Can you extract PDF to Word?

How do I import content from PDF to Word?

By: Michael Kroll.

I am working with an organization that sends a series of e-mails, including a few PDF files, to their recipients. I'm currently tasked with importing the content of those files into Word.

The PDF files were created with Adobe Acrobat. They are intended to be printed, and the recipients (all of whom are employees) will be printing them out.

My first question is: how do I get the files into a format where they can be edited in Word? Are there any free tools out there that will allow me to do this? If not, what would be the best approach for me? My current thought is to export the files as HTML and then use the online conversion service at to convert the HTML to a Microsoft Word document. I have the option to choose between "Clean" and "No Save." Since I'm not certain what I'm doing, I chose "No Save."

Any suggestions? I have created the files so that they can be edited and printed. I would like to import them into a document so that I can edit them.

How do I extract data from a PDF to text?

I'm creating a tool to be used as an Excel sheet replacement for storing and viewing the results of a form.

I want it to simply read a page from the form, write each item in the results table, and then delete the current results table. I can't figure out how to extract data from a PDF. Do I need something like pdftotext? I'm not trying to read the entire document.

You don't want pdftotext. If you do, all you are doing is converting to the PostScript language (or similar encoding), and you lose any structure that was previously there. Instead, use some library or module that deals with reading PDFs. Examples of such a library or module are pdfrw or fbz/fb-open.

How do I extract data from a PDF to a Word document?

You can use a third party application to extract the data from PDF to Word.

There are several options available, but I would recommend to use the command line applications.

I have used the following command line tool in the past, and it has worked fine for me. Pdftotext. The pdftotext tool can be used in the command line. The man page is here.

If you want to get only the text, you can use the following command: pdftotext -layout example.pdf -out textfile.txt
This will extract only the text. If you want to keep the formatting, you will need to use the -encoding utf-8 option.pdf -encoding utf-8 -out textfile.txt

The above will create a new text file called textfile.txt that contains all the text. The formatting is preserved.

If you want to remove the formatting, you can use the following command: pdftotext -layout example.txt -nopgtext This will create a text file that contains the text with no formatting. I have a better solution for this, since pdfs are compressed. The solution is to use pdftohtml which is part of libxml2 ( It is a C library.

Pdftohtml -layout example.pdf -textonly -output example.html
layout=example.pdf tells pdftohtml to extract the page layout from the pdf.
textonly=false tells pdftohtml to not extract the pictures. output=example.html tells pdftohtml to create the html output file.

But there is another problem when you want to get the text with formatting. In this case I suggest you to use pdf2html, which is also part of libxml2. Pdf2html -layout example.pdf -output example.html
And again, the page layout can be extracted from the pdf by: pdf2html -layout example.pdf -extractpage layout.

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