How to Open a PDF in MS Office

By Amy Dombrower

PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format, is a widely-used format for finalized electronic documents. PDFs are regularly used for interactive forms, resumes and other documents that are shared via email or published online. Although PDFs typically can't be changed easily, you can convert a PDF to an editable text format if you want to make any major changes to the document. Once converted, the PDF can be opened and edited in Microsoft Office.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Acrobat

Convert in Acrobat

Step 1

Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat.

Step 2

Click the "File" menu, then "Export. Select "Microsoft Word Document," which will allow you to open and edit the document in Microsoft Word.

Step 3

Click "Settings." Specify the layout settings you want for the conversion. Choose "Retain Flowing Text" to preserve the document's text flow in multiple columns, as opposed to following the layout. Choose "Retain Page Layout" to preserve the layout.

Step 4

Click "OK." Click "Save" to export the PDF. Select a filename and destination folder for the document.

Step 5

Double-click the Word document you just saved to open it in Microsoft Office Word. Edit the document as necessary.

Convert Online

Step 1

Open a web browser. Visit Zamzar, a free online file conversion site (see Resources). It will allow you to convert a PDF to many different file formats, including Word, Excel and Publisher files. Click "Browse" to upload your PDF document. Click the "Convert file to" menu to select the Microsoft Office file type you want. Enter your email address, then click "Convert." The converted file will be sent to you via email. Open the email and download the attachment. Double-click the file to open it in the corresponding MS Office program.

Step 2

Go to Nitro PDF's PDF to Word Converter site (see Resources). It will let you convert a PDF to a DOC file (MS Word) or RTF (Rich Text Format). Click "Browse" to upload your PDF document. Select the output format you want. Enter your email address, then click "Convert." Download the converted file from the email you receive. Double-click the file to open it in Word. If you want to convert the PDF to an Excel spreadsheet instead, click the "PDF to Excel" link in the top-right corner of the web page.

Step 3

Go to PDF Online's PDF2Word converter (see Resources). This converter doesn't require an email address, as the converted file is available immediately for download. Click "Browse" to upload your PDF. Click "Upload and Convert," then wait while the conversion process is complete. Right-click the download link, then click "Save Link As." Choose a destination folder for the file. Double-click the zipped file to access the converted Word document. Double-click the Word document to open it in MS Word.