Streamline your media management, enhance your images and videos effortlessly, and deliver content seamlessly across all platforms.

Start revolutionizing your digital experience today – Join Cloudinary now and elevate your online presence!

Last updated: Feb 13, 2024