How to convert a PDF to Word (it’s easier than you think!)

How to convert a PDF to Word

Wondering how to convert a PDF to Word *.doc or *.docx without an expensive tool? Here are two solutions if you don’t want to purchase Adobe Acrobat DC Pro which, in addition to the option to edit PDFs as PDFs, has the inbuilt tool to convert PDFs to Word Docx and Docs.

As a brochure copywriter, I often receive PDFs from clients so I can check for errors after their designers turn my copy into brochures and adverts. I’ve never paid to convert my PDFs. I either open them with Word or annotate in Acrobat.

How to use Microsoft Word to convert a PDF to a Word document

You’d be surprised to know that Microsoft Word has the option to open and edit PDFs. But PDF conversion to Word documents with Microsoft Word can be unstable if you’re working with a highly formatted PDF or a document that was scanned to PDF. The result might be an ugly document full of errors like bad breaks, missing footers, and some or all sentences ending up looking likethisbitrighthere.

But maybe all you want is to be able to copy and edit the text, or your PDF is a simple document or was originally designed in Microsoft Word with simple formatting, then try opening it as a PDF in Word.

Here’s how to convert a PDF to Word with Word:

  1. Open Microsoft Word, then click the File tab and select Open.
  2. Now locate the PDF file and open it. Your PDF file should open in Word and a dialog box should pop up to indicate that it might not look like the original since some reformatting may occur, and that it might take a little while to convert your PDF.
  3. Click OK to view the converted document.
  4. If it opens in Protected View, click Enable Content and then click OK
  5. Next, you’re ready to edit the document. When done, Save it as you normally would any other Word document.

Open PDF in Word dialogue

Did it work?

If your document came out messy, then try accessing Adobe Acrobat Export PDF (A$2.94/mo, billed annually at A$35.19/yr) via your free Acrobat Reader DC. Adobe Acrobat Export PDF is designed to do conversions and is good for complex documents when you don’t want to pay for the full upgrade to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

How to convert a PDF to Word from inside Acrobat Reader DC

If you have a more complex PDF with design elements and the beautiful things that don’t convert well in other tools, then try Adobe Acrobat Export PDF. It should keep your work intact, converting the PDF to an editable Word document with everything else that came with it, including the same fonts and formatting such as tables, bullets, horizontal lines, headers and footers and page numbers.

The following instructions are for subscribing to Adobe Acrobat Export PDF via the free Acrobat Reader DC:

Export PDF to Word with Acrobat Reader DC

  1. Open the PDF file in Acrobat Reader DC.
  2. Go to the Tools Pane on the righthand side. If you can’t see the right pane, go to View in the top Menu, then select Tools Pane to display it.
  3. Click the Export PDFtool to expand it.
  4. Select Microsoft Wordas the export format for your document. Under Convert to, choose “Microsoft Word (*docx)” or “Microsoft Word (*doc)”.
  5. Click Convert. You’ll now be taken to the landing page on the Adobe website where you can choose the subscription of your choice. Then follow instructions to start using the tools to convert your PDF files from your browser.

Once you’re done, remember to save your new Word file in the format that you need to work with in Word (*doc or *docx file format).

Did you find this article helpful? Share it with your network so they, too, can try converting the PDFs with Microsoft Word.

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