How to Copy Text from PDF to Word with 4 Easy Methods

Summary :

Learn about 4 free and easy methods to copy text from PDFs to Microsoft Word documents. You can copy from both selectable PDFs and scanned PDFs.

Table of Contents

Different from the PDF to Word conversions that retain the original document formatting, the direct copying to PDF text and pasting into Microsoft Word documents allow you to preserve only the vital text-based information, instead of the images, shapes, document formatting, etc.

Learn from this article about 3 free and easy methods to copy text from PDF to Word. The tips for copying text from scanned PDFs to Word are also introduced.

How to Copy Text from PDF to Word

How to Copy Text from PDF to Word

Quick Solution: Copy Text from PDF to Word

PDFgear, a free PDF text editor, lets you edit PDFs like Microsoft Word. Easily copy text from PDF to Word, even from scanned PDFs. Download PDFgear to explore the ‘Edit Text‘ feature.

Copy PDF Text to Word for Free Using PDFgear

PDFgear Desktop, the best free Adobe Acrobat alternative, is a free PDF text editor that allows you to copy text from PDF to Word in the exact same formatting, with or without line breaks. It’s the best free alternative to Adobe Acrobat.

PDFgear is a powerful PDF editor that recognizes PDF text using precise OCR, and it allows you to select, copy, and even edit text in PDFs.

PDFgear Desktop works on Windows and Mac, so you can copy PDF text on both devices.

Additionally, the AI-powered PDFgear allows you to read PDFs with ChatGPT.

The Best Free OCR PDF Editor

PDFgear is the top-notch option for you to extract text from and edit text in digital and scanned PDFs.

Step 1. Download, install, and open PDFgear Desktop on your computer.

Step 2. Click the Open File button to import the PDF.

Open PDF File in PDFgear Desktop

Open PDF File in PDFgear Desktop

Step 3. From the PDF editor screen, select the text you need, and hit Copy.

Copy PDF Text in PDFgear

Copy PDF Text in PDFgear

Step 4. Open a Microsoft Word document and paste the copied text.

Copy Text from PDF to Word in Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the freemium version of the subscription-based Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. While PDF editing isn’t an option, Acrobat Reader allows you to conduct many basic PDF management tasks for free, and copying PDF text is one of them.

Step 1. Download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader from the official website.

Step 2. Launch Adobe Acrobat Reader, go to Menu, and select Open from the dropdown to open the PDF in Adobe.

Open PDF in Acrobat

Open PDF in Acrobat

Step 3. From the PDF editor screen, select the desired text, and click the Copy Text button.

Copy PDF Text in Acrobat

Copy PDF Text in Acrobat

Step 4. Lastly, create the desired Microsoft Word document, and paste the text we just copied!

Copy PDF Text to Microsoft Word

Copy PDF Text to Microsoft Word

Copy PDF Text to Word on Mac with Preview

Mac owners have it easy. You don’t need any additional software installation, the inbuilt PDF reader app Preview has pretty much everything you need.

While Preview doesn’t offer pro-level PDF features such as inserting fillable text boxes, it is adequate for daily office requirements such as copying text from PDF to Word on Mac.

Step 1. Locate the PDF document on your Mac.

Step 2. Right-click on the PDF and open it with the Preview app.

Step 3. Go to the upper Tools tab, and click the Text Selection tool.

Use Preview Text Section Tool

Use Preview Text Section Tool

Step 4. Drag over the text in PDF and use the keyboard shortcut Command + C to copy the text.

Copy PDF Text in Preview

Copy PDF Text in Preview

Step 5. Go to the Microsoft Word application on Mac and paste the text.

Paste PDF Text to Word on Mac

Paste PDF Text to Word on Mac

Copy PDF Text in Google Docs

The online document processing tool Google Docs is seamlessly integrated into the cloud storage service Google Drive and allows you to edit and copy text from PDFs within.

With it, you can copy text from PDF online, and paste it into your local Microsoft Word document.

Step 1. Go to your Google Drive to look for a PDF there or upload one.

Upload the PDF File to Google Drive

Step 2. Locate the PDF you want to copy text from, hit the triple dots icon on it, click Open with, and select Google Docs.

Open PDF with Google Docs in Google Drive

Open PDF with Google Docs in Google Drive

Step 3. Then your PDF will be loaded in Google Docs. Select your desired text, and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C or Command + C to copy the text.

Copy PDF Text in Google Docs

Copy PDF Text in Google Docs

Step 4. Go to Microsoft Word and paste the text.

How to Copy Text from Scanned PDF?

For scanned PDF documents, most PDF editor software on the market doesn’t help directly select and copy the text of which.

However, there’s still a way to copy text in scanned PDFs without conversions beforehand. PDFgear Desktop also provides a robust and precise text extraction tool that allows you to copy PDF text using OCR.

Step 1. Open PDFgear Desktop, and hit Open File to import your PDF.

Step 2. Click on the OCR feature from the menubar.

Step 3. Drag and hold to draw the area for text extraction, and hit Done.

OCR PDF in PDFgear

OCR PDF in PDFgear

Step 4. In the Extract Text window, hit the Copy text to clipboard button.

Click Extract Text Button

Click Extract Text Button

Step 5. Lastly, go to your Microsoft Word document and paste in the text from the clipboard.

Why Can’t I Copy Text from a PDF to Word?

Prior to starting, you need first to understand that not all PDF documents allow you to select and copy PDF. You can’t directly select, copy, or edit text in scanned PDF documents, for instance.

To successfully copy text from PDF and paste to Microsoft Word, you need to ensure that your PDF is selectable.

If your PDF is not selectable, convert PDF to Word or convert PDF to text using the OCR PDF converter PDFgear is a good plan.

Additionally, if a PDF document has been encrypted from copying, you need to first decrypt the PDF in order to copy the text. For more information, please check what we previously discussed on why you can’t copy from PDF.

FAQs

Why does the copied text from a PDF to Word look strange?

When you copy text from a PDF to Word, the formatting may change due to differences in the way the two file types handle fonts, line spacing, and other formatting options. To address this issue, you can try using the Paste Special option in Word to preserve the formatting of the original text.

Can I copy images from a PDF to Word?

Yes, you can copy images from a PDF to Word by selecting the image using the Select Tool in Adobe Acrobat, then copying and pasting it into Word. Alternatively, some PDF conversion tools can extract images from PDF files and save them as separate image files that can be inserted into a Word document.

How can I improve the quality of copied text from a PDF to Word?

If the quality of the copied text is poor, you can try adjusting the resolution of the PDF before copying it to improve the clarity of the text. Additionally, some PDF conversion tools offer options for adjusting the DPI or layout of the converted text to ensure optimal readability when transferred to a Word document.

The Conclusion

All in all, the are various ways of copying text from PDF to Word. You can do that in the free Adobe Reader, or use the free Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative PDFgear. And if you’re running a Mac device, you can use Preview for that.

But it’s important to make sure that the PDF is selectable, otherwise, you’ll need additional PDF OCR software.

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