How To Convert PDF To Word. Get That Text Back!

Karl L. Gechlik 22-11-2008

convert pdf to wordAnyone who has been involved in the computer game for more than a little while knows what a PDF is. PDF is a file format that stands for Portable Document Format. A PDF is meant to be non-editable and the body of the document is an image and not editable, or selectable text.


So if you received a document of say names and email addresses in a file called Leads.PDF. You can open the document, print the document and even send the document on to others. But if you want to import that information into your email address book, an excel spreadsheet or otherwise manipulate the data – you just can’t.

Now as The Admin – can’t is not in my vocabulary. No I do speak English and know what it means….but I started to look for an answer. Most of them came back to buying Adobe Acrobat Pro – Mucho Dinero. Not an option for the little guy. Then I came across all these little sites also promising to help me for $29.99 or $49.99.

I looked around the web and then I searched good old and found this article by Aibek Simplest PDF Apps Ever: Merge PDFs, PDF to DOC, Convert to PDF Read More from January of this year. He ran down some popular free PDF tools. And low and behold he listed exactly what I needed.  It’s called…..wait for it….wait for it…

FREE PDF to Word Doc Converter

I downloaded it from the link above, installed it and was greeted with this screen:


pdf to word converter

The fields and options are not only straight forward but simple as well. Just input the file you want to convert by hitting the browse button on the left and navigating to your PDF file. It will automagically set the output file to be in the same directory with just a .doc extension.

You can set how much of the document you want converted and what program if any should open the .DOC after it is created. You can choose your font, and if you want images and shapes to carry over.

That’s it.  Click the “Convert to Word Document” Button and you’re off. I sat back and waited for my 986 page document to convert and it only took a few minutes. It then popped up in Word 2003 – fully editable!


extract text from pdf

What do you guys use for converting PDF’s to text? Anyone have any better or other solutions?

How do you get numbers into Excel from a PDF? Is anyone actually using Microsoft’s version of the PDF format – called XPS?

Related topics: Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, PDF.

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  1. Carlos Samey
    April 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for all your hard work making these tutorials. Personally, I prefer using Acethinker PDF Converter lite. It's a free web-based application to convert PDF to Word right from the browser, you don't have to subscribe or signup anything. And it has no file size limitation.

  2. inkxa
    February 7, 2010 at 3:22 am

    to karl l. gechlik
    kmelwell,tal,annik lidou are right. Free PDF to Word Doc converter is a big scam although, the software is a good pdf converter!!!! after a few converts it asks for free lifetime serial. u need to solve a math problem or pay 15$ via paypal. tal and lidou even got conned! what are u talking about when u replied to kmelwell (2008/11/24) to say ur converted files are "VERY small and Totally free " ?? is the link to the soft. wrong? i hope u get to the bottom of this.....

  3. Tal
    July 18, 2009 at 6:16 am

    i brought a liecence and never got my serial!!!!

  4. linky1124
    June 10, 2009 at 4:36 am

    you can try another good converter --Tweak pdf to word.
    I am using it and it performs well.
    and also allows us to convert a lot files at the same time.
    you can search it in google.

  5. linky1124
    June 10, 2009 at 4:34 am

    you can try another good converter --Tweak pdf to word.
    I am using it and it performs well.
    and also allows us to convert a lot files at the same time.
    try it in TweakPDF (no longer available)

  6. Annik LIDOU
    April 5, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Re: FYI
    is no longer FREE but a Trial Version. via Lihacker : "This link appears broken"

  7. Annik LIDOU
    April 5, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Re: "FREE PDF to Word Doc Converter."

    BEWARE: I tried it, liked it & proceeded in buying it. That's when things went pear shape.

    After paying via PayPal, I NEVER received the unlocking code despite three emails to the "address" in the name of Lin Zhou. & still am waiting for PayPal’ reply to my request for advice in this matter...

    Since this is the first time I have been "conned", I presume to have been lucky till now.

  8. Toshio
    March 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Someone in the comments above was terribly concerned that Adobe was going out of business due to your choice of using a 3rd party PDF conversion app.
    I say Adobe has better things to do with their time and resources than tracking you down and sending the intellectual property police to bust down your door.
    I also suspect Adobe would have a tough time in court proving you have infringed on their IP.

  9. krouk
    November 25, 2008 at 5:04 am

    Does one of you know how to extract asian characters from PDF like this one :

  10. Karl L. Gechlik
    November 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    This is not the place to pimp your retail product Melissa. We are all about FREE solutions over here. Please keep your SPAM to yourself.


  11. kmelwell
    November 24, 2008 at 8:15 am

    I converted a couple of PDFs of what were originally just typed paragraphs, i.e., no graphics, photos, etc. and the results were a Word doc that was 1.06 GB and another that was 798 MB - these results for documents that were 5 pages. Word would not even open them due to their size. Anyone else have this problem? I paid the $15 to avoid doing the five-step math problems, too, so the usability factor for the price (though it's called 'free') is disappointing so far.

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      November 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm

      Kmelwell - I am so sorry to hear you gave away $15! This application is FREE as in Free Beer, I could not find ANY link to pay for the FREE application. Did you click on an advertising link on the page?

      Can you confirm the name of the application you downloaded and File Size?

      My converts were always VERY small and Totally free - I hope we can get to the bottom of this!

  12. RDMC
    November 23, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    OS compatibility info at File Heap.

  13. Technogadge
    November 23, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    That's really a useful tool. I was thinking about something like this to convert some of my own pdf files. Now, I got it. Thanks a lot.

  14. 1fastbullet
    November 23, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    You guys amaze me with many of your finds, but you must not yet be tired of me and my repeated question: "But does it work under Linux?".

    As RDMC, stated above, "more often than not there is no information regarding OS compatibility".

    I know you guys have experienced the frustration of chasing down a particular application only to find it isn't available to your OS and I know you guys can do better than this. If nothing else, just say you do not know.

    Thanks again,


    • Karl L. Gechlik
      November 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm

      Sorry 1fastbullet,

      My fault - it is PC only to the best of my knowledge.

  15. RDMC
    November 22, 2008 at 10:55 pm is very useful and I enjoy the email subscription. However, just like this article more often than not there is no information regarding OS compatibility. Unless I missed something, maybe I did, as I do most of the time I had to do a Google search to find out if it was compatible with Vista. All too often the software recommended stops it compatibility at XP. Thankfully FileHeap listed all the compatible OS systems, so I went ahead and downloaded it to give it a try.

    Good work, but little bits of information like this do make a difference.


  16. venkat
    November 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    daniel I agree with you Zamzar and Media-convert both convert PDf to Word easily .

    • Bob
      December 30, 2008 at 8:28 am

      I was just reviewing your responses to the question specific to PDF conversion to Word. It appears from your message, and please forgive me as I know this issue is long past, that an individual can manipulate PDF files using software that is not sponsored by Adobe. Does the user of such software run the risk of violating Trademark as well as intellectual property law? Specifically, the user is altering the Adobe PDF environment to accommodate a financial interest, that is, to refrain from purchasing the Adobe conversion software that is, according to your author, "pricey." I would be interested in your opinion on this issue.


      • Karl L. Gechlik
        December 30, 2008 at 11:20 am

        I would love to hear your response as well Aibek! :)

      • Bob
        December 30, 2008 at 2:08 pm


        I appreciate your article and the talking points that focused on the employee's responsibility to exercise "reasonable common sense" when surfing the Internet on the company time. All HR personnel should circulate your article; however, you can promote all the Internet policies and provide hours of in-services of what a person should not do on the Internet and there's always a couple of staff who will breach the policy so bad you think it had to be error.
        I am in health care and I have had to warn physicians and ultimately fire one for visiting porn web-sites for hours.

        That said, I did not see where the article addressed the issue of Intellectual property? Namely, Adobe and how the program's pdf.file is intentionally altered by the user by deploying a non-Adobe software solution. Thus, you have to issues: The unauthorized change that is made to the Adobe file; and the user's intent to defraud Adobe of product revenue dollars which would have been realized if the user would have purchased Adobe's conversion software. The argument has it's test in the following: Would Adobe authorize the use of such third party conversion software? To me, this is comparable to your dislike of "stealing" music, as well as the revenue lost in Adobe product sales.
        Your thoughts.


  17. Daniel
    November 22, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    how bout it converts not only pdf n tons of other formats too

  18. Jackson Chung
    November 22, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Mac OS X can natively retrieve text from a PDF but not its formatting...