convert pdf to excel spreadsheet

One of the commonest questions I get from colleagues about the use of Microsoft Excel is how to convert a Portable Document Format (PDF) to an Excel (XLS or XLSX) format. Normally, when it comes to converting from one file to the other, your first instinct will be to just copy the content from the source file and paste it in the destination file.

This means that in this case, you would have copied the data from the PDF document and pasted it in Microsoft Excel. Unfortunately, all the data you copied from a PDF will be forced into a single column when you paste it in an excel document. 

Almost all the time, a PDF that is to be converted to an excel document is likely to have some tabular data and hence forcing all content into a single column isn’t what you are looking for. This, therefore, renders the use of the copy and paste method less helpful for converting PDF to excel. 

There are however a number of ways that can be used to achieve accurate results. These accurate PDF to excel conversion methods can either be done on phones (Android, iOS, etc) or computers.

In this post you will learn how to convert a PDF to an excel document with any device either online or offline.

Online Methods for converting PDF to Excel spreadsheet

There are quite a number of online platforms that you can use to convert a PDF to an excel (xls or xlsx) document. Let’s explore as many of these as we can so you can have alternatives available in case one does not work for you.

Below is a list of online platforms that you can use to convert a PDF to an excel spreadsheet.

  1. Adobe online
  2. SmallPDF
  3. PDFtoExcelConverter.net
  4. Ilovepdf.com
  5. Freepdfconvert.com
  6. Airpdftoexcel

How to convert PDF to excel online using Adobe online

In order to convert your PDF document to an excel document using the online Adobe platform, follow the steps below:

Note that for the online Adobe platform, you will need to be signed in before you can download your converted document. I recommend that you first create an account and sign in even before following the steps below to make things easier for you.

  1. Visit the Adobe online platform
  2. Click on the Select a file button on the page, or drag your PDF from its location and drop it into the drop area.
  3. The PDF will automatically start uploading, wait for the upload to be completed
  4. Click on the “export to XLSX” button
  5. Watch Acrobat automatically convert the file to the Excel file format.
  6. Download the converted file by clicking on the download button or view it in the web browser by clicking on the “Open in Excel for Web” button

How to change PDF to excel online using SmallPDF

To convert your PDF to excel using smallPDF.com, follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the smallpdf website
  2. Drag and drop your PDF file into the space provided or click on the “choose files” button to select your PDF document.
  3. If the file is a scan or image converted to PDF, OCR will activate automatically to enable the final excel document to be editable.
  4. Wait for the conversion to excel to be completed by Smallpdf 
  5. Download the converted file to your computer

One advantage of smallpdf over the adobe online platform for converting PDF to excel files is that unlike adobe you don’t need to have an account or sign in before proceeding to download. However, smallpdf also has a limit on how many conversions you can do in a day.

Let us therefore take a look at an online platform that purports to give you free unlimited access to convert your PDFs to excel spreadsheets (PDFtoExcelConverter.net).

How to extract PDF data or tables into Excel using PDFtoExcelConverter.net

To convert your PDF files to excel files online using PDFtoExcelConverter.net, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the PDFtoExcelConverter online platform
  2. Upload a PDF from your computer by clicking on the upload button or drag and drop your file or select a cloud source (dropbox, Google drive, One drive) and choose the specific PDF document.
  3. The conversion process will automatically start
  4. Wait patiently for the conversion to complete
  5. Download your converted Excel spreadsheet

How to convert PDF to excel document online using ILovePDF.com

In order to convert a PDF to an excel file using ILovePDF.com, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the IlovePDF website
  2. Click on “Select PDF file” button or drag your PDF and drop it on their interface or select the file from the cloud (Dropbox or Google drive)
  3. Click on the “Convert to Excel” button and wait for the conversion process to complete
  4. Click on download Excel to download your file if it doesn’t automatically begin the download process

Note that with ILovePDF.com, the free version does not allow the use of OCR which implies that if your PDF is a scanned document or it was an image that was converted to PDF, the resultant excel file would not be editable.

The premium version however, uses the OCR algorithm and hence can convert any PDF file into an editable excel spreadsheet and it allows for the conversion of multiple PDF files simultaneously.

How to convert PDF document to Excel (XLS or XLSX) online with FreePDFConvert.com

If you want to use freepdfconvert.com to change a PDF document into an excel document then follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the freepdfconvert.com website
  2. Click on “Choose PDF file” button or choose a file from a cloud source (Google Drive or dropbox) or alternatively you can provide a link to the PDF file you want to convert
  3. After the upload of the file, the conversion process begins automatically
  4. Wait patiently for the processing to be completed
  5. Click on the download button to download your excel spreadsheet

How to convert PDF to excel file online using Airpdftoexcel.com

You can also use an online platform called airpdftoexcel.com to convert your PDF file to excel spreadsheets. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the airpdftoexcel.com website
  2. Click on “Choose File” button to browse for your PDF from the device you are using, or drag and drop the PDF in the field provided or upload it from the cloud (Dropbox, Google drive, One drive)
  3. Click Convert Now to convert your PDF file (.pdf) format to an excel spreadsheet (.xls)
  4. Download the spreadsheet or save it to the cloud.

Free Offline Methods to convert PDF file to excel spreadsheet

Even though it is quite easy to use any of the methods illustrated above to convert a PDF file into an excel spreadsheet, there is still room for doing this offline. In the instance where you don’t have access to the internet and you would still like to convert your PDF file to excel then you can employ these offline methods.

Some of the offline methods include:

  1. Using the Desktop version of smallPDF
  2. Using Microsoft Word
  3. Using TalkHelper PDF Converter

Using the Desktop version of smallPDF.com

SmallPDF has a desktop version that can easily be downloaded from their website. To use the desktop version of smallpdf to convert a PDF file to excel spreadsheet, follow the steps below:

  1. Download and install the software
  2. Click on the tools dropdown at the top left
  3. Choose “Convert” from the tools menu
  4. Click on excel on the panel that pops up to the right side of the software’s interface
  5. Click on the “Convert” button at the bottom of the right panel to start converting the PDF to Excel spreadsheet.

Using Microsoft Word to convert PDF to Excel

The latest versions of Microsoft Word have some powerful features which include the ability to open PDF files while automatically converting them into editable word documents. 

To be able to convert a PDF file (.pdf) into an excel spreadsheet, you will need to open up the PDF file in Microsoft Word which will make the content editable then copy and paste the content into an excel spreadsheet. You can then go ahead to save the spreadsheet as a .xlsx file.

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