4 Ways to Copy from PDF to Word without Losing Formatting

Connie Wisley
time February 21, 2021 Preview 1.2K
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To quickly create or edit a file, we get used to copy the text to Microsoft Office Word, since MS Word is always considered as the easiest way and most efficient way to edit a document. But for any document, especially Word document, formatting is crucial, how can we copy from, for example a PDF to Word without losing formatting?

When copying from PDF to Word, there are often line breaks, strange characters, messy tables, which are very annoying but can hardly avoid. As we know, PDF and Word are 2 different formats, there is no way to perfectly copy the formatting from PDF to Word, unless you find some tools to perform a perfect PDF to Word conversion. Here we have 4 options for you, they can be used to copy from both native and scanned PDF to Word without losing formatting, on Mac or Windows. 

No. 1 Cisdem PDF Converter OCR (Mac)

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is a powerful PDF converter, which allows you to convert both native and scanned PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages, ePub and others in original formatting. With its PDF creator, you can also save Word or other document back to PDF. 

Why Use Cisdem to Copy from PDF to Word?

  • It is Easy to Use

As a PDF converter, Cisdem doesn’t require users to manually set up or tweak a long list of preferences, with several clicks to import, select format and convert, you will get a Word document from the PDF file with expected formatting.

  • Copy from Native and Scanned PDF

Cisdem builds in the OCR feature. OCR means Optical Character Recognition, it is the technology applied to recognize computer-readable texts from image-based files. With OCR, Cisdem allows users to copy texts from both scanned PDF and image, of course, with original formatting maintained.

  • Keep Formatting

Cisdem will make the created Word document look the same as your original PDF files, there will be no garbled texts, strange characters, line breaks, extra paragraph gaps, image misplacement, etc. The font, style, image resolution, all the details will be kept the same as original.

  • Batch Process PDFs

To process multiple PDFs, you just need to batch import and enable the conversion, the conversion will auto start after the last one finishes.

  • Copy from PDF to Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

Not only save PDF as Word format, Cisdem PDF Converter OCR can also help copy from PDF to Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages, ePub, HTML, Text and RTFD, so you can turn your PDF files into any recyclable resource. 

Steps to Copy from PDF to Word without Losing Format on Mac

  1. Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter OCR;
    Free Download
  2. Import PDF files to the program;
    Drag and drop PDF files to the program or click “+” button to add files, you can add multiple PDFs at one time;copy from pdf to word mac01
  3. Set output format as Word Docx;
    You can choose file page range for partial conversion, then select output format as Word Docx, if you have uploaded scanned PDF, don’t forget to turn on OCR feature nor choose the file language; copy from pdf to word mac02
  4. Click Convert to export PDF file as Word format on Mac;
  5. Open the Word document, copy and paste to a newly created or an existing Word document.

No. 2 Adobe Acrobat DC (Mac & Windows)

Adobe should sound familiar to all of us, it brought us so many great solutions to process graphics, documents, etc. and it is also the creator of PDF format. If you want to copy PDF from Word without losing formatting, Adobe should be considered, even though its price is too high for many of us.

Why Use Adobe to Copy from PDF to Word?

  • You can directly copy from or edit PDF in the program

It is, after all, a professional PDF editor, it can open, view, edit and export your PDF files. By rendering PDF in Adobe, you will be able to directly copy and paste from PDF to a Word document, but this may lead to format loss a little. You are recommended to use its conversion feature to save as Word and do the copy & paste later.

  • It is an almighty PDF tool

No one will doubt Adobe Acrobat’s power. In the field of PDF solutions, Adobe is the authority, it offers all features users may need to deal with their PDF files, edit, sign, protect, annotate, convert, compare, compress, etc.

Steps to Copy from PDF to Word without Losing Format in Adobe

  1. Download and install Adobe Acrobat DC to your Mac or Windows PC;
  2. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat;
  3. Then copy and paste from PDF to a Word document;
  4. (Optional) For scanned PDF, go to Tools>Enhance Scans>Recognize Text>In this File and start the OCR process; copy from pdf to word adobe01
  5. (Optional) If the Copy & Paste result falls short of your expectation, you can go to Tools>Export PDF, to save PDF as Word document, then do the copying & pasting. copy from pdf to word adobe02

No. 3. ABBYY FineReader (Mac & Windows)

ABBYY FineReader is deemed as the best alternative to Adobe Acrobat, but more powerful on PDF OCR, it recognizes more languages and gets highly accurate OCR result. It integrates features like edit, organize, collaborate, protect, sign, create, convert, compare, search or fill PDFs, etc.

Why Use ABBYY FineReader to Copy from PDF to Word?

  • It Hands All Types of PDFs

It is capable of opening, editing and converting all kinds of PDF, native, scanned, printed, handwritten or protected PDFs, and there are tools offered to enhance the PDF files in case of conversion or OCR.

  • Direct Turn Papers to Well-formatted PDF, Word, or others

ABBYY FineReader can directly turn papers from a connected scanner to digital copy, in PDF or other supported format, it helps build a paperless office with ease and efficiency.

Steps to Copy from PDF to Word without Losing Format in ABBYY

  1. Download and install ABBYY FineReader to your Mac or Windows PC;
  2. Go to Open and import the PDF file;copy from pdf to word abbyy finereader
  3. Then choose Word document as output, for scanned PDF, go to Recognize for OCR first;
  4. Then copy from PDF to Word document without losing format with ABBYY FineReader.copy from pdf to word abbyy finereader02 

No. 4. Convertio (Online Free)

Convertio is a web service to convert various types of files, including videos, audios, images, documents, archives, etc., it supports files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox or from an URL. 

Why Use Convertio to Copy from PDF to Word?

  • It Supports 11 Output Format

After file conversion in Convertio, you will be able to copy from PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint or other document types.

  • It Keeps Formatting, Though Not as Good as Other 3 Tools

There is no way Convertio’s conversion performance can match with those professional offline ones, but comparing with other online free tools, Convertios beat them all in many ways. It can keep the formatting, but you will still need to manually adjust.

Steps to Copy from PDF to Word without Losing Format Online Free

  1. Go to Convertio;
  2. Add PDF files to Convertio;
  3. Choose output as Word Doc;
  4. Click Convert, then download the Word documents;
  5. Copy the texts to a Word document.convertio copy from pdf to word


As we can conclude, to copy from PDF to Word without losing formatting, we’d better convert PDF to Word document for formatting retention instead of direct copying and pasting. Which tool will you pick to copy from PDF to Word?

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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