How to export just part of a PDF to Word or Excel using Acrobat X or XI

Learn how to convert PDF to Word documents or convert PDF to Excel.

By March 19, 2012


In this tutorial, learn how to convert PDF to Word or PDF to Excel, selecting just part of a PDF file rather than all of it using Acrobat X or XI. Edits are easy with Adobe's PDF to Word converter, so you'll spend less time retyping and more time making progress. Convert your PDF to Word or Excel — and keep all the formatting, too.

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How to export just part of a PDF to Word or Excel using Acrobat X or XI

Donna BakerMarch 19, 2012

Suppose you want to use a few paragraphs of this file for another project in Word. No problem. Since the text is on two pages, using a two-page layout makes it easier to select the content. Click the Selection tool, then click on the page where you want to start the selection. Drag the selection tool to select the text for export.

Right-click over your selection to open the shortcut menu, and click Export Selection As. The Export Selection As dialog box opens. Type the new file’s name, and click Save to export the selection in Word format.

Open the document in Word. Your new Word document contains the same layout and formatting as in the PDF file. The text starts at the same location as in the PDF page. Click Show All to see hidden characters, then select and delete the empty lines.

It’s easy to create a new spreadsheet from a selection, too. With the Selection tool, trying to click and drag to select the content doesn’t work! Instead, click outside the table’s area and drag to enclose the table’s area. Right click to open the shortcut menu and click Export Selection As. When the Export Selection As dialog box opens, click the Save As type drop-down arrow and click Excel Workbook (*.xlsx). Replace the default Untitled name and then click Save.

Open the spreadsheet in Excel—the new spreadsheet looks great!

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Products covered:

Acrobat XIAcrobat X

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Export PDF

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Lori Kassuba

11, 2014-12-30 30, 2014

Hi rbstarke,

If you only have the free Reader and the ExportPDF service then you’re limited to 100 MB. However, you’re not limited on the file size if you’re using Acrobat.



1, 2014-12-28 28, 2014

pdf file is open in XI,
Right clicking on selected text only brings up “copy”.
entire file is too large to upload for conversion.

Lori Kassuba

12, 2014-09-12 12, 2014

Hi Bill,

Can you post your question here and be sure to select the JavaScript category - I’m sure some of our Java Experts would know how to modify the Action to do this:



4, 2014-09-11 11, 2014

The File Stamper action records the file name, but not the path.  Half a loaf is better than none.

Lori Kassuba

8, 2014-09-09 09, 2014

Hi Bill,

The easiest way to do this (if you have the Pro. version) is to use the File Name Stamper Action located on the Exchange at:


Bill Hewes

11, 2014-09-05 05, 2014

Somehow my question got lost amidst other issues.  I need to put the file name and path into either the header or the footer.  I did not see anything about this in either the video or anyone’s comments.

Lori Kassuba

10, 2014-09-05 05, 2014

Hi Bill,

This will depend on how/where you created your PDF file. The reference to a filename/path does not update automatically.



3, 2014-08-28 28, 2014

Does this version in either the header or footer show the file name and path, and if so, does it automatically update the file when either the file name or path are changed?

Lori Kassuba

12, 2014-07-07 07, 2014

Hi Gary Taylor,

Are you adding the month to every page in the file? If so, you can use either the Header & Footer command or Watermark command under the Pages panel in Acrobat XI to do this.


Gary Taylor

2, 2014-07-03 03, 2014

I am very new to adobe xi pro. What I have are 54 pdf files I combined into one so I can print them out faster. But I need to add the month of the year on them. How can I add that to all at once or is that possible and have to add them to each pdf at a time?

Lori Kassuba

12, 2014-05-23 23, 2014

Hi Miles Lee,

You might see if the suggestion in this discussion help:


Miles Lee

10, 2014-05-22 22, 2014

I am converting pdf’s of invoices to excel and this did not work for me. It only pulled over part of the information that I hilited. Plus every othe line on the invoice was hilited which when converted was a black line.

Lori Kassuba

1, 2014-01-30 30, 2014

Hi Vern Ellicott,

That’s sort of a tricky area, because it’s dependent on if any page numbering and such is affected in your document. Check out this tip on how to re-incorporate the changes:


Vern Ellicott

2, 2014-01-28 28, 2014

Not very helpful.  Left off the most important part—how to put the changes back into the pdf document.

donna baker

4, 2012-05-22 22, 2012

Hi Elizabeth -

Thanks very much ;)


Elizabeth Streed

7, 2012-05-18 18, 2012

Definitely a 5-star video tutorial; a quick and easy-to-understand lesson.

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