How to Convert PDFs to Word

With Microsoft Word 2013, you don't need any additional software to convert PDF files to Word's DOCX format. When you open the PDF in Word, you have the option to edit it as needed and then save it as a DOCX file. In most cases, Word converts the file without any issues, however it's still important to scan through the document to ensure it's formatting isn't corrupted in the conversion process.

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Edit text and images in a converted PDF document using Word.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Right click a PDF file in File Explorer. Select "Open With" from the drop-down menu and click "Word." If Word is already open, you can select "Open" after clicking the File menu in Word, and then choose the PDF just as you would open a Word document stored on your computer.

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Open a PDF file with Word.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.
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Click "OK."
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Click "OK" when the dialog box opens, explaining that Word will convert the PDF to an editable Word document. The conversion process may take a minute or two if it's a large file.

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Word may prompt you to enable editing or to update embedded links.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Click the "Enable Editing" button near the top of window if you downloaded the PDF file from the Internet.

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If the PDF file contains a table of contents, Word prompts you to update the page numbers. Another dialog box may open if Word detects links to other files or websites. Click "Yes" if you want to maintain these links. If you don't need to retain the links, click "No."

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The PDF is converted to Word format.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Scroll through the document to ensure it is formatted the way you want it to appear. Converting a PDF file to Word may result in extra spaces or page breaks or text that is not aligned with images correctly.

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Sometimes images may be distorted and lines may appear out of place. If this happens, zoom in and out using the "Zoom" slider in the bottom-right corner of the window. Alternatively, save the file as a Word DOCX document by clicking the "Save" button, then close Word and open the document again.

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Change fonts and font sizes by clicking the "Home" tab.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Edit the document any way you wish. For example, if you click on an image, you can edit it by clicking the Picture Tools "Format" tab, or by right-clicking the image.

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To edit or format text, click the "Home" tab and use any of its formatting options. For example, text may render left-justified in one paragraph but right-justified in the next. Highlight the text and select the alignment you want in the Paragraph section of the Home ribbon.

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Click "Save."
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Click the "Save" button. The Save As dialog box opens, prompting you to save the file as a Word DOCX file. Select a folder to store the Word file and click "Save."