How to Extract Text From a PDF to Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Converting text from a PDF to Word can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple! All you need is access to Adobe Acrobat or a free online converter. With just a few clicks, you can extract text from a PDF and edit it in Word with ease.

After completing the action, you will have the text from your PDF file in a Word document, allowing you to edit, format, and alter the content as needed.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to edit a document, but all you had was a PDF? It’s a common scenario, especially in today’s digital age where PDFs are the go-to format for sharing documents. The reason for this is simple: PDFs maintain the formatting of the document, ensuring that it looks the same no matter where it’s opened. But what happens when you need to make a change to that document? That’s where the ability to extract text from a PDF to Word comes in handy.

This skill is especially important for professionals who frequently work with documents, students who need to cite text from PDFs in their papers, or anyone looking to make some quick edits without starting from scratch. Knowing how to extract text from a PDF to Word can save you time and hassle, allowing you to focus on the content rather than the process of getting there.

Step by Step Tutorial: Extracting Text from a PDF to Word

The following steps will guide you through the process of converting your PDF text to a Word document.

Step 1: Choose Your Conversion Tool

Select a tool or software to convert your PDF to Word.

There are many tools available online to help you with this conversion. Adobe Acrobat is a popular choice, but there are also free options like Smallpdf or PDF2Doc that work just as well for simple conversions.

Step 2: Open the PDF

Open the PDF file you wish to convert.

If you’re using a tool like Adobe Acrobat, this step is as easy as opening the program and selecting the PDF you want to convert from your files.

Step 3: Convert the PDF

Use the conversion tool to extract and convert the text to Word.

In Adobe Acrobat, you would go to the “Export PDF” tool and choose “Microsoft Word” as your export format. In an online tool, you would upload your PDF and select “Convert to Word.”

Step 4: Save the Word Document

Save the newly converted Word document to your device.

Once the conversion is complete, you’ll be prompted to save the new Word document. Choose your desired location and your text will be ready to edit.


Ease of EditingOnce you have your text in a Word document, editing becomes a breeze. You can change fonts, adjust formatting, and add or delete text as needed.
Maintains Original LayoutMany converters are capable of maintaining the original layout and formatting of the PDF, which means less time spent reformatting the document in Word.
AccessibilityHaving the text in Word format makes it more accessible for individuals who use screen readers or other assistive technology, as PDFs can sometimes be problematic.


Conversion LimitationsSome PDFs, especially those with complex formatting or images, may not convert perfectly, resulting in additional work to fix these issues in Word.
Online Tool SecurityWhen using online conversion tools, there’s always a risk of sensitive information being compromised, so it’s important to use reputable services.
Software CostsWhile there are free tools available, more robust software like Adobe Acrobat comes at a cost, which might not be ideal for infrequent users.

Additional Information

When extracting text from a PDF to Word, it’s important to consider the quality and complexity of the PDF. High-quality PDFs with clear text and minimal images tend to convert more accurately. On the other hand, PDFs with lots of images, tables, or unusual fonts may require more cleanup in Word after conversion. Additionally, some PDFs are scanned images of text, which may need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology available in some tools to convert the image to selectable text.

Another tip is to always review the converted Word document for any inconsistencies or formatting issues. This step is crucial as it ensures the final document is usable and maintains the integrity of the original PDF text.

Lastly, when choosing online tools, be mindful of file size limits and privacy policies. Some free tools may have limitations on the size of the PDF you can convert, or they might store your files temporarily on their servers, which could pose a security risk.


  1. Choose your conversion tool
  2. Open the PDF you wish to convert
  3. Convert the PDF to Word
  4. Save the newly converted Word document

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I convert a scanned PDF to Word?

Yes, you can convert a scanned PDF to Word using OCR technology found in some conversion tools. However, the accuracy of the conversion may vary based on the quality of the scan.

Is it possible to convert a PDF with images to Word?

Yes, many conversion tools can extract text and images from a PDF to Word. The layout may not be identical, but you can adjust it in Word after the conversion.

Are online PDF to Word converters safe to use?

While many online converters are safe, it’s crucial to use reputable services and check their privacy policies, especially if you’re converting documents with sensitive information.

Do I need to install software to convert a PDF to Word?

No, there are several online tools that allow you to convert PDFs without installing any software. However, having dedicated software like Adobe Acrobat may offer more features and control over the conversion process.

Can I edit a PDF directly without converting it to Word?

Some PDF viewers and editors allow you to make basic edits directly within the PDF, but for more extensive edits, converting to Word is usually the better option.


Extracting text from a PDF to Word is a valuable skill that can save you time and effort in your work or academic pursuits. Whether you’re using Adobe Acrobat, an online converter, or another software, the process is relatively straightforward. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to convert your PDFs to editable Word documents with ease.

Remember to consider the quality of the PDF and the capabilities of your chosen tool to ensure a smooth conversion. And always review the final Word document to make any necessary adjustments. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert at extracting text from PDFs to Word, making document editing a breeze.

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