How to Convert PDF to Excel?

Is it your first time converting a PDF file to Excel? Exporting Excel files to PDF may seem simple. But it won’t be easy if you need to work and change data inside PDF files because they are portable document files that are independent of software, hardware, and operating system, making them compact. Don’t worry! There are several easy ways to do this using software, online and offline applications, and your own efforts:

1. Use a free online converter

Online file converter is a program that converts PDF to different formats. You can upload your files to the site and wait for them to be converted. You can try, an online converter known for its wide range of supported features. It’s also fast, simple and easy to use!

2. Buy apps or software

If you have more money, you can buy apps and software to convert your PDF files to Excel without any hassle. You can simply upload your file and let the app or software do the rest.

For desktop and laptop computers, you can browse browsers to find the perfect solution. You can also download the PDF converter on iOS and Android devices via the App Store and PlayStore.

3. Copy and paste

Since some PDF files allow users to copy data, another way to get your PDF data into Excel is to copy and paste. Here are the steps you need to follow to paste them into your Excel file:

  • Select and copy data from your PDF file. You can right click and select “Copy” or you can use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+C”.
  • Go to Excel and select paste special in the Home tab or you can use the shortcut key “Ctrl + Alt + V”. You can find this in the paste icon dropdown menu.
  • A paste special dialog will appear. You can select the paste as text option and click the OK button at the bottom right corner.
  • The data will be pasted into a column. The result is not how you wanted it to look, but you can simply copy and paste it into the appropriate rows and columns.
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4. Use Microsoft Word

To convert a PDF file to Excel, you can use the latest versions from Microsoft, usually from 2013 onwards. To do this, you can follow the steps below:

  • Open the PDF file you want to convert. You can right click and select “Open With” in Microsoft Word, or you can click the File tab, select “Open” and click the file. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, “Ctrl+O” to access the files that you can open and select your PDF.
  • A dialog will appear informing you of the following: The PDF file will be converted to an editable Word file, the conversion may take some time, and the Word document is optimized for the Word version of the PDF, so it looks different to the original PDF.
  • After reading the dialog, click the OK button in the middle.
  • Once the PDF is converted to a Word document, it can be in Protected View. You can click “Enable editing” under the tabs.
  • Below you can see a copy of the tables in PDF.
  • Select all the data you want to copy. You can do this in three ways: right-click and select “Copy”, click the Copy icon on the start button, or use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + C”.
  • You can click on the first row and first column or anywhere you want to put the data and paste it into Excel. You can right click and select the paste option, go to the home tab, click the Paste icon or use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + V”.
  • The data will not be perfect. You can edit and edit it however you want.
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If you don’t have Microsoft software, you can also use Microsoft online tools. Also, you can try available word processors if the steps work.

5. Ask nicely

If you’re in a hurry and need the file right away, you can ask the person who sent the PDF file for a copy of the Excel file. Ask nicely and politely if they still have it so they don’t hesitate to give it to you.

Wondering how to make sure the person gives you the Excel version? Here’s a tip: According to the Harvard Business Review, you can ask for a favor by setting up the scenario where you need to ask for the favor, then giving a reason, and finally giving an opt-out clause that allows them to refuse.

For example, you can say: “Good afternoon! I have a favor to ask you. Can you share with me an Excel copy of the PDF you sent? I need to edit some details for a company report. If you can’t help, I totally understand, but I thought I’d ask. Thank you!”.


It may seem impossible to convert PDF files to Excel, but there are practical ways you can try. You can use free online tools, paid software and apps, or you can manually copy and paste the data. Feel free to choose what suits you best.

Categories: How to
Source: HIS Education

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