How to Convert PDF to CSV

Database and spreadsheet applications access external data saved in a comma-separated value (CSV) format. CSV provides specific, basic formatting for fields and records. Information from a PDF can be exported as a text file (TXT format) that contains tab-delimited formatting before converting to a CSV data file. Common spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Calc import text files directly through the Open command. Similarly, these programs convert spreadsheets into CSV format through the Save As function. The spreadsheet application provides a useful intermediary step because data and formatting can be checked before converting to a CSV file.

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Step

Open the desired PDF document in Acrobat Standard or Professional.

Step

Select "Export" under "File" and choose "Text." Some versions of Acrobat include options for "Text (accessible)" and "Text (plain);" choose "Text (accessible)" to preserve basic formatting.

Step

Type the file name for the converted document and click the "Save" button. Acrobat saves text files as tab-delimited files.

Step

Launch the spreadsheet application (such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc) and select "Open" under "File" in the top menu bar.

Step

Select the text file created in Step 3 and click the "Open" button to launch an Import Wizard.

Step

Review the pages in the Import Wizard to select how the data is organized in columns and click the "Next" button to navigate through the wizard. For example, select "Delimited" to specify fields and click the option next to "Space" or "Comma" to specify how the fields are separated.

Step

Click the "Finish" button.

Step

Select the "Save As" function (usually under "File" in the top menu bar) and select the file type as "CSV (Comma-Separated Values)." Select "CSV (Windows)" instead of "CSV (MS-DOS)" if this option is displayed.

Step

Click the "Save" button.