How to Convert a PDF File to an Editable Text Document

By Cooper Temple

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a widely used file type that essentially creates digital productions of original documents that are readable by anyone with PDF-reading software. To edit a PDF document, users typically need to purchase the appropriate editing software, but by following a few simple steps, you can create an editable text document.

Things You'll Need

  • PDF reading software (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  • PDF file
  • Word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word)

How to Convert a PDF File to an Editable Text Document

Step 1

Open the PDF document you want to edit.

Step 2

Click once on the "Edit" drop-down menu, once on "OCR Text Recognition" and select the "Recognize Text Using OCR" option.

Step 3

Click once on the "All pages" option on the "Recognize Text" pop-up window to begin the text-recognition process for the entire PDF document. Choose the "Current Page" option if you want only to recognize the text on the currently viewed page. Choose the "From page" option to run the text recognition process on a group of pages within the PDF file. In this example, "Current page" is selected, as the document is only 1 page in length.

Step 4

Click once on the "OK" button on the "Recognize Text" pop-up window. Depending on the size of the document, the text recognition process could take a few minutes.

Step 5

Click once on the "Edit" drop down menu and select the "Select All" option.

Step 6

Click once on the "Edit" drop down menu and select the "Copy" option.

Step 7

Open a word processing program. In this example, Microsoft Word is used.

Step 8

Click once on the "Edit" drop down menu and select the "Paste" option. This action will paste the PDF text into the word processing document.

Step 9

Format the text to match the look of the source PDF file. Because the text is copied line by line from the PDF without the paragraph formatting, some adjustment is usually necessary.