3 Methods to Copy Text From PDF on Mobile Devices

Summary :

Learn how to copy text from PDF on your Android phone or iPhone. Follow our simple guide to get the most easy way to copy text from PDF in mobile.

Table of Contents

How to Copy Text From PDF on Mobile

How to Copy Text From PDF on Mobile

As an essential device in modern life, mobile phones have become important tools in everyone’s work and life. Copying PDF text on mobile phones is an important skill that everyone needs to master, which can greatly improve work efficiency and make life easier.

Whether you use Android or iOS, this article will provide a detailed guide on how to copy text from PDFs on mobile devices.

Why I Can’t Copy Text From PDF on Mobile

There are several reasons why you cannot copy text from PDF on mobile.

▪️ Text cannot be copied directly from scanned documents or image-based PDFs.

▪️ It is difficult to copy text from secured PDFs because it limits the extraction of text.

▪️ Formatting problems prevent copying of text.

In the following, we will walk through the steps to successfully copy PDF text on mobile phones.

Steps to Copy Text From PDF on Android

Acrobat Reader is one of the most popular tools for reading and editing text in PDFs. It allows you to view, convert, edit, and create PDFs simply and efficiently.

It is one of the best options to help you copy and paste PDF text on mobile efficiently.

Step 1. Install and open the Adobe Acrobat Reader app on your Android device.

Step 2. Select and open the target PDF.

Open PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader

Open PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader

Step 3. Long press on the text area you want to copy > Drag the cursor to select the desired text > Click “Copy” in the options.

Long Press to Copy Text

Long Press to Copy Text

In this way, you have successfully copied the text to the clipboard. But this is only a basic method and cannot copy text from image PDF, scanned PDF, and protected PDF. Read on to see how to fix it.

Details for Copying Text From a PDF on iPhone

PDFgear is a more powerful PDF editor, converter, and also AI OCR Software. With it, users can easily copy text from all types of PDFs. Available for iPad and iPhone, it is the best choice for all users.

Step 1. Download PDFgear App

Find and download the PDFgear app in the App Store.

Download PDFgear in App Store

Download PDFgear in App Store

Step 2. Open PDF in PDFgear

Open PDFgear > Tap on the “Browse” option > Scroll up and down to locate and select a PDF file from your iPhone.

Open PDF in PDFgear on iPhone

Open PDF in PDFgear on iPhone

Step 3. Select the Required Text

Long press the text area > Drag the cursor to select the text to be copied.

Long Press to Select Text

Long Press to Select Text

Step 4. Copy PDF Text

Select “Copy” in the pop-up window to successfully copy the text in the PDF.

Copy Text with PDFgear

Copy Text with PDFgear

How to Copy Text From a PDF on iOS 15

In iOS 15, Apple has introduced two easier ways to copy text.

Method 1. Drag and Copy to a New File

The first method supports copying text by dragging and dropping certain elements between the same or different applications.

Step 1. Open the PDF file on the iOS device, and long press to select the target text.

Select Text on IOS

Select Text on iOS

Step 2. Press and hold the selected text, and drag while tapping “Done” above with another finger. At the same time, the PDF file will be closed automatically.

Drag the text selected

Drag the Text Selected

Step 3. Go to the location where you want to create the text file and release your finger to create a new file from the copied text from the PDF.

Release to Save the Text

Release to Save the Text

Method 2. Use Shortcuts App

If you want to copy all the text in the PDF, please try the second way, use the “Shortcuts” app to quickly copy PDF text.

Step 1. Find “Shortcuts” on iOS and open it.

Step 2. Click the “+” icon in the upper right corner > select the “Add Action” option at the top > type PDF in the search bar at the top > click “Get Text from PDF”.

Create a New Shortcut

Create a New Shortcut

Step 3. Click “Document” > select the target PDF > click the “Play” icon in the bottom-right corner.

You should now be able to see the preview text of the selected PDF document.

Set Quick Steps

Set Quick Steps

Step 4. Click the “Share” icon > select “Copy” to copy the text to the clipboard.

Copy Text with Shortcut

Copy Text with Shortcut


Can You Copy Text From a PDF on Mobile Without an App?

Of course. Open the PDF directly > Select the text to be copied > Select the copy function. But this method only works for basic text PDFs.

Is There a Way To Copy and Paste Text From a PDF?

Certainly, you can copy and paste text from PDF by selecting and pasting text within PDFgear.

How Can I Extract Text From Scanned Documents?

To extract text from scanned documents and copy text, use OCR software or a PDF to Word converter, which can help you copy text into Word easily.


Copying text from a PDF on your phone is a valuable skill. With the right technology, you can easily extract text from PDF. Whether using Adobe Acrobat Reader on Android, PDFgear on iOS, or through native functionality in iOS 15, you now have the tools to get the most out of PDFs on your mobile device.

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