6 Easy Ways to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac or Windows

2018-10-23 21:47:40 / Posted by Connie Wisley to PDF Follow @ Connie

CSV, is the short term of “comma-separated values”, used to store tabular data. While PDF, is a standard format widely applied in our work. You may have a PDF bank statement and want to convert to CSV, by doing so, you will be able to make further use of these data or contents.

Converting PDF to CSV can be quite easy, only if you have found an adequate tool. Here, according to test results, we list 6 easy ways to convert PDF to CSV on Mac or on Windows PC, including professional PDF to CSV software or online free services.

PDF to CSV Adobe

First, we will talk about the solution to convert PDF to CSV with Adobe Acrobat, in consideration of that some of our users have subscribed Adobe Acrobat and allowed to use its Export feature.

In fact, currently there is no software designed to exporting PDF as CSV directly. Most of the programs we utilize to convert PDF to CSV are PDF to Excel converters, then we will need to save Excel as CSV in Microsoft Excel. So is Adobe. For your information, Adobe Acrobat is both available on Mac and Windows platform.

Follow the steps to convert PDF to CSV with Adobe Acrobat

  1. Open PDF with Adobe Acrobat DC.
  2. Go to Tool> Export PDF.adobe pdf to csv
  3. Choose output as Spreadsheet, then click “Export” to convert PDF to Excel on mac.
  4. Open the Excel file, go to File>Save as, choose CSV as output format.adobe pdf to csv


  • No batch conversion


Best PDF to CSV Converter (Mac | Windows)

Luckily, besides Adobe, there are a number of PDF to CSV converters that make PDF conversion a lot easier. For the best PDF to CSV converter, we have spend some days to pick and test these tools, and finally Cisdem PDF Converter OCR for Mac, Foxit PhantomPDF for Windows come as the winners. During our evaluation, if one program can bring accurate conversion is the key benchmark.

On Mac

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR for Mac, is an all-round PDF Converter, integrating the capability to convert, create, unlock and compress PDF files on mac. As for its conversion feature, it allows users to convert any type of PDF, native, scanned or protected and images (JPG/PNG/BMP/GIF/TIFF) to 16 formats, including Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Text, Keynote, Pages, HTML, ePub, etc., with original file layout and formatting highly retained.

In another words, if you want to convert PDF to CSV on mac, Cisdem PDF Converter OCR for Mac is the one keeping all the data and contents intact and accurate in the finally generated CSV file. 

How to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac?

Step 1Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter OCR on your mac

Free Download

Step 2Add single or multiple PDFs for conversion. You can drag and drop to import, or click “+” to add files.

pdf to csv mac 01

Step 3Prepare for PDF to CSV conversion on mac.

Once the PDFs are imported, choose page range, turn OCR button ON, then choose output as Excel. (The Excel output format can be only activated when OCR is ON).

pdf to csv mac 02

Step 4Click “Convert” to change PDF to Excel on mac.
Step 5Open the Excel file in Microsoft Excel, go to File>Save as, choose output as CSV, then save the file.

Tips: Convert Scanned PDF, JPG or Images to CSV on Mac

For users who want to convert scanned PDF or images to CSV, Cisdem PDF Converter for Mac also helps. With its OCR feature and advanced settings, users can convert image-based files editable and they won't need to retype all these PDF contents in a CSV file.

Here we’ll show how to do JPG to CSV conversion on mac with Cisdem

  • Step 1. Upload single or multiple JPG files into Cisdem.
  • Step 2. Choose File language and output as Excel.
    When users upload a JPG or other image for conversion, the program will turn OCR function ON by default. If you import a scanned PDF, turn the OCR button before conversion.
  • Step 3. (Optional) For more accurate OCR results, you can click the Advanced Settings. You will find each part is marked in a colorful box, they are either recognized as Text, Table or Image. You can manually adjust the OCR applied zone, to make sure each part of the file is marked adequately, for example, if you want to recognize a part as text instead of table, remove the original mark box, click on “Text”, then drag a box to mark that specific part and this part will be outputted as Text without original formatting.image to csv mac
  • Step 4. Convert scanned PDF, JPG or images to Excel on mac.
  • Step 5. Open Excel, go to File>Save as, and choose CSV as the output.


On Windows PC

For Windows users, options on PDF converter are much more than that on Mac. Here we pick Foxit PhantomPDF 8. In fact, Foxit Phantom PDF is a PDF editor, combining the features to edit, create, converter, do OCR, collaborate and share PDF files with ease. It offers 2 versions, the Standard and Business, priced at $129.00~$159.00/license. If you need to deal with PDF files on a regular basis, it is recommended to be a subscriber.

How to Convert PDF to CSV on Windows?

  1. Download and install Foxit PhantomPDF on your Windows PC.
  2. Open PDF with this program. Or you can click File to insert PDF after launching this program.
  3. Go to Convert> To MS Office, choose Excel as output.pdf to csv windows
  4. Open the Excel file, go to File>Save as, and choose CSV as the output format. Then, save the file.

For scanned PDF or images, click “OCR” under “Convert” menu to perform OCR first, then choose to export as Excel. 


PDF to CSV Free

Like any one of you who want to convert PDF to CSV online free, I searched in Google, trying to find a free solution, but only to find that all the online free PDF to CSV converters don't work for me, the conversion results are absolutely useless. 

I tested in Zamzar, Convertio, Sejda, aconvert, all claim to be able to export PDF as CSV, but in the converted CSV file, I only got numerous weird symbols or question marks, nothing useful. So, we can conclude that, at present, there is no good online free PDF to CSV converter to export PDF as CSV directly.

pdf to csv free poor results

But, does this mean we cannot convert PDF to CSV for free? No, we can utilize PDF to Excel converters, then save the file as CSV in Excel, as we do when utilizing a desktop program. Here are 3 tools to convert PDF to CSV free with good results:

#1 smallpdf

An online free platform helping users to deal with all kinds of PDF tasks, such as compress, convert, merge, edit and sign.


  1. 100% free
  2. Good results
  3. Upload PDF from Cloud storage


  1. No batch conversion
  2. Slow speed
  3. Cannot work on scanned PDF or images
  4. 2 free tasks per hour
  • Step 1. Go to smallpdf.
  • Step 2. Upload PDF from your folder for conversion.
  • Step 3. Click on the “Download File”.smallpdf pdf to csv
  • Step 4. Open Excel, go to File >Save as, and choose CSV as output.

#2 ilovepdf

Another platform allowing users to merge, split, compress, convert PDFs for free. Also, users can rotate, unlock, even add page number or watermark to a PDF.


  1. 100% free
  2. Good results
  3. Upload file from Cloud storage


  1. No batch conversion
  2. No OCR feature
  3. Distractive Ads
  • Step 1. Go to ilovepdf.
  • Step 2. Click on “Select PDF file” to upload PDF for conversion.ilovepdf pdf to csv
  • Step 3. Click “Convert to Excel”.
  • Step 4. Click “Download Excel”.
  • Step 5. Open the Excel file, go to File> Save as, and choose CSV as output.

#3 freepdfconvert


  1. 100% free
  2. Good results


  1. Wait for 60 minutes to convert another file
  2. Slow speed
  3. No batch conversion
  4. No OCR feature

freepdfconvert is online free platform helping users to do conversion on PDF files. It allows users to convert Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other files to PDF, also enables users to convert PDF to Word, PowerPoint, Excel or images.

  • Step 1. Go to freepdfconvert
  • Step 2. Upload PDF to the program.freepdfconvert
  • Step 3. Click “Download” to get the converted excel file.
  • Step 4. Open Excel, then go to File >Save as, choose output as CSV.


CSV VS Excel

As we mentioned above, CSV, the comma separated values, is a file format to contain plain text (values) divided by commas. That’s to say, it is just a text file, though the values are saved in cells, but they don't contain any formatting, formulas, macros, etc. A CSV file can be easily opened or manipulated in a text editor, such as Notepad.


Excel Spreadsheet is a binary file, containing information about all the worksheets in a workbook. It is not only about data, it is powerfully functional to add formatting, formulas, macros or other specific elements to the data. It cannot be easily opened or edited by a simple text editor.


For users who want to make a professional-look report or need to process the data with preferred formatting, macros or comparison, Excel is the best way to present all information as you expect. But if want to keep things simple, and just want to extract the data or contents from a report, save it in CSV, it is much easier to manipulate. 



No matter you are going to use a free or paid PDF to CSV converter, the one finally brings you good results is the good one. But according to my personal experience and feedback from other users, a professional PDF to CSV converter can obtain better results and make the job easier. Have a try, before any commercial decision you will have to make.

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