There’s a lot to love about PDFs — they’re compatible with almost any system, they don’t take up a lot of space, and they can’t be easily edited or changed. This is great when you’re trying to send out a form or rules for a game, but sometimes you really need to make a few changes without going back to the source document. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to quickly convert your PDF files into easy-to-update Word documents before saving and redistributing them. Here’s how to get it done.
Convert with Adobe Acrobat
*Note: you’ll need the paid version of Acrobat to use this method. Adobe currently offers a free, 30-day trial of the software which you can use for one-time conversions, but if you need to make the conversion on a regular basis, you’ll want to pay for the full version or read below for other options.
Step 1 — Open the PDF you’d like to convert in Adobe Acrobat. Depending on your preferences, PDF files may automatically open in Acrobat. You may also find this PDF Download extension useful for tweaking how PDF files open.
Step 2 — In the right-hand pane, look for Export PDF. Click it.
Step 3 — Acrobat will give you a few choices for Microsoft Word formats. Choose your ideal format, and then choose Word Document.
Step 4 — Click Export. Adobe will automatically run some text recognition for any scanned text during this step. The text recognition doesn’t always work, but for most legible text, it’s an ideal solution. Keep in mind that you may need to do some quick reformatting in your new Word doc.
Step 5 — Name your new Word file and save it in your desired location.
Convert with Word (2013 or 2016)
Step 1 — To begin, open Word and click File. Then, click Open from the resulting menu as though you were opening another Word file.
Step 2 — Locate the PDF file you wish to convert. You can either search for it by name, or go to the location where it’s stored and browse for it. Once selected, click Open.
Step 3 — That’s it! Word will try to automatically convert the content of your PDF in a new Word file. Of course, the formatting doesn’t always line up and the text may not be exact. If you have Acrobat, or don’t mind trying a web-based converter, we suggest trying another option if the formatting is too weird for you. Other solutions may be more accurate.
Convert with web-based software
There is, well, plenty of web-based software that you can use to convert PDF files to Word files. If you don’t have immediate access to Acrobat or Word, or if these programs are providing a poor transition, then you may want to try one of the freemium programs listed below. They all follow the same basic process, too, and require you to merely upload your file, pick your preferred conversion method, and start the process. Afterward, you only need to download the file or check your inbox for the newly-converted doc. Below are a few suggestions — try not to use just any converter out there. After all, some are more reputable that others.
- Nitro PDF to Word: This converter will email the Word file to an address of your own choosing, which may be useful when collaborating on projects for business or school.
- PDF Converter: Select the file you wish to convert, click convert, and you’re done. The interesting part is that you can also choose to convert PDF files to Excel, Powerpoint, or other programs. There’s no guarantee when it comes to formatting, but in some cases, that may work better for editing purposes.
- PDF to DOC: This service also works with docx files, text files, jpgs, and a host of other file formats. It also allows you to convert multiple PDFs at once, which is useful for larger projects.