You may occasionally receive large, long PDF documents with multiple pages as part of your daily work. In particular, you need to remove unnecessary content or extract the pages you need to obtain smaller PDF documents appropriate for file sharing.

What is a PDF splitter? A splitter is a tool that enables users to divide a PDF document into smaller pieces for easier document management. So in this post, we’ll provide a complete list of the best PDF splitters in 2021. Meanwhile, you have the chance to know how to split PDF documents within several clicks.

How to Split PDF Documents with Desktop PDF Programs

SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is a comprehensive PDF document management service provider, which can combine, extract, add, replace PDF files, and most importantly, split PDFs into any desired parts. Let’s go to see how to split PDF documents with SwifDoo PDF:

Step 1: Download and install SwifDoo PDF on your PC, and open the PDF that needs to be divided;

Step 2: When the PDF is successfully uploaded to the workplace, click on the Page button to choose Split;

Step 3: Change the splitting options in the drop-down menu of Options. After this, hit the Start to export the needed PDF.

Tips:The split PDFs will be stored in the default folder where SwifDoo PDF is installed. If in need of changing the destination folder, choose “Select Path” to change relevant settings.


As the above picture shows, SwifDoo PDF has a clear user interface so that users have no difficulty splitting PDF documents. For those who need to batch splitting PDF documents, SwifDoo PDF streamlines the whole process, and users need to click Add Files to upload more PDFs to the operation panel. Users can expect SwifDoo PDF to help split a PDF evenly, every X page, or custom the page range of splitting.

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But we need to point out, SwifDoo PDF doesn’t support splitting PDFs by file size and top-level bookmarks, nor does it provide service for Mac users or users of other operating systems. It is only a Windows-based program.


As another feature-rich PDF software, ApowerPDF integrates 30+ features, including splitting a heavy PDF document into a smaller one.

Step 1: Download and install ApowerPDF, and upload a PDF for splitting;

Step 2: Click Pages to choose Split Document;

Step 3: When Split Document window pops up, choose how you’d like to separate the current PDF document.


ApowerPDF can batch-split documents by number of pages, file size, and top-level bookmarks, which SwifDoo PDF can partially realize. That is to say, as to the feature of separating PDF documents, ApowerPDF is much more comprehensive compared with the previous PDF splitter.

However, if you determine to try ApowerPDF for free, your documents will be watermarked. If you don’t care about the marks on your PDF, try this one.

How to Split PDF Documents on Mac

The default PDF viewer can be of huge help for macOS users if you need to separate a long PDF document into smaller parts. In addition to Preview, some other free comprehensive PDF programs can meet your complex needs for PDF tasks, for example, PDFsam.


Dividing PDF documents is made significantly more accessible by the Mac-exclusive Preview. This built-in image reader and PDF viewer is a jack-of-all-trade on macOS devices, annotating, combining, signing, and splitting PDF documents.

Step 1: Open a PDF document with the default PDF viewer - Preview;

Step 2: When you see the thumbnail of the current PDF on the left sidebar;

Step 3: Select a specified page and click onto it, then drag the page to the desktop and release the mouse.

Note:If you need to select more than one page, press the Ctrl key and choose multiple PDF pages.

Although Preview can perform multiple PDF tasks, it cannot help with batch split. That’s why we need to mention another free open source software on macOS - PDFsam.

PDFsam Basic

PDFsam may sound a little bit old-fashioned, at least it is to me. However, this is actually an open-source PDF program on Windows, Mac, Linux, which is free of charge forever. PDFsam has a product line of Basic, Enhanced, and Visual. Among them, PDFsam Basic is for free and can carry out combination, splitting, extraction, and rotation.

Step 1: Download and install PDFsam Basic on your Mac devices;

Step 2: Import the PDF to the operation panel, and choose the splitting mode based on your needs, such as split by file size, page numbers, or bookmarks;

Step 3: Specify the output folder and rename the split PDF. The final thing is to hit the Run button to start the splitting.

The free PDFsam Basic only covers some primary features. Given that how to edit PDFs with PDFsam, users can try its Enhanced or Visual version. But please note that these two versions are PAID VERSIONS.

How to Split PDF Documents with Online PDF Applications

Maybe you hold a cautious attitude towards some desktop PDF programs considering any malware, and it is understandable. Therefore, we are going to introduce several online tools to divide PDF documents.

Google Chrome

As a popular Internet browser, Google Chrome can split a PDF document as well, because of Microsoft Print to PDF. OK, no more wasting time and let’s get down to business:


Step 1: Right-click on a PDF and open the PDF with Google Chrome;

Step 2: Click on the Print button, and then choose Pages to change the setting to Custom;

Step 3: Enter the page range and finally hit the Save button to output the new PDF.

Tips:This free method applies to other browsers such as Firefox and Opera since they all adapt the technology of Microsoft Print to PDF.

Unluckily, Google Chrome doesn’t have options to split the PDF evenly. If you meet with a similar problem, keep on reading.

Sejda PDF

Though we categorize Sejda PDF into an online tool, it actually has a desktop version. It is an all-feature web-based PDF tool, which can split specific page ranges or extract every page into a separate PDF file. Let’s check out how it works:

Step 1: Type the link on the search bar and click Split among POPULAR;


Step 2: Upload a PDF document via local folder, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or URL;

Step 3: Choose an option about separating the current PDF: extract every page into an individual PDF, select specified pages to split, split every X page, and split every even page.

Final Words

Thanks to the rapid development of technology, users have many more options to choose from for PDF splitters. Some of the mentioned PDF splitters are free to use but with limited free tasks (usually two or three free tasks per day), such as Sejda PDF. Google Chrome and PDFsam Basic are freeware but with limited features. Generally, if you are searching for an all-featured PDF program, try SwifDoo PDF and ApowerPDF, and they won’t let you down.

Common FAQ about How to Quickly Separate PDF Documents on Windows and Mac

Q:How do we split PDF documents on mobile devices?

In some circumstances, users may be required to handle digital documents on mobile devices, such as splitting PDF documents on Android or iOS devices. If you have a smooth Internet connection, you can access free online PDF tools to perform such a basic task. Such applications as iLovePDF, SmallPDF, PDF2GO, Sejda PDF are safe to use, but most of them only provide two or three free tasks every 24 hours. If exceeded, you are allowed to access the online service.


Roche has been an active PDF user for 6 years and tried different types of professional PDF tools (both online and desktop version) since at his bachelor degree. Now, Roche works as a columnist for SwifDoo PDF over the course of the last one year, and provides useful and practical solutions pertaining to various PDF topics for users from different features.