[Athen] breaking a PDF file

Susan Kelmer Susan.Kelmer at colorado.edu
Wed Jan 17 06:20:31 PST 2018

Hi Robert.

The PDF might be protected. I suggest running it through a cracker, then trying again. My favorite cracker is at:


I don't know if the site is accessible, though, as I've never checked. But it works well, removes passwords and watermarks and any other "protection" the publisher has attempted to deploy.

p.s. for those who DON'T know, it is legal for us to crack PDFS or other protected materials in order to make accessible files for students.

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Robert Beach
Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 6:56 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network (athen-list at u.washington.edu) <athen-list at u.washington.edu>; Alternate Media (altmedia at htclistserv.htctu.fhda.edu) <altmedia at htclistserv.htctu.fhda.edu>
Subject: [Athen] breaking a PDF file

Hello all,

Sorry for the cross post, but I think both lists have folks who can help here.

I received a textbook from a publisher that is one large PDF file. I want to break it into chapters, but I keep getting an error. We select the pages for the front materials, tell Acrobat pro XI to extract pages, then we get an error 15 and Acrobat says it can't do it. We also tried with just the index, but the same thing happens. If we try extracting just a page or two, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

I also tried saving the file to a new file and working with it. I got the same results. I tried working from a flash drive, the network drive and a local hard drive.

I've never had this much trouble extracting pages in a PDF file before, and I've worked with much larger files. Can anybody give me an idea what is going on?


Robert Lee Beach
Assistive Technology Specialist
Kansas City Kansas Community College
7250 State Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66112
Phone: 913-288-7671
Email: rbeach at kckcc.edu<mailto:rbeach at kckcc.edu>

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