When working with a PDF, you may spend numerous times a day to copy text from a PDF to supplement your reports or other files. But, very often, we cannot copy text from PDF, mainly for the sake of the PDF itself.
To solve this problem, here we cover the reasons why cannot copy text from PDF and give out the workaround letting you copy text from a PDF, no matter it is a scanned PDF, a secured PDF, or underneath other situations that stop you from copying the text from a PDF.
There are 2 types of PDF, native (editable and searchable) or scanned (image-based). Most of our paper work focuses on native PDFS, but the need to work on a scanned one is growing. It is quite easy to copy text from a native PDF if you get a reliable PDF reader in hand.
Also, it is known to PDF users that PDF offers a higher-level security to protect the files, with which users will be restricted from copying text from the PDF.
To sum up, reasons of why you cannot copy text from PDF divides into 3 main worlds:
(You Don’t Even Need to Open the PDF File for Copying)
We are supposed to provide our readers with the easiest way to “copy text from PDF”, but we decide not to do so, in light of so many “cannot copy text from PDF” issues that much likely to happen on us. And here we will start with an all-powerful solution to copy text from any PDFs, no matter it is native, scanned or secured, we hope our readers can kill such a problem once for all.
Like many of our users, I also in the viewpoint that, the best way to enhance productivity in your workflow is finding an efficient and professional tool. And this is also true for this case.
Cisdem PDF Converter OCR, is the one. Literally, it is a mac program allowing users to convert PDFs to a wide range of file formats, including Word, Text, Excel, Powerpoint, Keynote, Pages, ePub, Image, etc. Yet, it does more than just allowing “Copy Text from PDF”.
You don’t need to manually copy and paste the file, within several clicks to upload, choose output, convert, you will be able to get the text file within seconds.
Maintains the text layout
Though a text file requires no formatting, Cisdem PDF Converter OCR will maintain the layout as original, the paragraphs, periods and gaps will be kept to make the text file readable and intact. Still, you can choose to convert your PDF to a well-formatted format (Word, PowerPoint, etc.), so when you copy text from a PDF, the formatting and layout will be preserved.
Key Features of Cisdem PDF Converter OCR
Unfortunately, Cisdem PDF Converter doesn’t come to us with a version for Windows. However, Icecream makes up for this absence.
Icecream PDF Converter is a Windows-only program to convert and create PDFs, it is characteristic of a pinky brisk interface just as its name Icecream make you feel the same way. It is quite easy to use and there is a tutorial video offered on its official website for users to have a quick start.
Key Features of Icecream PDF Converter
If above-mentioned tools are not that appealing to you, or you are just the type looking for a solution for one specific problem, we also sort out following solutions for you, including free or paid methods to copy text from PDF, be scanned or secured.
Assuming you have installed Adobe Reader, you can copy text from native PDF with this tool.
Adobe PDF Reader, in a strategic way of thinking, is provided free to persuade more and more users to upgrade to its Adobe Acrobat version, so the features, though not activated before a paid subscription, are all accommodated in the Adobe Reader, which makes the interface is not simple and neat. If you are just looking for an extremely easy reader to copy text from native PDF, here is a list of best free PDF reader:
All are quite easy to manipulate, you can copy text from PDF in the same way as that of using Adobe Reader.
The key to manipulate a secured PDF is to unlock the file first. So, there will be at least 2 steps involved in copying text from a secured PDF: unlock and copy.
Step 1. Unlock PDF for copying.
As we mentioned in the very beginning, your PDF can be locked by an open password, or an owner password:
If the PDF is protected by an owner password, find online PDF Unlocker to remove the protection;
If there is an open password added to the PDF and you know the open password, upload to online PDF Unlock and enter correct open password for unlocking, if you forgot the password, you will have to find a desktop PDF Password Remover.
Online PDF Unlocker:
Desktop PDF Unlocker:
Step 2. Copy text from secured PDF
Now, your file is open for copying, either find a free PDF reader (check the list we give above) to copy text from native PDF, or use OCR service (check the list we give as following) to copy text from the scanned PDF.
To copy text from scanned PDF, you will need to make the PDF editable with OCR technology. You can either use online free OCR or desktop OCR software.
Basing on OCR performance, versatility in function, simplicity, we finally come to following list of best OCR software allowing copying text from scanned PDFs.
Copying text from a PDF can be extremely easy when dealing with native PDF, but becomes to tricky when working on secured or scanned PDF. However, no matter which shoes we are in, we have the solution. But if you want an ultimate workaround to solve this problem once for all, try Cisdem PDF Converter OCR or Icecream for Windows.
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.