Free PDF to Word Converter

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How to Convert PDF to Editable Word using free and paid services

Convert PDF to editable word – Offices are now using PDF as a universal file format. Nowadays PDFs are being used for every purpose from exchanging contracts during negotiations to scanning the mail. The purpose to create PDF format is to display documents more accurately regardless of what device is being used to view it. Its Secondary Characteristic is: it is very difficult to edit PDF file. Sometimes this characteristic is overrated.  So we need to convert PDF to editable word file in order to make changes in PDF. PDFs are not meant to be edited directly.

Before know about how to convert PDF to editable word we need to know that there are two types of PDFs.

  1. PDF created from a web Browser or from an Office file.
  2. Any file of PDF created from Scanner.

Convert PDF to Editable Word Files

PDF created from a web Browser or from an Office file

These PDFs can understand the individual word on the page. PDFs are created from an onscreen program like word file or web Brower like Internet Explorer saved in PDF format along with layout and formatting. These PDFs are also called editable PDFs. You can perform different operations on this kind of PDFs like highlight words in PDF file, search for the words in a file and you can convert this PDF file into word document.

PDF created from a scanner

Scanned PDFs are just a picture. When a document is scanned, the scanner takes the picture of the page. At that moment computer does not have knowledge of what’s on that page. It might be a photograph or words. You cannot edit this kind of PDF into word until Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has been done. OCR looks at the page and tries to figure out what’s on the page. If the words are neat and clear OCR can be accurate.

However, there are many situations when we need to convert PDF to editable Word Files. There are four ways to convert PDF file to editable word file.

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Convert PDF to Editable Word using Adobe Acrobat

You need the full version of Adobe Acrobat to convert a PDF to Word format with a few clicks.

  1. Open the file in Acrobat XI
  2. Click on Tools / Content Editing / Export file to Microsoft Word document
  3. If the document is scanned, click on Settings to turn on Optical Character Recognition
  4. Name the Word file and choose a file location

Convert PDF to Word with Adobe ExportPDF Paid Service

If you want to convert files on regular basis but you do not have the expensive full version of Acrobat in $1.99/month, you can register for Adobe’s web-based ExportPDF service. You just have to upload PDF files to Adobe and download the convert PDF to editable word documents in just $21/year. Adobe will automatically run OCR if necessary and preserve as much of the layout as possible.

Convert PDF to Editable word using MS Word

The current version of Microsoft Word converts editable PDFs into editable Word documents. It has a built-in feature called “PDF Reflow” that might even be better than Acrobat at replicating the formatting and page layout from the PDF. This only works with Word 2013, available with the Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Home Premium subscriptions.

How do you do it? That’s the best part. If you have MS Word:

Click on File / Open and open a PDF

That’s it. The program will automatically copy the contents of the PDF (the original PDF is untouched) and open a new Word document. It’s the easiest way to convert a file.

Note that MS Word does not do OCR. If the PDF is scanned and not editable, you can’t open it in Word without the help of something that will do OCR on the file.

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Convert files with Word Online

Word Online can be accessed from your OneDrive files or from Office.com. It has always been able to display PDF files. A few months ago it became possible also to use Word Online to convert PDF to editable Word documents right there in your browser. No software needed – and remember, the Office Online programs are free for anyone to use, as long as you log in with your free Microsoft account.

When you open a PDF in Word Online, the first view is a highly accurate file viewer. Click on the button in the upper left that says “Edit in Word.” A window appears: “File conversion – Word Online will make a copy of your PDF and convert it to a Word document for you to edit.”

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Word Online does not do OCR. If the file is not editable, Word Online will turn it into a collection of page-sized pictures. It struggles with pages that were scanned or that have hand writing or marks on them. It’s more successful with editable PDFs created from Office programs. It’s another reason that OneDrive/SkyDrive and Office Online are becoming powerful tools for businesses. It pays to be familiar with them.

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