How to copy-and-paste editable text from PDF to Word using Acrobat 8

Learn how to copy and paste blocks of text from PDF to Word.

By October 23, 2007

 

NOTE: There are several newer quick tips on how to convert PDF to Word and PDF to Excel:

Older versions of Adobe Reader (5.0 and 6.0), allowed you to select the Text tool, click-and-drag the vertical line cursor to select the text, hit Ctl-C to copy it to the clipboard, and then simply paste it into a Word document; however, using Acrobat 8.0, this same copy-and-paste seems to be difficult if not impossible. If you try using the Select Tool (next to the Hand Tool), you either get a crosshair cursor that lets you open a box or, more often, nothing at all.

The select tools have been updated, but the select behavior is the same in Acrobat 8. When you see "crosshairs" vs. a "text cursor" the document is a scanned PDF — just an "image" vs. a document with text. Select Document > OCR Text Recognition > Recognize Text Using OCR to convert the document from "image only" to actual text that can be selected.

Note that the PDF may be protected - that is the author has selected to disable the ability to copy/paste from the document. To check security settings, select File > Properties and select the Security tab.


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6 comments

Lori Kassuba

1 day ago

Hi Snigdha Bansal,

Have you tried using the newest version of Acrobat to do this. The DC version has a lot of improvements associated with editing/exporting a scanned PDF document.

Thanks,
Lori

Snigdha Bansal

5 days ago

please help me out! i want to convert scanned pdf file into editable word document? i have tried all the possible ways. please help!the pdf file is of 400 pages and i cant type so much! and the pdf file is a scanned book i cant copy it also

Lori Kassuba

9, 2014-09-26 26, 2014

Hi Molly,

You’ll need Acrobat to OCR an image and/or convert to Word. Another alternative is to use the ExportPDF online service at:
https://www.acrobat.com/en_us/products/exportpdf.html

Thanks,
Lori

Molly

12, 2014-09-23 23, 2014

I am also wondering how to copy text in the form of an image to then paste into word in any free version of Adobe.

Lori Kassuba

9, 2013-04-15 15, 2013

Hi Vipan,

Acrobat Std. or Pro. can do a Save As from the File menu. Here is a tutorial on the subject:
http://acrobatusers.com/tutorials/how-to-export-a-pdf-to-word-or-excel

If you’re using the free Adobe Reader, you can use the online service called ExportPDF to do this for you:
https://www.acrobat.com/exportpdf/en/home.html

Thanks,
Lori

vipan kumar

4, 2013-04-08 08, 2013

pl send the software for converting pdf to word which can be copy paste edit the documents

Lori Kassuba

12, 2013-04-01 01, 2013

Hi anandberanrd,

You’ll need to convert the text in your TIFF image to real text. Here is a tutorial that explains how to do this:
http://acrobatusers.com/tutorials/how-do-i-edit-text-in-a-scanned-pdf

Thanks,
Lori

anandberanrd

1, 2013-03-31 31, 2013

the information is good but the thing is i converted tiff to pdf and now i want to copy text in the form of image but how i dont know. Could u help me out?

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