Converting PDF files to Word format on a Mac

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The most widely used and widely accessible file format is PDF because it can be opened and read by any computer system. PDF files are notoriously difficult to edit. That's where the power of Microsoft Word shines. To make edits to a PDF, simply convert it to Word (or Word Perfect) format, make your changes, and then save it as a PDF again.

To what end, though, can I convert PDF to Word? Using tools like Preview, Google Drive, Automator, and some specialized PDF converters, we'll demonstrate how to accomplish this in this article.

Method 1 Preview for Mac: Converting PDF to Word

As a low-tech option, you could try copying and pasting. You may be surprised at how well it works in some cases, especially if the PDF is primarily text. But depending on the PDF file you're working with, it can be a real pain in the neck at times.

Considering the low barrier to entry, it's certainly worth giving this a shot. Test it out by following these steps:

  1. Select "Open With" and then "Preview" from the context menu to open your PDF.
  2. Use Command+C to copy the selected text.
  3. Copy the text, then open Pages or Word on your Mac and paste it in using Command+V.
  4. If you're using Pages, select File > Export To > Word to save the document in Word format. Really, that's all there is to it

To copy everything in a document at once, press CommandA, which stands for Select All.

Method 2 Google Docs' PDF-to-DOCX Conversion Service

As a widely used web-based editor, Google Docs can successfully convert PDFs to Word documents. How to use it is as follows:

  1. Click on the link above to access Google Drive and sign in with your Google credentials.
  2. To adjust your preferences, click the gear icon.
  3. Mark the box labeled "Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format" under the "General" menu item.
  4. Press the "New" button, then choose "File upload," to add the PDF to Google Drive.
  5. Hit Open Google Docs will launch and load your file.
  6. The Microsoft Word (DOCX) format can be downloaded by selecting File > Download in the top menu bar. When you've downloaded the file, open your Downloads folder and you'll see a Word doc there.

Images embedded in a PDF file may not make it into the final DOCX document created by Google Docs. Only a PDF containing only text would benefit from this technique.

If you're wondering how to convert Word to PDF on a Mac, Google Docs may be the answer. The main drawback of this approach is that it needs access to the internet.

Method 3 You can use Automator to make PDFs into Word documents.

Automator is an application included with macOS that was made for automating mundane, repetitive tasks like renaming files and adjusting image sizes. Making similar edits to many files at once is facilitated by the ability to design one's own workflow.

Similarly to Preview, Automator lacks the capability to alter a PDF into a Word document. However, its power allows it to successfully convert your PDF's text to either plain text or rich text format (RTF). You can then alter it in any text editor. The steps for operating Automator are as follows.

  1. Initiate Automator by double-clicking on the application icon in the Applications folder.
  2. In the Save As dialog, select Workflow as the document type.
  3. Your PDF can be uploaded by dragging and dropping it.
  4. Navigate to Library > PDFs > Extract PDF Text in the left-hand Actions menu.
  5. To perform this task, drop it into the right pane below your PDF.
  6. Choose Rich Text over Plain Text if you care about preserving formatting.
  7. Define where to save the extracted text file
  8. A text version of your PDF will appear once you click the Run button in the window's upper-right corner.

Your converted file should now be accessible in the location of your choosing.

Method 4 Use a third-party PDF-to-Word converter.

If you have a large number of PDFs to convert, especially ones that contain a variety of images and text blocks, a dedicated converter is the way to go. However, how does one decide which option is most suitable?

Adobe's Acrobat Reader is the gold standard. They invented the PDF format, so it should come as no surprise that they sell an editor for it. PDFs can be converted to a wide variety of formats using this tool, including DOCX, RTF, and many others. The scanned text in your document will be easily identifiable by Acrobat.

PDFelement and Smallpdf are two alternate options. In order to determine whether or not either of these services meets your needs, you can try them out for free.

Do you want to improve your Mac's efficiency but need some extra help?

Word problems, such as crashes and slow performance, may be resolved by performing a thorough cleaning of your Mac. It's something all computers occasionally require. Debris in the system, including old cache and temporary files, can significantly slow down operation. Good thing there are resources available to assist you.

CleanMyMac X is the only program I trust to rid my Mac of the clutter that has built up over the past few months. This robust trash collector has many tools tailored to Macs. Cleaning up your Mac has never been easier, so much so that ProductHunt dubbed CleanMyMac X "Marie Kondo for the Mac." That in itself says a great deal.

Learn how to make the system run faster by using it in the following ways:

  1. Please download CleanMyMac X (it's free) and install it on your computer.
  2. To access the System Junk tab, open the app.
  3. The scanning process will begin after you press the Scan button.
  4. If you want to get rid of things that are causing your Mac to run slowly, just click the Clean button.

In the event that Word still fails to function properly, try reinstalling it with CleanMyMac X's Uninstaller.

If you have the right software, converting PDF to Word is a breeze. Preview, Automator, or Google Docs should be all you need to convert text-based PDFs. However, dedicated PDF converters such as Adobe Acrobat Exporter are worth looking into if you frequently work with files that contain a lot of images.

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