How to fix PDF conversion errors

By |Published On: September 13th, 2013|Categories: Tutorials|

Unfortunately not all PDF files can be converted into flipbooks. The reasons can be different each time, but the problem is usually easier to fix than we think. So, rather than going into details about the cause of the problems, I’ll focus on what each error means and what you can do.

We recently implemented a system that specifically lets you know which page couldn’t be converted properly or at all. Our goal is to fix the errors or to avoid them by dealing specifically with the pages that couldn’t be converted.

There are 4 conversion errors:

  1. “Error: [PDF name]. Page [page number] couldn’t be converted properly……”

  2. “Error: [PDF name]. The following pages: [page number, page number, page number] contain errors and couldn’t be converted properly….”

  3. “Error:[PDF name]. The PDF file couldn’t be converted because the page [page number] has errors.

  4. There was a problem converting the file. PDF width and/or height exceeded.

The first 3 errors appear because of one or a few problematic pages, so you will only have to fix those specific pages.

The fourth error appears because of your PDF settings.

What you can do about these conversion errors depends on the PDF editing tools (software) that you have at hand.


For the first 3 errors this is the fix that we recommend:

The easiest way is to rasterize the elements from the page in question and re-export the PDF file. What does this mean? Well, there are two kind of elements: vectors and raster elements.

Vector: the resizable, scalable and independent artwork. eg shape layers, texts.

Raster: the artwork based on pixels. This is resolution dependent. eg: image.
By converting the layers (text layer, filters, shapes) into pixels (image) the raster graphic can no longer be edited. My advice is to rasterize all your elements except for the text fields, so the search option inside the flipbook will still work.

Flattening or merging your layers is another solution sometimes. By combining two or more layers you change some of the elements in the file, turning some things into curves, some things into rasters.

Lastly, re-saving the PDF file under PDF/X standards might fix the problem. Below are some articles containing some helpful tips about rasterization and saving a PDF file under specific standards:


For the fourth error, this is what we recommend:

  • Save the PDF at 300 DPI or lower
  • Save for fast web view (if you’re using InDesign, find more details here

If you have any questions or need further assistance regarding this matter, don’t hesitate to ask us. When your PDF is ready, pay Flipsnack a visit!


  1. Jennifer September 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    I am having a problem when it comes to converting my PDF. The PDF uploads, but the conversion process is unending. It never finishes converting the PDF. Can someone please let me know how I can fix this problem or why I am having this problem. I simply saved a word document as a PDF, however; it won’t let me convert that PDF.

    Thank you

    • Jani September 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Hello Jennifer! Please try again. We’ve had some temporary conversion issues, but it should work now. :)

  2. Antoinette Groenewald August 17, 2018 at 6:37 pm - Reply


    my Freepdfconverter gives the following error message: CONVERSION FAILED. SORRY WE ARE UNABLE TO CONVERT YOUR DOCUMENT

    Is it possible to fix this error?

    • Jani August 23, 2018 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Antoinette, this article was specifically written for errors in our own online pdf converter, so I’m not familiar with freepdfconverter, sorry

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