How to Copy Table from PDF to Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Transferring data from a PDF to an Excel spreadsheet might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In just a few simple steps, you can quickly and easily copy tables from your PDF documents directly into Excel, where you can edit, analyze, and organize your information with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Copy Table from PDF to Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re going to accomplish. We’re going to take a table from a PDF file and bring it into Excel. This allows you to work with the data in a more flexible environment. You’ll be able to sort, filter, and perform calculations as you would with any other Excel data.

Step 1: Open your PDF file

Open the PDF document that contains the table you want to copy.

This first step is pretty self-explanatory. You need to have your PDF file open on your computer. Make sure it’s the right file with the table you want to transfer to Excel.

Step 2: Select the table

Use your cursor to select the entire table you wish to copy.

When selecting the table, try to be as precise as possible to avoid copying unnecessary text. This will save you time later on when cleaning up the data in Excel.

Step 3: Copy the table

Right-click on the selection and choose the ‘Copy’ option, or press ‘Ctrl+C’ on your keyboard.

This step copies the table into your clipboard, which is like a temporary storage area for your computer. You won’t see anything happen, but the table is ready to be pasted into Excel.

Step 4: Open Excel

Launch Microsoft Excel and open a new or existing workbook where you want to paste the table.

If you’re working on a project or report, you might want to paste the table into an existing workbook. Otherwise, a new workbook works just fine.

Step 5: Paste the table

Click on the cell where you want to place the top-left corner of the table, then right-click and select ‘Paste,’ or press ‘Ctrl+V’ on your keyboard.

When you paste the table, you might notice that the formatting from the PDF is retained. You can adjust the formatting in Excel to suit your needs.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully transferred a table from a PDF file into an Excel spreadsheet. You can now begin working with your data in a more dynamic and powerful way.

Tips for Copying Table from PDF to Excel

  • If the table doesn’t paste correctly, try pasting it as text or using the ‘Paste Special’ option.
  • Some PDF tables may have merged cells or other complex structures that don’t translate well into Excel. Be prepared to do a bit of cleaning up.
  • For larger or more complicated tables, consider using a PDF to Excel converter tool.
  • Always double-check the data after pasting to ensure accuracy.
  • If your PDF file is scanned or the text is an image, you’ll need OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to convert it to selectable text first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I copy a table from a scanned PDF?

Yes, but you’ll need OCR software to convert the image of the table into selectable text first.

Scanned documents are essentially just pictures of text, so the computer can’t recognize the individual characters without OCR software. Once the text is recognized, you can then select and copy it as described above.

Why is my table not pasting correctly into Excel?

Tables may not paste correctly if they have complex formatting or merged cells that Excel can’t interpret.

In this case, you may need to paste the table as text and then reformat it in Excel. Alternatively, you could use a dedicated PDF to Excel converter tool, which might handle complex tables better.

Can I copy multiple tables at once?

It’s possible, but it’s generally easier to copy one table at a time to ensure that the formatting is preserved.

Copying multiple tables at once can lead to formatting issues when pasting into Excel. It’s usually better to take the time to copy and paste each table individually.

Will the formatting from the PDF be retained in Excel?

Sometimes Excel will retain the formatting from the PDF, but other times you may need to adjust the formatting yourself.

This depends on how the table was formatted in the PDF and how Excel interprets that formatting. It’s always a good idea to check the pasted data and adjust as needed.

Can I edit the data once it’s in Excel?

Absolutely! Once the table is in Excel, you can edit, analyze, and manipulate the data just like any other Excel data.

This is one of the main benefits of copying tables into Excel. You have full control over the data and can use all of Excel’s powerful tools to work with it.


  1. Open your PDF file.
  2. Select the table you want to copy.
  3. Copy the table.
  4. Open Excel.
  5. Paste the table into Excel.


Mastering the process of copying tables from PDF to Excel can significantly boost your productivity. Whether you’re dealing with financial reports, research data, or any other information in table format, having the ability to swiftly transfer it into Excel not only saves time but also opens up a world of possibilities for data analysis and visualization. With the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to accurately and efficiently move your data from a static PDF into a dynamic Excel spreadsheet. And remember, a little bit of finessing might be required once the data is in Excel, but that’s just part of the fun, right? With practice, you’ll be copying tables like a pro, and the once-tedious task will become second nature. Don’t let the confines of a PDF hold your data hostage – set it free with the power of Excel!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy