GNU/Linux Can Natively Convert JPEG to PDF (Walkthrough “for Dummies”)

Just one of the many features that makes free software better than its proprietary and costly alternatives. You can scan pictures and documents and make them into pdf’s very quickly.

You will have to use the terminal/bash, but this is quite easy.

Say you have a file in /home/Documents. If not, you can always move it there or to the Desktop (and its location will be in /home/Desktop then).

Here’s how it is. It’s very easy. Don’t freak out. You can do it!

  1. Open up terminal.
  2. You are right now in your /home directory (or folder). What you will need to do is change to the folder containing your *.jpg file. (NOTE: Make sure it has no spaces. If it does, rename it to something like fileNameWithNoSpaces.jpg.) To change to your Documents folder, type

    cd /home/Documents

    – cd means “change directory”
    – if you wanted to go to Desktop, then, you’ve guessed it, type “cd /home/Desktop”
    – if you want to check you got the right folder, you can always type


    to list the contents of your directory.

  3. Assuming you see your file (with no spaces in the file name), the actual convert step is quite easy. If your file is called “convertMePlease.jpg”, simply type the following to convert it:

    convert convertMePlease.jpg convertMePlease.pdf

    It is that simple. It should take a few seconds. That’s it. There is one space between convert (the command) and the JPG-file, and another one between the JPG-file and the PDF-file. In other words, the syntax is “COMMAND INPUT_FILE OUTPUT_FILE.” If you want to change convertMePlease.jpg to a *.pdf file with a different name, you can with this example

    convert convertMePlease.jpg newName.pdf

    Note that the new name shouldn’t have a space either. In fact, having file names with no spaces can be good computer “hygiene,” if you will.

  4. If you want to convert from .pdf to .jpg, simply reverse the order.

    convert filename.pdf newName.jpg

You see, it is that easy. Don’t get put off by the text-based interface. You can do it! And this is just the tip of the iceberg! (One keyboard shortcut: Press Ctrl+D to close the Terminal screen. You can also type “exit”.)

Also, LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice all have built-in “Save as PDF” buttons for presentations, spreadsheets, documents, etc. There are also plenty of free, native applications that can combine pdf documents and reorder pages, etc.

In case all that was not clear enough, here’s something for visual learners. ;P



2 thoughts on “GNU/Linux Can Natively Convert JPEG to PDF (Walkthrough “for Dummies”)

  1. Pingback: How To Invert Screen Colors in (Ubuntu-based) GNU/Linux Distros | Home of Uninterpreted Facts

  2. Pingback: PDF Highlighting & Annotations in GNU/Linux: Xournal or Flpsed (or Okular for KDE) | Home of Uninterpreted Facts

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