How to copy text and graphics from Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 212318 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q212318
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to copy text and graphics from Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

Microsoft Word does not directly support conversion from Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF is the format in which documents are saved for viewing and exchange in the Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Acrobat Exchange for Windows.

Note Microsoft does not provide a text converter to convert Word document files to Acrobat (PDF) format. For more information about how to convert Word document files to Adobe Acrobat, contact Adobe Systems Incorporated.

You can reach the Adobe Support Knowledgebase from the following Adobe Web site:
http://www.adobe.com/support/index.html

For more information about hardware and software vendor contact information, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information. To convert a PDF document from Adobe Acrobat Reader to Microsoft Word, use one of the following methods appropriate for your version of Adobe Acrobat Reader:

Adobe Reader version 6.x

To copy any range of text (part of a page, a whole page, or the whole PDF file) of the PDF file to Word, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader.
  2. Click the Tools menu, select to display the Basic submenu, and then click Select Text.
  3. Select all the text in the PDF file that you want to copy, or click Select All on the Edit menu to select all the contents of the file, and then click Copy on the Edit menu.
  4. Switch to Word, click the location where you want to paste the text, and then click Paste on the Edit menu.
To copy a graphic from the file, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader.
  2. Click the Tools menu, select to display the Basic submenu, and then click Select Image.
  3. Locate the graphic that you want to copy. Right-click the graphic, and then click Copy Image to Clipboard.
  4. Switch to Word, click the location where you want to paste the image, and then click Paste on the Edit menu.

Acrobat Reader version 5.x

To copy all the text from a PDF file, follow these steps:

Note Text formatting may be lost when you paste the text into another file.
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader, and then click Export Document to Text on the File Menu.
  2. Specify a name and location for the text file, and then click Save.
  3. Switch to Word and from the File menu, click Open.
  4. Locate the text file that was saved, select the file and then choose Open.
To copy any range of text (part of a page, a whole page, or the whole PDF file) of the PDF file to Word, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Click the Text Select tool.
  3. Select all the text in the PDF file that you want to copy, or click Select All on the Edit menu to select all the contents of the file, and then click Copy on the Edit menu.
  4. Switch to Word, click the location where you want to paste the text, and then click Paste on the Edit menu.
To copy a graphic from the file, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Click the graphics select tool.
  3. Drag around the graphic that you want to copy.
  4. Click Copy on the Edit menu.
  5. Switch to Word, click the location where you want to paste the image, and then click Paste on the Edit menu.

Acrobat Reader version 4x

To copy a page of the PDF file to Word, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Locate the page that you want to copy.
  3. On the Basic Tools toolbar, click Text Select Tool.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  5. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  6. Switch to Word, and then click Paste , on the Edit menu.
To copy the whole PDF file to Word, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. On the View menu, click Continuous.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  5. Switch to Word, and then click Paste on the Edit menu.
To copy graphics, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Press SHIFT, and then click the Text Select Tool button. Without releasing the mouse button, click the Graphic Select Tool on the toolbar that appears.
  3. When the insertion point changes to a cross-hair icon, drag to draw a rectangle around the graphic that you want to copy.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  5. Switch to Word, and then click Paste on the Edit menu.
To determine whether you can copy text, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. On the File menu, point to Document Info, and then click Security.
  3. If Selecting Text and Graphics is set to Allowed, you can copy the text and the graphics and paste the selection into a document in another program.

Acrobat Reader versions 2x/3.x

To copy the text from a PDF file if you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader 2.x or 3.x, follow these steps:
  1. Open your PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Reader 2.x or 3.x for Windows.
  2. Select the content of the current screen image that you want to use in Word by doing one of the following:
    • To select and copy text, follow these steps:
      1. On the Tools menu, click Select Text.
      2. Drag the I-beam mouse pointer over the text that you want to copy. The text will be selected.
    • To select and copy a graphic, follow these steps:
      1. On the Tools menu, click Select Graphics.
      2. Drag the cross-hair mouse pointer (the cross-hair mouse pointer is a large plus sign) to draw a rectangle around the picture or graphic that you want to copy.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  4. In Word, click Paste on the Edit menu.

MORE INFORMATION

Besides the manual methods described earlier, there are several third-party products that assist in converting PDF files to Word documents. For additional information, visit the following third-party Web sites:
http://www.verypdf.com/pdf2word/
http://www.clicktoconvert.com/index.html
http://www.nuance.com/pdfconverter/
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

Notes about Adobe Acrobat Reader

Text pasted from Adobe Acrobat Reader retains its character level formatting (for example, fonts, bold, italic, underline, color). However, some reformatting of the text after you paste it into Microsoft Word is may be required.

If security has been set in a PDF file, you may not be able to select and copy the contents of the PDF document for use in Word.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.
Note Acrobat Reader is published by Adobe Systems, Inc. To obtain copies or information about the program or for support, contact Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Properties

Article ID: 212318 - Last Review: September 18, 2011 - Revision: 2.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster kbhowto kb3rdparty KB212318

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com