Converting PDF to Text

How to Convert PDF to Text

Converting a PDF to text can be incredibly useful. Whether you need to extract information for a project or make a document more accessible, knowing how to convert PDF to text is a valuable skill.  In this article, we’ll walk you through different methods to achieve this, ensuring you have the right tools and knowledge.

Converting PDF to Text

Using Online Tools to Convert PDF to Text

One of the easiest ways to convert PDF to text is by using online tools. Websites like Smallpdf, PDF2Go, and Zamzar offer simple, user-friendly interfaces that allow you to upload your PDF and convert it to text quickly.

Converting PDF to Text
PDF to Text
  1. Select a Reliable Online Tool: Choose a trusted online tool to avoid privacy issues. Smallpdf and PDF2Go are popular options.
  2. Upload Your PDF: Navigate to the website and find the upload button. Select your PDF file from your computer.
  3. Choose the Output Format: Select ‘Text’ or ‘.txt’ as your output format.
  4. Convert and Download: Click the convert button and wait for the process to complete. Download your converted text file.

Online tools are convenient for quick conversions and require no installation. However, they may have limitations on file size and number of conversions.

Using Adobe Acrobat to Convert PDF to Text

Adobe Acrobat is a powerful tool that can easily convert to text. It’s especially useful if you frequently work with PDFs and need advanced features.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat: Launch Adobe Acrobat on your computer.
  2. Open Your PDF File: Go to File > Open, and select the PDF you want to convert.
  3. Export to Text: Navigate to File > Export To > Text (Plain). Choose the destination folder and save the file.

Adobe Acrobat offers high accuracy and additional features like batch conversion, making it ideal for professional use.

Converting PDF to Text Using Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is another great tool for converting PDF to text, especially if you already have it installed on your computer.

  1. Open Microsoft Word: Launch Microsoft Word on your computer.
  2. Open the PDF File: Go to File > Open, and select the PDF you want to convert. Word will prompt you that it will convert the PDF to an editable Word document.
  3. Save as Text: After the conversion, go to File > Save As, and choose ‘Plain Text’ as the format.

This method is simple and effective, providing an easy way to convert PDF to text without needing additional software.

Using Python

Using Python to convert to text provides a powerful and customizable solution, especially beneficial for those familiar with programming and handling large-scale or repetitive tasks. Here’s a detailed explanation of the Python script provided:

  1. Install Necessary Libraries:

    • Python relies on libraries like PyPDF2 and PDFminer.six for PDF processing.
  2. Write a Python Script

    • Import Libraries: Import the necessary library, in this case, PyPDF2.
    • Define the Function: Create a function convert_pdf_to_text(file_path) that takes a file path as input (file_path). This function will read a PDF file (your_pdf_file.pdf in this example), extract text from each page, and return the concatenated text as a string.
      • Open PDF File: Use Python’s open() function to open the PDF file in binary mode ('rb').
      • Initialize Variables: Initialize an empty string text to store the extracted text.
      • Iterate through Pages: Use a loop to iterate through each page of the PDF (reader.numPages gives the total number of pages). For each page, use reader.getPage(page_num) to get the page object and page.extractText() to extract text content.
      • Concatenate Text: Append the extracted text from each page to the text variable.
      • Return Text: Once all pages are processed, return the concatenated text.
    • Convert and Save: Call the convert_pdf_to_text() function with the path to your PDF file (pdf_file_path). It will return the extracted text.
      • Write to Output File: Open an output text file (output_text.txt) in write mode ('w'), and write the extracted text into this file.


In conclusion, converting PDF to text is a straightforward process with multiple methods available to suit different needs. Whether you use online tools, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or Python, you can efficiently convert PDF to text for various purposes. Each method has its advantages, from the simplicity of online tools to the powerful capabilities of Adobe Acrobat and Python. Choose the one that best fits your requirements and start converting your PDFs today.

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