Open multipage PDF

Open Multi-Page PDF

Have you ever needed to edit a PDF in Illustrator? or maybe just open a PDF to copy a couple of elements? If you have, then you know that you have to open the PDF and choose the page you wish to open, close the file and if you need to work on a different page you have no choice but to repeat the process…as many times as needed. It gets annoying very quickly, there must be an easier way, right? Right, by way of a script, it will basically do all the tedious work for us.







Installing and Executing Scripts

289 thoughts on “Open multipage PDF

  1. Como abrir archivos pdf con mutiples páginas en illustrator.
    Abrir archivo pdf varias páginas en Illustrator.

    Gracias por tremendo aporte, funciona en Illustrator CS6 perfectamente.

    Thank you for amazing post,work perfectly in Illustrator CS6

  2. No suelo escribir nada en los foros, si bien me ayudan en los malos momentos como este. Por eso te digo que es un aporte GENIAL, debe ser gratificante saber que ayudas a tanta gente.

    Aunque no he llegado a saber como guardarlo dentro del programa para el futuro, utilizo illustrator CC para MAC.


  3. When opening the script it opens in after effects… I manually opened in AI but I do not understand how to make this work.. Can you please give some more instructions? I am working on creative cloud. Thanks!

  4. Thanks it worked well on my 2015 AI CC

    I wonder if there is a way to make a script to mimic File-Place so that the pdf pages are embedded. This would help save a lot of time when setting up client PDF’s for print.

  5. GENIUS! Thats whats exactly what I need! Works like charm on Illustrator CC2014!!

    Thanks at all!
    Best regards from Argentina!


  6. I loved this script it did exactly waht I needed in the past but now that I’m using the latest version of Illustrator it doesn’t work. It opens the first page of the PDF then returns to the Ui window. If I click open again it creates blanks documents. 🙁

      1. Hey its Awesome i like it,

        But a small problem when i try to open distress PDF file the art distress is disappears, Can u fix it?

  7. Today was a good day, not because I did this and failed. But because I work with a guy who codes and was able to help fix the issues others and myself are having.

    I am working on OS X Yosemite Version 10.10.5 (iMac 27-inch, Late 2013) The Illustrator I am using is Adobe Illustrator CC 2015.3.1 Release (20.1.0).

    I installed this script according to the instructions above and when I open Illustrator I cannot open a PDF period.. it is greyed out and when I browse for the file it is blank when I click it. Thus failing.

    The fix to this…. in the top right corner of my iMac I have a little magnify glass to search..

    Search> terminal >Return Key *Click and drag the PDF file you want to open into this terminal. You will see the files or example my file is /User/Jennifer/Documents/FIleName.pdf

    I will Copy (Do not include ” in Copy only for text to copy) “/Documents/FileName.PDF” and paste this in the blank box when opening your file in front of this file name type “~” that character… select page and OPEN! BOOM!!! PROBLEM SOLVED… Now someone fix this code so we can do this!!!

    The Result will be

    This was my fix, I hope it helps anyone else who is struggling with the newer versions.

    Thanks, JENNIFER!
    and the guy who helped me code: RAD (Rapid Application Development)
    Go show him the LOVE! <3

  8. Great plugin,

    but now my preferences – units are set to “asian – points”?
    Its also greyed out so i cant change it?
    All my measurements are forced to view as points but i need them to be in inches..

    1. Type Control R or Show Ruler. Right Click the top left blank corner of the ruler and you should have options to change to different units. 🙂 Cheers!


  9. Wow, thanks a lot, this is awesome script.

    I’m really happy I don’t need to open 100 pages manually 🙂

    Btw, for info, it’s work with CS6, I just copy the script to adobe script folder on C crive.

  10. I am having trouble getting the script to work on a recent PDF I have. It was created and exported from word. It will not open any of the specified pages. It will open a blank page and stop without any further processing. It works fine with other PDF files I have opened. Does the export origin effect wether or not the script works?

    1. No, you shouldn’t have any issues opening PDF files created in Word, have you tried opening the file manually in Illustrator to see if it opens?

  11. this isn’t working for CC15 on mac 10.11.4 on a pdf created in power point. The Mtools-open Multipage PDF window comes up but when I enter the name of the document and the number of pages and hit open nothing happens.

  12. I join those who have found this script a joy to have (and it’s cool that you included an alert popup—it said my first attempt “opened 20 pages in 47.33 seconds” earlier ü ). Works with Illustrator CS6 on OS X 10.6.8. Can’t wait for the other scripts downloaded to save me time when put to task.
    Huge thanks for your work!

  13. There’s no “Find and Replace All” in Acrobat. This saved me hours. Worked like a charm in CC/Windows.

  14. Any chance of a MacOS 10.11 version running Illustrator CC 2015?

    When I run the script under 10.11 the UI comes up and I can click on FILE to open the file browser. When I select the PDF I need and the browser window closes it just returns me to the MTool UI. The file path doesn’t show and the OPEN button stays greyed out. Alternatively I can type out the file path manually and then I’m able to hit the OPEN button. Mtool then opens a bunch of windows then tell me exactly 1 page was opened in so many seconds but the UI stays there, the different windows stay there, most of them blank and nothing gets merged into a single document.

    I have used this script on older machines and its a great time saver. Would love an update.

  15. It worked perfectly with AI CS6. I openned a PDF that was 56 pages long in less than a minute. When I was openning them it looked like all the pages were overlapping but when it finished everything was perfect.

    Thanks!! 🙂

  16. Hi Carlos,

    The script seems to work until it gets to the last pop up where it says “15 pages opened in 71 secs” and I hit “ok” and then it just spins and doesn’t do anything. I have to shut down Illustrator each time. I’m opening fairly small PDF files, roughly under 30 pages.

    Can anyone offer any insight? I’m running the latest version of Illustrator.

    1. Hi Sunny, have you tried with other pdf files? do you know what software was used to create the pdf? can you share the pdf?

  17. Hi,
    I found this plugin really cool and it helped me to open multiple pages saving alot of my time..

    But I found that it changed the content like few texts were aligned properly and now they are not.

    And how to reuse that plugin from Illustrator? does it add to some menu item or we need to run that file from outside each time?

    Thanks in advance..

  18. Hola! Yo tengo el Illustrator CC2015, ya descargué el script y lo guardé en la carpeta de Scripts de Illustrator, voy al programa y doy Archivo/ Secuencia de comandos / Otra secuencia de Comandos/ Me abre la ventana para abrir el Script, lo abro y me aparece la ventana de MTools para seleccionar el archivo PDF que quiero abrir, pero al momento de seleccionarlo no me abre el archivo, ya intenté con otros PDF y nada, lo selecciono pero no me aparece el nombre y me pone en gris la opción de open en color gris, es decir, no puedo abrir ningun PDF.. Ayudaaaa!! Uso mac y acabo de instalar el CC 2015.
    Quedo en espera de su respuesta.


  19. Downloaded, copied to adobe>>Adobe Illustrator CS6 (64 Bit)>>presets>>en_US>>scripts in both program files and program files x86 and even tried in just the program file instead of both but still only get the open one page at a time dialog box. I have Windows 7 64 bit and Illustrator CS6. Can anyone provide me with some clear install instructions? Thanks in advance.

  20. If there internet were invented only for me to find and run this script, it would be worth it. Thank you. A thousand times, thank you. Its genius.

  21. Wow. this is incredible! A real life saver.
    It helped me restore a ‘broken’ PDF I had saved for illustrator a while back.
    I could open it all up again in illustrator all in one go, and use all the bits I needed for my work rather than going through 30 pages individually to put back into artboards which I couldn’t face..

    So I just donated a little something. Lets not forget to support this fantastic resource.

  22. Hi, Tried using the script for a 40 page pdf and it’s opening each page and pasting them all onto one artboard rather than 40 separate artboards, am I doing something wrong?!

  23. Thank you, Carlos. This is great because it actually worked. But since I had images/artwork that spilled over to the next artboard, those particular elements got cut in half. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I guess I will have to resort to re-doing all 30 pages of my portfolio.

    Just in case, is there any way around this error?

  24. WOW. Never knew this will work. Thanks so much. It’s a great help since I need to combine/print PDF files with hundred pages. Thumbs up to you!

  25. AWESOME. 150 page pdf Doc rebranded..(just header footer without the source file…)This scrip + “paste to all art boards” = lifesaver. literally took 2 mins

    Thank you!

  26. A-ma-zing! Thankyou a whole bunch, works like a charm on Illustrator CC 2015, Windows 10. You just saved me a lot of work… Thank you 😀

  27. Looks like a real time saver! Is there a reason why I can’t get it to work? Can someone please post installation and usage instructions. Thx

  28. Hey, this seems to keep on crashing Ai CC. Is there anything I can do to complete the script?

    The PDF I’m trying is 138 pages and it runs all the way through and then stops at page 39 of the “re positioning pages”.

    I then tried it for only 50 pages and then it stalls Ai after completing.

    1. Have you tried with other pdf files to see if it works? If yes, do you mind sending me the problem pdf to try to spot the issue?

  29. Hi Chris,
    This is awesome script I’ve ever seen before, but I have some question about that:
    1. If the PDF have multi-Layers, when I used the script, that will only export layer1 item.
    2. About the error message, the script will auto ignore them?


    1. Sorry, at time of development it didn’t occur to me to accomodate for multilayer pdf…maybe I’ll include that in the next upgrade.

    This script is fantastic. You have saved me sooooo much time.

    {Just a note : I have found that in using this script i need to start at page 1.. if i try to start it at another page the script just hangs until I force stop it. I use CS4}

  31. This is awesome!! I installed it in the latest version of Adobe CC and it seems to work perfectly. I installed it (as the other user below did) by downloading and unzipping the file, and then going to File > Scripts > Other Script and opening the PDF.

    I added a page by adding another artboard at the end of the line that’s the same size as the other artboards. Very flexible.

  32. Awesome!! Thanks so much. Illustrator CS5 for Mac

    I did access the script through AI it worked just fine. I eventually copied it to the Presets> Scripts folder in AI for easy access.

    FYI – I can’t print to PDF using Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro 9.5.5 for Mac. Just throwing it out there in case you have a solution. LOL!! I’ve searched and can’t find anything that works.

    1. Thanks for posting, I’m not on mac, but it should have an option to print to pdf, is it not there? Or it’s there but doesn’t work?

  33. Amazing script. Loving it. One question as I am a newbie to scripts. Is there a way to open the file having the same file name as the pdf file instead of untitled?


  34. hi,
    im on OSX with Ai CC 18.1.1
    i apply the script but get this:

    Cannot execute script in target engine ‘session’!
    (#57) Engine ‘session’ does not exists!

    any ideas ?

    1. when using on a mac, open illustrator then use drop down File>Scripts>Other scripts then find it on your desktop and open it. It works great. Thank you Carlos!

  35. Absolutely superb, installed on CC Illustrator 2015 and it works perfectly, thank you!

    To people having problems, make sure the script is put into your presets/your language/ scripts folder and not any other script folder, then it should work.

  36. Hi,

    Can someone please post a link to the script. I have Illustrator 2015 CC and this would be very helpful if it works!


      1. Hey, I desperately want this script to work but it loads each page quite slowly (i.e. 10 pages opened in 363.95 seconds). Then when I hit “OK” I get a spinning wheel of death and Illustrator CC 2015 becomes unresponsive then I have to force quit.

        Any suggestions as to why this script won’t work for me?


  37. Error 22:Window does not contains constructor(translated from polish)
    -> var win = new Window (“dialog”, “MTools – Open Multipage PDF”);

    Using AI CS6 while loading script

  38. Hi, I downloaded your script today. I have Ai CC 2015 version and the script windows appear but doesn’t work (when I press open button nothing happens). Any idea?
    Thank you!

  39. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! i was having trouble opening a cs3 file in cs5 and i was struggling for 3 days!! and it took only 18seconds to open as i wanted!! thanks a lot.

  40. Ok the update to CC 2015 makes this script no longer work…

    Please look into an update… I’ll pay for it if need be, I use it daily!

    Please respond back to me that you can look into fixing this…pleaseeee I’m sure everyone will be needing this ASAP

    Might I suggest a few updates… like spacing, artboard columns, and Artboard units (inches or whatever instead of just pixels), and to be able to match the PDF bleed with the artboard bleed.

      1. In my case it either opens 1 page only or nothing happens at all

        [Edit] scratch that, now it works fine on CC2014 and CC2015

  41. Carlos,
    Had your script running and worked AWESOME! Just did most recent update on CC 2015 and your script is gone. added it again but still won’t see it. Any ideas?

  42. i can not install script
    In which folder should I save it?
    Every time I have to sellect it from my hard 🙁

  43. Hi Carlos,

    i’ve got some large files that are about 65 or more pages and i’m trying to get this to work in CS6 but it just shows that it is opening page 41 over and over and over.
    i saw one of the previous comments that said it had issues over 40 pages too. is there a limit to 40 artboards with this script?



  44. I am working on a catalog containing 91 pages. There are bunch of Arabic language matter in the document. I wanted to import 91 pages without substitution of fonts. I wanted to convert the whole text into curved object. This plugin great for importing 91 pages but I see a lot of junk on every page bcoz this tool is substituting with other compatible fonts. Kindly help.


    M. Asghar

    1. 1. Open your doc in acrobat pro and convert all text to curves : Tools, Prepress, flatning preview

      2. Open Illustrator and run you script.


    Thank you for making so many people’s lives easier.

    Adobe, I love your programs (for the most part)

    but the way you deal with bugs and deficiencies as a company sucks!

  46. Thanks!!! works perfectly on Illustrator CC 2014 too. Please Help with 3D interface in Photoshop CC 2014; Its all greyed-out

  47. Did not work for me. When I try to open a PDF it does nothing. I browse, select PDF, click “open” and then it goes back to the initial dialogue box unaffected. The PDF had not been selected, the file name did not populate the text box… and the final “open” into Illustrator is grayed out.

    Ai CS5.1 for Mac

  48. Brilliant!…. simply worked as intended… Thankyou for filling the void,… an oversight from ADOBE… if ever you find yourself in Melbourne, Australia… sing out and a slab of beer will be waiting for you!
    thanks again

  49. hallo Carlos,
    best regards, I am very poor about illustrator and having the problem about you solve, but I need to know where I should place the file in the directory.
    please help me on the way.

  50. Does the PDF need to be saved a certain way for this to work?
    I am having issues. My text seems to be squished and my images are coming out like negatives.
    This worked PERFECTLY on my first PDF, but not any of my other PDFs.

  51. I’m trying to open a 7 page .pdf in CS6 and this script only opens 4 of them. I’ve tried adjusting the page range and still just 4 pages. How can I get all 7 pages to open?

  52. It seemed to hang up on the page selection options. I chose to start on page 9 of a pdf and end on 23. It didn’t seem able to process this. I went back and started it on 1 to 23 and it worked.

  53. I have a few *.pdf documents I’m trying to utilize this script for that are 100+ pages. I was hoping to sort of break it up into turning a single 140+ page pdf into 2-4 *.ai files using this script but the script seems to become non-responsive when I tell it to begin at pages greater than 40.. I was wondering if you have any thoughts about this or any success with having it being able to process more than 40 pages at a single time.

    Other than that this is a great script, just in our application case so close but no cigar! Really hoping that there is some sort of solution I can find to this…



  54. This is amazing Carlos – and thank you for keeping it free/open for the rest of us. You’ve saved countless lives of designers everywhere!

  55. Wow! Thank you Carlos! This worked perfectly for me – on a Mac, Illustrator CC 2014, 28 pages – now I’ve got time to play with my new puppy!

  56. Worked perfectly in CS6 — thanks! Looks a little scary because at first the page contents are all on top of another, but give it a second and renders out nicely.

  57. I am working with “fillable” pdf’s. Normally, I would just “SAVE” when I would make changes in Illustrator, but with this script, it requires me to “Save As” and I lose all of the “fillable” form field when the pdf opens again. Is there a way to preserve the “fillable form fields” using this script?

  58. Thanks , such a life saver !!!

    I suggest to edit line 61
    var fileRef = File.openDialog (“Select PDF…”, “*.ai,*.pdf”);

    for some reason certain ai are treated as pdf ( perhaps created in newer version of illustrator )

  59. I’m new to illustrator and found this and thought to myself why is this not part of illustrator anyway? Thank you so much though … legend!

  60. Hi Carlos, I have a 130 page PDF with AI CC 2014. Your script will work on the first half when splitting the file up, but not on the second half. Any ideas?

  61. It was working just fine for me, I updated to yosemite, and it stopped working, giving me an error :

    Adobe Illustrator got an error: Can’t get alias “Macintosh HD:Users:Evene:Documents:Prez.pdf”. (-1728)

    Event: doProcess(1, 100.0, 6, “acrossdown”, true)
    Script: application

  62. Question: looking at the code, when you did the multi-layers based on each page…was that the only way you could get it to work? I was wondering if it was possible to get the pages to all open in one layer.

  63. I’d like to know if it’s possible to adjust the script?
    We’d like to import the pages on 10%…
    We produce traffic signs and they can be very big sometimes!
    The script does it’s work, but when it’s ready and we’d like to view things in AI (zoom out workspace) AI crashes.
    I think if the pages are smaller it’ll work just fine.
    SO all I need to know is how to alter the script and in what line??

  64. Hi Carlos, sometimes it works great, other times it just doesnt open no matter how long I wait. I have a large pdf (600+ pages). I am opening a limited range of pages i.e 90-110. The program just hangs out no matter how long I wait. I often have to do this multiple times and then when I get lucky it kicks in.

    Any suggestions?


  65. Great Script!

    Hey Carlos thank you for this free script that you made for us, btw i have one question, why is the script only limits exactly 99pages? i have 416 pages but i divided it to 6 x 64 and 1 x 32 so a total of 416 pages. if i encode the numerical value from 65 to 128, noting happens only blank page appears thank you, hope to hear if from you soon.

    1. Illustrator only allows 100 artboards, I could have the script continue opening pages without matching them to artboards…next version.

      for now, make 5 files, if you need to save them back to pdf, use Acrobat to assemble.


    I have been doing this the long way for months and am SO happy to have stumbled across this script.

  67. انا محتاج تدعيم من حضراتكم بالبرامج وصدقنى لو معى من المال ما انفقة على هذه البرامج ما بخلت ولكن سامحنى انا قليل المال ضعيف البنية قليل الحيلة و لا اريد ان اقترض الا البرامج من اجل

      1. Carlos, use the google translator when you don’t know the language and it helps somewhat.


        I have need to strengthen the programs of yourselves with me and believe me, if money spent on these programs and what Bkhalt Forgive me but I am a little weak capital structure a little trick and do not want to Borrowed only for programs

  68. WOOOW! finally it worked. I just had to open the PDF document by right clicking it and open with adobe illustrator just as simple as that and then “KABOOM” there it was with all the pages, am so happy right now, i didn’t use the previous process of opening adobe illustrator first then opening the file, i just opened the PDF file directly where it was with adobe illustrator. I SALUTE YOU MAN, your plugin is really amazing.

  69. is it related to the way i save my work from illustrator to PDF? because i don’t understand why that happens?

  70. Hello carlos, you are a life saver to most graphic designers including me. I have downloaded that plugin and copied it in those illustrator files(“presets” then “en_GB” then “scripts”) but here is my problem, when i open adobe illustrator (mine is cs5), i go to “file” then “scripts” then “Ai_open multipagePDF….” it opens those pages but when the pages open, most of the things are missing. You find maybe an image of artboard 1 is also in artboard 2 or some texts of artboard 1 are in 2 and there nothing else. What should i do?

  71. This works great! Thanks!
    Is there a way to modify this script so it scales strokes and effects as well?
    That would be greatly appreciated!

  72. Thanks a bunch! However, I am still stuck :/

    I was sent an illustrator artwork file with 10 pages all on different artboards. Illustrator tries to open each individual page as a pdf. Well, I installed the script but now it won’t open the ai file format. What should I do? I need to somehow convert the file into a pdf to be able to open it through the script but not sure how to do that when I can only open 1 page at a time.

    Also, it was sent to me from a mac, and I have a pc. Not sure if that makes a difference.


    1. OK just realized it’s because that person has the latest version of illustrator and I have cs6. Problem solved!

  73. I can’t thank you enough man! Consider importing 82p. book!
    May your life be like a wildflower growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day!!! 😀

  74. Worked great with a 48 page pdf including text and graphics of all types (.ai, .eps, .jpg, etc.). Thanks!

  75. Tengkyu Mas Bro! Kesewun banget temenan !! It’s very useful. The Javanese poem cause of your kind:

    Mbedul suket nang pinggir lapangan
    Aja dibuang mbok menawa ana ndoge
    Sirah mumet mikiri gawean
    Dadi ilang bar nemu cara nang blog gye

  76. Hi, it worked for me on the first file i was working on, it opened 70 pages at one go. Brilliant!!! thanks!!!

    However, i tried using it on another pdf files and it didnt work.

    So i figure the second file is “corrupted” or something, but when i tried again on the first file, bizzarely it also did not seem to work. I am on PC running CS5 btw.

    Thanks again Carlos

    1. Illustrator has memory issues, after opening the first pdf, close illustrator and try again opening a second pdf…or send us a copy of the problem pdf and we’ll take a look at it.

  77. Hello, excellent plug-in. What would be handy is if it gave the option to link to the file so updates to the pdf were picked up in the illustrator file.

    Good work!

    1. Hi, linking sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately, Illustrator does not let us choose a page to open when linking a pfd, I’m not sure if it is a bug.

      thanks for posting

    1. I only tried with about 35 pages, I don’t think there’s a page number limit, if anything it would depend on how complex is the context of each page and the resources available in your system.

      let us know how many pages you can open without crashing.

  78. Script works good … BUT … is there a limitation on the quantity of pages that the script will open?
    I am trying to open approx. 100 pages of a PDF… the script seems to crash!?
    Any thought? Thanks!

    1. let it finish, it does seem it crashed but it is still working, 100 pages takes a lot of time to process, I’ll try to incorporate a Progress Bar to the next version

  79. I’ve been searching script like this for long time! Thanks a lot, you save my day!!!
    and it’s work perfectly on Illustrator CS6!

  80. Thanks for the Shout-out Carlos!
    I’m redesigning the site myself and will soon be offering solutions for download and sale soon.

    Thanks for your resource here!

    1. Hi Lorenzo, sorry but this script relies on the Artboard Object to act as “pages”, which was introduced in CS4, the script won’t work in Illustrator 10

  81. All I can say is…. THANK YOU. I needed a pdf resizer and then that software left a watermark, i then needed to remove the watermark on illustrator to edit all the pages. I’m so glad i stumbled upon this. Lol all because the pages of the pdf were the wrong size. still a huge thank you!

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