How to convert a PDF file to Word

Do you need to modify the content of a PDF but the program you usually use to read this type of file does not allow you to do it? You would like to turn the document in question into a Word document but don’t know how to do it? In this case, do not worry: you must know that there are various solutions (even free) that allow you to do this by acting in depth on the content of the PDF and allowing you to generate an editable text document in Word and any other text editor. . How? I’ll explain it to you shortly.

In today’s guide, I will show you how to convert a PDF file to Word using some solutions, both free and paid (but which you can still test with the free trial version), to be used on your computer or even on your smartphone or on your tablet. In addition, I will show you some solutions to use directly online, from the navigation browser.

Having said that, what you need to do now is sit down comfortably and carefully read all the advice I will give you in the next chapters. If you’re ready to get started, I’d say don’t waste any more precious time! I just have to wish you a good reading and, above all, a good job!


  • Preliminary information
  • How to convert PDF to Word for free
    • How to convert PDF to Word with Doxillion Document Converter
    • How to convert PDF to Word with PDFElement
    • How to convert a PDF file to Word with Word
    • How to convert PDF to Word with Adobe Acrobat
  • How to convert PDF to Word online for free
    • iLovePDF
    • Online OCR
  • How to convert a PDF file to password protected Word
  • How to convert a PDF file to Word from smartphones and tablets

Preliminary information

If you want to know how to convert a PDF file to Word, it is important to first provide you with some information regarding this operation. First of all, I inform you that files in PDF format are not always easily convertible into documents that you can edit.

You have to think, for example, of those PDF files that were generated by performing a simple scan, such as images: in these cases, in fact, the PDF cannot be transformed into a document without first having performed the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) procedure. . In other words, you will first have to use this technology, which allows optical character recognition to detect the text, so that you can easily extract it from the PDF file, then edit it freely and obtain “real” Word documents.

If, on the other hand, the document of your interest has been generated from a digital document, you will have a better chance of success in converting a PDF file to Word and editing it  without resorting to OCR, as the characters will be recognizable by word processing software in a “natural” way. This will allow you, in short, an easy transformation of documents from one format to another without major difficulties.

In the next chapters I will give you several solutions that you can use to achieve your goal, with and without OCR: it is up to you to choose which one to use, based on the situation that will arise.

How to convert PDF to Word for free

If you are going to convert a PDF file to a text document, I will give you some solutions in the next chapters that you can put into practice on your Windows computer. If, however, you have a computer with macOS operating system, I will also show you some solutions to convert a PDF file to Word on Mac.

How to convert PDF to Word with Doxillion Document Converter

One of the solutions that you can use on your Windows computer or on your Mac is the one offered by the Doxillion Document Converter software. This tool allows you to convert files of one format into another, among those supported. It is paid, with a cost starting from 16.97 euros, but you can use it for free, only for non-commercial use, with access to a smaller number of supported files: DOCDOCXODTPDFRTFTXT and XML  (so it’s great for PDF to Word conversion).

To download it, go to its official website and click on the word Download For Windows or the one called Download for Mac, depending on the operating system installed on your computer. On Windows, after downloading the .exe file, double-click on it, click on Yes, select the I accept the license terms box and then click on Next to complete the setup.

On macOS, on the other hand, after double-clicking on the downloaded .dmg file, press the Agree button and, in the screen that is shown to you, drag the software icon into the Applications folder on your computer. Then start the software through its icon in the Launchpad and press the Open button, in the warning that is shown on the screen.

At this point, all you have to do is drag the PDF file into the Doxillion Document Converter main screen. Once this is done, select the DOCX or DOC option from the Output Format drop-down menu, located at the bottom, and press the Convert button. Easy, isn’t it?

How to convert PDF to Word with PDFElement

PDFElement is another solution that you can use on both Windows and macOS, to convert a PDF file to Word (also performing OCR analysis). Although this software is paid, with prices starting at $ 69, you can download a free evaluation version that allows you to convert up to two pages per PDF.

If you are interested in this software, go to its official website and press the Free Trial button, located at the top. Once this is done, press the Download button that you find under the wording corresponding to the operating system installed on your computer. When the download is complete, on Windows, double-click on the .exe file obtained and press Yes and  OK. Then accept the conditions of use of the program, click on the Next button three consecutive times and, finally, click on Finish, to complete the setup.

Up macOS, on the other hand, double-click on the .dmg file you just downloaded and press the Accept button. Now, move the software icon into your  Mac’s Applications folder and launch it, using its Launchpad icon. Finally, press the Open button in the notice that is shown to you on the screen.

To start converting a document, on the main PDFElement screen, press the Convert PDF button and then click Continue. Once this is done, use the appropriate screen to locate the PDF file to convert and, in the next section, indicate the destination folder by selecting the Word File option in the appropriate drop-down menu.

If you should see a message that warns you that you need to download OCR-related add-ons, click on the Click here to download button. At the end of the conversion procedure, you will find the file in the destination folder that you previously selected.

How to convert a PDF file to Word with Word

If you already have Microsoft Office installed on your computer and don’t want to install any additional software, you can use Microsoft Word to convert a PDF file into an editable text document.

The first thing you need to do is start Word, through its quick start icon and, in the screen that is shown to you, go to the File> Open> Browse menu to locate the PDF file you want to convert. After selecting it, you will be shown a warning on the screen regarding the conversion of the document, on which you will have to press the OK button.

At this point, you will be able to access the content of the PDF document, which will be editable within Word. Please note that you can do this both if the PDF file was generated from a digital document, or if it comes from a scan. Microsoft Word has, in fact, an integrated (although not advanced) OCR feature that allows text to be recognized.

I warn you that, in case you do not have Microsoft Word, you can get a free trial version for one month of the program (along with the other software of the Office 365 suite). If you want to know more about this topic, I recommend that you read what I have suggested to you in my guide on how to download Word for free.

How to convert PDF to Word with Adobe Acrobat

Even Adobe Acrobat, the popular software for viewing and handling of PDF files, converts these types of files into text documents. In case you do not have this software, I remind you that you can download it for free, in an evaluation version for 7 days, before signing up for a subscription starting from 18.29 euros/month.

To convert a PDF file to Word with Adobe Acrobat, what you have to do is start the latter and press the Open item to search for the PDF file you want to transform. After opening it, in the case of a scanned document, you will be shown a warning for OCR analysis, so you will have to press the OK button.

Alternatively, if this warning does not appear, click on the Tools tab, at the top, select the items Text Recognition> In This File and press the OK button to confirm. This procedure will not be necessary if the PDF file was generated from a digital document.

At this point, to start converting the file in question to Word, go to the File menu  > Save As Other> Microsoft Word> Word Document. Then indicate the name to be assigned to the file and press the Save button to confirm the procedure for converting the document into the selected format.

How to convert PDF to Word online for free

If you are not planning to install new software on your computer, you can rely on tools to convert PDF files to Word online, which work directly from the browser. I’ll point out some of the best, even in terms of privacy (the files uploaded to their servers are deleted within hours of uploading).


iLovePDF is a handy online service that allows you to perform various operations on PDFs, such as editing or converting to other formats. The service is free but has some limitations compared to the subscription plan, starting from 6 euros/month.

Among the limitations present in the free plan, I warn you that you can only process one document at a time and this should not have a size greater than 15 MB. Also, if you want to convert a scanned PDF document, you won’t be able to use the OCR feature unless you first upgrade to a Premium plan.

To use this service, go to the official website and click on the PDF entry in Word. Once this is done, press the Select PDF file button to load a document on your PC hard disk. Alternatively, you can use the icons alongside to import a PDF from Google Drive or Dropbox.

At this point, on the next screen, press the Convert To Word button to start the conversion process. Finally, press the Download Word button to download the document on your PC or press the icons alongside to upload the file to Google Drive or Dropbox.

Online OCR

In the event that your PDF file has been generated from a scan or an image, you will necessarily need an online service that is equipped with the OCR functionality. Among them, the one I recommend is Online OCR, which allows you to convert a PDF file to Word for free up to a maximum of 15 pages per hour.

To use this service, go to the official website and press the Select File button to import the PDF document from your PC’s hard disk. At this point, use the drop-down menus on the side to choose the language of the document and the export format ( Microsoft Word ).

Now, all you have to do is press the Convert button and then click on the word Download The Output File, which you find immediately below, to download the document to your computer.

How to convert a PDF file to password-protected Word

If the PDF document you have is protected by a password that prevents any modification, it may be difficult for you, in this case, to convert it into an editable document.

The only solution at your disposal is to try to remove the password, and then proceed with the conversion of the PDF using one of the tools I have already told you about in the previous chapters. In this regard, I suggest you consult my guide on how to unprotect a PDF with a password, in which I have indicated some solutions to use to unlock PDFs on both Windows and macOS.

How to convert a PDF file to Word from smartphones and tablets

In case you want to convert a PDF file to Word directly from your smartphone or tablet, you can then choose one of the apps I will talk about in the next lines.

  • PDF to Word ConverterAndroid / iOS / iPadOS ) – is an app that allows you to convert a PDF document to Word for free. The only drawback of this service is that the free file conversion procedure is slow, as the document is queued for processing on the server it relies on. To speed things up, you need to make an in-app purchase at a cost of € 5.99.
  • iLovePDFAndroid / iOS / iPadOS ) – is a service I have already told you about in a previous chapter, which is also equipped with a special app for smartphones and tablets. Although the app is free, with the subscription of a Premium subscription ( 99 euros/month) it is possible to remove advertising, remove the limitation on the size of files and process an unlimited number of files.
  • easyPDFiOS / iPadOS ) – if you have an iPhone or an iPad, this app may be for you, as it is completely free and allows you to convert a PDF to Word and vice versa.


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