Can You Convert a PDF to a Word Doc?

The question: can you convert a PDF to a Microsoft Word doc file? The answer: absolutely. This conversion can be accomplished by a few different methods, but here’s one easy — and high-quality — method.

First off, what is a PDF? It’s a computer file type and the three letters are an acronym for “Portable Document Format.” That’s a pretty good description of what a PDF is and what it’s used for. PDFs were developed in the early 1990s by Adobe with the intention of creating a standard method for creating, opening, sharing and printing digitized documents. Opening and viewing the contents of a PDF is easy today. Some web browsers have the ability to open PDF files, or you might use a dedicated PDF viewer such as Adobe’s free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. What you can’t do with a web browser or Acrobat Reader DC however is convert a PDF into another file format, like a Microsoft Word file. However, with a copy of some other software, this conversion is easy to do. Let’s explore how.

Open Adobe Acrobat DC and Your PDF

For this method, you’ll need a working copy of Adobe Acrobat DC (different from Acrobat Reader, which is merely a PDF viewer). Acrobat DC allows for the editing of PDFs as well as viewing. Once you have a copy of Adobe Acrobat DC, converting a PDF to a Word file is simple.

First off, launch Adobe Acrobat DC.

Click File, and then choose Open.

Use Windows Explorer to locate the PDF file that you wish to convert.

Select the candidate PDF file, and click Open.

(Optionally, you could simple navigate to the candidate PDF first in Windows Explorer, and then double-click it to both launch Adobe Acrobat DC and open the file.)

Choose a Conversion Process

Before you can convert the PDF, you’ll need to choose what type of Microsoft Word document you’d like. From the File menu, choose Export To. From the many available options, choose Microsoft Word. From that menu, there are two options offered: Word Document, or Word 97-2003 Document. For most uses, the Word Document choice will work, as this converts the PDF into a modern “.docx” file. The Word 97-2003 Document choice converts the PDF into the older “.doc” file type — sometimes useful for legacy purposes if you have a specific need for the older document file type.

Make the Conversion

Now you can actually convert the PDF. Enter a name for your new Word document, and choose Save. The computer may need a few moments to think before it finishes its work. When it’s done, you should have an editable, high-quality Microsoft Word document file based off of the contents of the original PDF.

Option 2: Using Microsoft Word

Here’s one other option that can work if you don’t have a copy of Adobe Acrobat DC, but do own Microsoft Word 2013 or higher. Open Microsoft Word first (that’s important), and then open the PDF file you’d like to convert. Microsoft Word will automatically make a copy of your PDF file (preserving the original) and perform a conversion process on the copy, resulting in a finished Word file. One possible downside to this method is that Microsoft Word may introduce minor inconsistencies into your new document; it works best on PDF files that contain mostly text.

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