Converting PDF to Word: best tools that do the job

DF invoices with image data, structured data

PDF is the most frequently used electronic document exchange format around the world. Its specification makes any data appear similar on any device and software. Since this file format was designed to make primarily sharing documents and files across multiple devices much easier, content in PDF is locked. So, you may face some issues when it is necessary to make a few edits in your PDF file. But no worries, the solution is simple, most of the PDF files can be converted to Word when it is necessary to modify the entire content of the document. In this article, I am going to review several of the most prominent ways of convert pdf to word without adobe, so you can pick the one that suits your requirements.

Before jumping right into converting PDF to Word, let's briefly review the main advantages of both formats and the most common use cases.

What is PDF and what are its core advantages?

Portable document format (PDF) is a container that allows you to incorporate various types of content – text, images and vector graphics, videos, animations, audio files, 3D models, interactive fields, hyperlinks, and buttons. This data format is created to display ‘Read-Only’ documents that can be viewed on any hardware and software. PDFs can now be viewed by most web browsers, without the need to have a PDF viewer installed on your hardware.

Nowadays, PDF is one of the most widely used formats for electronic documents on the web.

The core advantages of PDF are security, consistency, and compression. PDFs are one of the most trusted document formats, as they’re even used by legal professionals, and are recognized in court in some countries. PDFs allow for the same layout and content to be displayed across all devices. Finally, data in PDF is typically smaller than in other file formats.

The con of PDF files is the difficulty of editing, it’s not possible to directly edit your PDF file and doesn’t allow for corrections to be made easily. You would need to use PDF editor software to acquire the “editing” function or convert your file in PDF to an editable form, such as Doc.

What is a Word document, and why do so many people love it?

A Word document is a type of file format used for creating and editing text-based documents. It was developed by Microsoft Corporation and is a part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Word documents can contain text, images, tables, charts, and other elements.

Many people love using Word documents because of their versatility and ease of use. They are widely used in offices, schools, and other organizations for creating and sharing documents such as reports, memos, and letters. Word documents also offer a variety of formatting options, such as font styles, sizes, and colors, as well as the ability to add headers, footers, and page numbers. Additionally, Word documents can be easily saved and shared with others, either as an email attachment or through cloud-based services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Overall, the popularity of Word documents can be attributed to their convenience, flexibility, and widespread compatibility with different operating systems and software applications as well.

It is important to mention, the main disadvantage of a Word document is that the formatting can sometimes get inadvertently changed when the document is opened on a different computer or with a different software program. This can happen if the computer or program doesn't have the same fonts or formatting options as the original document, causing the text to appear differently or the layout to change. Additionally, Word documents can sometimes be vulnerable to viruses or other security threats, making it important to have up-to-date antivirus software and to be cautious when opening documents from unknown sources.

Hence, PDF and Word formats improve their advantages and eradicate core disadvantages when used together wisely.

Now, we are ready to check the most popular reasons for converting PDF to Word for business practice.

Why convert PDF to Word?

There are several popular cases for converting PDF to Word:

First of all, it is editing. As I've mentioned before, PDF files are often used for sharing documents, but they can be difficult to edit without the right software. Since Microsoft Word is the most widely deployed document editing software, the easiest way to edit your information in PDF with no hassle is to transform it into Word format. Thus, converting a PDF to Word makes it easy to edit the text, images, and formatting.

The second case is collaboration. When working on a document with others, it can be helpful to have it in a format that can be easily edited and shared. Converting a PDF to Word can make collaboration easier and more efficient if you work in a team.

Accessibility is another use case. PDF files can be difficult to read for people with visual impairments or other disabilities. Converting a PDF to Word can make it easier to adjust the font size, style, and other formatting options to improve data accessibility.

The fourth case is associated with a conversion to other formats. Converting a PDF to Word can be a helpful first step in converting it to other formats, such as HTML or EPUB, for use on websites or e-readers. PDF can be converted to these formats directly, but the accuracy of such a conversion degrades due to the multistep process of data transformation.

Last, but not least, it is archiving. PDFs are often used for archiving important documents, but they can be difficult to search through. Converting a PDF to Word can make it easier to search for specific information and organize the document.

Ok, it's time to review the most popular options for converting PDF files to Word documents.

5 ways to convert PDF to Word on desktop

One of the most popular methods to convert PDF to Word is Acrobat DC.

It offers the easiest way to convert PDF files to Word documents. All you need is to open up the PDF in Acrobat. Over on the right side of the window, click the “Export PDF” command. Next, select the “Microsoft Word” option on the left. On the right, selecting “Word Document” converts the PDF to a modern Word document in DOCX format. Selecting “Word 97-2003 Document” converts the PDF to the older DOC format.

The bad news is that Acrobat DC is not free. Although Acrobat Reader is a free software application, you’ll need to pay a $12.99 per month fee if you want it to be able to convert PDF files to other formats, like Word. Moreover, many users have reported frequent crashes of this application in 2023.

You can also convert your PDF to a Word document using just Microsoft Word. Just open your PDF in Word and the application will convert the PDF and open up your new Word document right away.

Sounds good, but wait a second. Why do so many people prefer to avoid this method? Converting in MS Word often leads to style and formatting issues, so it’s not always the most reliable way to save PDF as Word. Nevertheless, it might work well enough for simple documents without tables, graphs, and complex formatting.

PDFelement is another popular desktop application that converts PDF files to Word documents with high quality. It has a simple and straightforward interface, and it supports batch conversion, which is a must for professionals. The downside is the free trial version has watermarks, so you need to have a budget in order to employ this software.

A tool such as Foxit PDF makes it so easy to convert PDF files not only to Word but other formats like Excel, image, HTML, RTF, and Powerpoint. It can convert merely any PDF file to Word format, despite its size and a variety of styles in use. Some people complained that its scan and OCR features fail to handle complex PDF documents, but Foxit PDF still can be a good tool for saving uneditable PDF files as editable Word documents.

Wide Angle PDF Converter is another powerful PDF-to-Word converter desktop application, which is equipped with lots of features to make the entire conversion process full of useful functions. It also supports batch conversion. As with many other professional software, Wide Angle PDF Converter is pricey.

Although desktop applications provide the most compelling functionality, they come with hardware and software requirements, in addition, these programs need some space on your hard drive. Furthermore, mobility is sacrificed. In our rapidly changing environment, it might be vital to be able to perform certain data manipulation on the go. Let's find out how to convert PDF files to Word documents on Android and iOS devices.

5 ways to convert PDF to Word on mobiles

PDF to Word is one of the most popular applications to convert PDF to Word available for iOS users. This app does a good job at accurately converting all PDF files, including formatting and charts. Another good thing is that the conversion takes place remotely, it saves the battery life of your iPhone. Unfortunately, such an approach requires an active data connection, so PDF to Word app is not able to perform a conversion offline, and it requires your data plan to be used.

Easy PDF is a user-friendly app that can quickly and easily convert PDF files on both iOS and Android devices. It has been found as a high-quality and accurate converter, which can also open PDFs from within other business apps. I ran several tests and this app has some formatting issues with very complex PDF files, rich with tables and equations.

There is a free application that can be used to convert a PDF file into a Word - Able2Extract. It also supports iPhones and Androids. The conversion takes place on your device, and PDFs are converted fast. The disadvantage of such a capability is battery power usage. However, it can be your best choice if you convert files from PDF to Word once in a while.

PDF Converter Pro is a quick and accurate converter that works with a variety of formats, including MS Word documents. This app is wonderful if you just need to convert a couple of files, since the premium subscription is required when you exceed a limit of 3 free conversions a month.

PDF2Office makes it straightforward to convert PDF files straight to Word documents, which can be edited on any device. The app is completely free, and it can also convert PDFs into text files. The cons are that this app can crash on underpowered iPhones since it requires modern hardware and a well-charged battery, plus some PDFs may lose formatting.

Though most PDF to Word applications for desktop computers and mobile devices are hardware sensitive, they provide rich functionality, and a lot of them can work offline. What unites them is the frequency of conversions, those programs are in favor among the people who convert PDF to Word quite often. best free online pdf to word converter converters are the best option for users who need to save PDF as an editable document occasionally, since they don't require software installation and work well in many browsers on any device. I have shortlisted some of the most capable PDF to Word web applications.

5 ways to convert PDF to Word online

Acrobat Online qualifies as one of the best convert pdf to word without losing formatting since it performs this task impeccably. The editable file you get is a perfect copy of the original, with no lost words, alignments, or margins. This online service, as many others, may not handle certain types of PDF files, such as those with security restrictions or password protection, or those with non-Latin characters or fonts. In addition to that, I've mentioned that Acrobat Online no longer supports legacy browsers, which limits its functionality for some users.

Google Docs delivers a secure and reliable way to convert your PDF to a Word file. You first convert the file to a Google Docs document and then convert it to a Word document. Since converting PDF to Word with Google Docs is a two-step process, you can lose some formatting along the way.

There is another popular tool for quick and easy cloud conversion - Smallpdf. It offers a very simple, yet advanced tool to convert your PDF files to Doc. I performed over a hundred conversions with Smallpdf and noticed that some multi-style PDF files could not be converted with their full structure preserved.

PDF to DOC is a simple and free-to-use online converter, which has a lot of the highest recommendations. The tool offers a very basic interface to convert your PDF file into an editable Word document. Keep in mind that the formatting of the original PDF file may not be preserved perfectly in the resulting DOC file, especially if the PDF contains complex layouts or graphics. This can result in a loss of quality or accuracy in the converted document.

Form To Excel's PDF to Word converter is the last but best. Form To Excel's team has recently introduced our AI-based math pdf to word converter, which supports a variety of PDF data structures. It also has a user-friendly interface to let you save your PDFs to Word documents fast and accurately on any device and under any operating system. For a limited time, the converter's functionality is available for free, so be the first to check it out and take advantage of smart data detection and precision conversion.

I need to notify you that PDF to Word conversion is completely safe online when using reliable software. To ensure safety, it is recommended to check the privacy page of a PDF to Word Converter. However, all the tools listed here provide secure and safe conversion of your important files and documents. You can rest assured that your files will be protected throughout the conversion process.

What's the bottom line?

PDF files are crucial for electronic document exchange, but their non-editable nature can be a major drawback. This is where PDF to Word conversion tools come in handy. By following my recommendations and doing your research, you can easily find the right conversion software for your needs. It's important to choose a tool that is fast, secure, and doesn't compromise the quality of your original document. A perfectly selected tool can convert your PDFs to editable Word documents without any hassle.

If you require an all-in-one PDF processing tool with advanced features beyond simple conversion, Adobe Acrobat is probably the best choice. However, if you prefer a free and reliable option, I believe that Form To Excel is a great solution that can meet most needs.