How to Convert a PDF to an Excel Spreadsheet

By Amy Dombrower

If you've received a Portable Document Format (PDF) file that contains important data you want to save, you can convert the file to an Excel spreadsheet. You have a couple options. To have the most control over the data, save the PDF as a text file and then use Microsoft Excel's Import Text Wizard to import the data. Or, quickly convert a PDF to an Excel sheet using a free online conversion tool.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Reader
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Internet access

Import PDF as Text

Step 1

Open a PDF in Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is a free PDF reader available for download at the Adobe Web site.

Step 2

Click the "File" menu and select "Save as Text." Choose a destination folder and rename the file if needed. Click "Save." This will save the file as a plain text document, which is readable by Microsoft Excel.

Step 3

Open Microsoft Excel.

Step 4

Click the "Data" tab. In the "Get External Data" group, click "From Text." Select the text file you just saved and click "Import." This will launch the Import Text Wizard.

Step 5

Select "Delimited" in the "Original Data Type" section. This will help format your data if the text is separated by tabs, commas or other characters. If the PDF contains a table of data with fixed columns, you can choose "Fixed Width" instead. Click "Next."

Step 6

Choose the delimiter for your data, which means the type of character that separates values in the text. This will determine how Excel will import data into different cells. For instance, choose "Comma" if you want to import text into a new cell each time a comma appears. Click "Next."

Step 7

Select the column data format you want. Click "Finish."

Step 8

Click "OK" to import the data.

Step 9

Click the "Microsoft Office" button and then "Save As" to save the Excel file.

Convert PDF to Excel Online

Step 1

Log on to an online conversion Web site, such as Nitro PDF's PDF to Excel Converter or PDF Converter (see Resources).

Step 2

Click "Browse" to upload a PDF you want to convert to Excel.

Step 3

Select "Excel (XLS)" as the output file type.

Step 4

Enter your e-mail address.

Step 5

Click "Convert." The converted file will be e-mailed to you.