How to convert a PDF file to a Word document

PDFs are standard documents because they are viewed in the same way by all parties. They are not edit-friendly because of their specific design. Of course in some cases the sender does not want to edit them.

To make life easier, you can convert your PDF to a Word document format. Fortunately, you don’t need Microsoft Word to do the conversion. In this guide, we will walk you through some of the ways you can convert PDFs to Word documents.

Convert with Adobe Acrobat

Mark Koppok / Digital Trends

The best way is to use Acrobat to make sure your conversion format is as accurate as possible. However, you need a paid version of Acrobat to use this method. Adobe currently offers a free, seven-day trial of Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud (DC), which you can use for one-time conversions.

Note: This trial is designed to prevent you from signing up for it repeatedly, so think of it as a one-time alternative.

If you need to convert on a regular basis, you’ll want to pay for the full version, which runs around 15 15 a month with an annual commitment or as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud package.

Step 1: Open the PDF that you want to convert to Adobe Acrobat. Depending on your preferences, PDF files can be opened automatically in Acrobat.

Step 2: On the right hand panel, look for Export PDF. Click it.

Step 3: Click on Microsoft Word, which will present you with the current format preferences: Word 97-2003 (.doc) and Word 2013-2016 (.dox). If you move a .dox file, you can press the Settings cog and set additional options, such as the ability to capture streaming text or PDF format. Choose your standard format and settings and click the Export button.

Mark Koppok / Digital Trends

Step 4: During this step, Adobe will automatically run text recognition for any scanned text. Text recognition is not always effective, but for most explicit text, it is an ideal solution. Keep in mind that you may need to quickly reformat something later in your new Word Dock.

Step 5: Name your new Word file and save it to your desired location.

Converting to Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a great and free way to convert PDFs to Word documents – if you already have an office. The formatting is not always in line and the text may not be accurate. If you have Acrobat or have not tried to use a web-based converter, we recommend trying another option if the format is not usable. After all, other solutions may be more accurate.

Step 1: To get started, launch Word and click File. This will open a new window: see the menu bar on the left, where the file options are. Select Open.

Step 2: First the open screen will show you the latest Word documents that you have accessed on that computer and will not display any PDFs. If you look at the recent bottom, you’ll see the option to search for documents in private (OneDrive file) and other places (your local hard drive, etc.). Select one of these and now in Word you should see both Word and PDF files found in that place. You can simply select Browse to identify your PDF.

Step 3: Select the PDF you want to convert as you would open a Word file. The word then brings up a notification informing you that it is going to convert the PDF to an editable Word document. This may take some time, and due to formatting differences etc. it may not look exactly like PDFT, if everything is OK then select OK.

Step 4: Word will then transfer the document to a Word file and open it. Look at the format and make sure you can edit the document as you wish without the graphics or text bizarre behavior. If all else fails, get ideas from others.

Although not all of them have conversion tools, these are the best alternatives to Microsoft Office.

Converting with web applications

There are many web-based services that you can use to convert PDF files to Word files. If you do not have immediate access to Acrobat or Word, you can try one of the freemium programs listed below. Just upload your file, choose your preferred conversion method and start the process. These applications can send PDFs from email to cloud storage.

Word Nitro PDF

This converter will email the word file to your preferred address, which can be effective when collaborating on projects for business or school. There is a free online service that allows you to use the Word file to email you, but you can also download the software and use the 14-day free trial.

FormWift PDF Editor

FormWift PDF Editor is easy to use. You can use this editor to open a PDF and export it as a .dox file. The editor will let you change before converting the editor if necessary. If you are also happy to sign up for a free trial account, you can email the resulting files yourself or to a partner.


SmallDPF is fast, easy and free – everything you need in a great web application. SmartPDF lets you upload and export directly from cloud storage solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive. SmallDDF deletes any files uploaded from the servers after one hour for privacy.


LitePDF is a one stop shop for all your document conversions. It not only converts your PDF to Word file, it can convert it to PNG, JPG, PPT and TXT. This will convert your doc to PDF. LitePDF is a great alternative because it is free and user-friendly. LitePDF guarantees total protection of your uploaded documents.

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