How to Copy Text from PDF: 4 Methods

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PDFs are widely used for sharing documents due to their ability to maintain formatting across different platforms. Whether you need to quote information for research, cite sources, or simply reuse content, understanding how to extract text from a PDF will empower you to work with the information more effectively. In this guide, we will explore various methods and techniques to copy text from a PDF, providing you with step-by-step instructions to make the process seamless and efficient. Follow along to discover the most suitable method for your specific situation and become adept at copying text from PDFs with ease.

1. How to Copy and Paste from a PDF to Word .docx without Lossing Formatting

Copying and pasting from a PDF to a Word document is always in high demand for various reasons. Many users experience formatting loss when copying and pasting from a PDF to Word. However, there is a proper way to do it. Instead of directly copying, consider converting the PDF to Word Docx to preserve its original formatting. This allows you to maintain any formatting and text in the converted Word documents. Let me show you how to do this.

Step 1 Download the most power pdf to word converter--Epubor Ultimate.

Epubor Ultimate can not only convert PDF to Word maintaining the original formatting but also can remove drm protection from your PDF files.

Download Epubor Ultimate for free:


Step 2 Add PDF to Epubor Ultimate.

Just drag your PDF files to the main interface of Epubor Ultimate. If your PDF is drm protected, this process not only adding pdf , but also decrypting your pdf files. Since most of your PDF ebooks that are purchased from online ebook store are protected by DRM scheme, you need to remove drm from your pdf ebooks with Epubor ultimate first.

add pdf file

Step 3 Convert PDF to Word Docx.

Now just click arrow besides the the blue button at the bottom center to prompt more options, then select "Docx", then click "Convert to Docx" to start conversion. Once finished, the "Succeeded" will appear. You can click "Succeeded" to locate your converted doc file.

convert pdf to word docx

Step 4 Copy and paste from PDF to Word files.

Now open your Docx files, you can copy and paste from Word document easily. What's more, you can also print it.

copy and paste from converted pdf word

With Epubor Ultimate, you can also convert PDF to many other formats for reading.

  • Epubor Ultimate can handle PDF files even when they are protected by DRM. This feature is particularly useful when you want to copy text from your purchased PDF ebooks. Additionally, it can assist you in converting PDF to Word or text, which is very convenient when you need to copy a large portion of your PDF files.
  • It is a paid software with a free trial version. The free trial version only convert 20% content of each book in text format.

2. Copy Text from an PDF Online

If you are viewing the PDF in a web browser, most modern browsers have a built-in PDF viewer. Then you can just copy text from an PDF online.

Step 1 Open the pdf file with your web browser. You can use Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Most of the web browser support the pdf viewing.

Step 2 Use the text selection tool in the PDF viewer to highlight the text. Then right-click on the highlighted text and select "Copy" from the context menu.

copy text from browser online

Now you can paste the copied text as needed.

You don't need to install any extra software by using this software.

  • This method is quick and convenient, as it doesn't require any additional software installation. Modern web browsers often have built-in PDF viewers that allow users to select and copy text.
  • However, the accuracy of text extraction can vary depending on the complexity of the PDF. Some formatting and special characters may not be retained, making it less suitable for intricate documents.

3. Copy & Paste Text from PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Reader, being a popular PDF viewer, provides the feature to extract text from PDF documents.

Step 1 Download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader: Free PDF viewer.

Step 2 Open the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Step 3 Click the Select tool. It looks like a cursor at the top menu bar. Highlight the text you want to copy.

select tool

Right-click on the highlighted text and select "Copy" from the context menu. Paste the copied text into the desired document.

copy text from adobe reader

  • Adobe Reader is a dedicated PDF viewer with robust text extraction capabilities. It provides a reliable and accurate method for copying text, maintaining formatting and special characters.
  • Users need to download and install Adobe Reader, which may not be as convenient as browser-based methods. Additionally, Adobe Reader may have more features than necessary for users who only require basic text extraction.

4. How to Copy Text from a Scanned PDF

Copying text from a scanned PDF is not an easy task since not all PDFs are editable. If your PDF file is a scanned image, the text in it cannot be copied or edited. However, there's a solution. By using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software or an online OCR converter, you can still copy and paste text from your scanned PDF file.

There are several free online OCR tools available, and for this example, we'll use OnlineOCR Converter.

Step 1 Upload the scanned PDF to the online OCR PDF to text converter.

Step 2 Select "Text" as the output format.

Step 3 Click "Convert" to start the conversion. Once finished, the converted text will appear in the text area below. Simply highlight the text you want to copy, right-click, and select "Copy" to copy text from the scanned PDF.

copy text from scanned

  • Online OCR tools are valuable for extracting text from scanned PDFs or image-based documents. They can convert images of text into editable text, making them useful when the standard copy-paste function is not sufficient.
  • The accuracy of OCR tools depends on the quality of the original document and the specific tool used. Some free online OCR tools may have limitations on file size or processing speed. Users should be cautious about uploading sensitive or confidential documents to online platforms.

Editor's NOTE:

In summary, the choice of method depends on the nature of the PDF document and your specific requirements.

For basic text extraction, using a web browser or Adobe Reader may suffice.

However, when dealing with scanned documents or images, online OCR tools become indispensable despite potential limitations.

When come to copy the text from drm-protected pdf, Epubor Ultimate is the best option as it can strip drm from most of the purchased online ebooks as it can convert pdf to Word or Text format.

You can weigh the trade-offs between convenience, accuracy, and the need for additional features when selecting the most suitable method for your particular use case.

Download Epubor Ultimate for free NOW:

has been a passionate member of Epubor since 2017. Her mission is to enhance your ebook reading experience by sharing insightful tips and tricks. Join her on a journey towards reading excellence today!

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