How can I use pdf2image to create TIFFs of PDF pages separated by colour channel?

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Aaron Gravesdale

Dec 13, 2013, 4:21:35 PM12/13/13
I need something that will convert PDFs to one-channel tiffs – each colour separately (1 page pdf becomes four grayscale tiffs, magenta, cyan, black, yellow).  And I would like it to be just a folder that I can drag the PDFs to and then it does its job and saves the TIFFs in another folder.

Here's how to do so on Windows:

1. Install pdf2image ( and ImageMagick (
2. Create three directories: "input", "output_cmyk", and "output_sep". 
3. Dump your PDFs into the "input" directory.
3. Run the following commands from a DOS window:

pdf2image --cmyk -f tif -o output_cmyk input/*.pdf
for %f in (output_cmyk\*.tif) do (convert %f -colorspace CMYK -separate output_sep\%~nf_%d.tif)

Now, your "output_cmyk" directory will contain the four-channel TIFFs, and the "output_sep" directory will contain the separated one-channel TIFFs.
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