• PDF to Word – any reliable products?


    I’ve been using Nuance’s product (with not always the best results) . It has started giving a Visual C++ Runtime error so I’m searching for a replacement.

    I’ve tried some online and other programs Nitro never e-mailed the converted file to me, BCL gave me 8 blank pages, Free Pdf to Wood Converter could not open any PDF, claiming they were all corrupt, and ConvertpdfToWord did convert the file, but the text is overlaying the original pdf text. It almost makes sense to retype everything myself!!

    Does anyone know of a reliable program that converts PDF files to editable Word documents?

    Viewing 18 reply threads
    • #1277059

      Does anyone know of a reliable program that converts PDF files to editable Word documents?

      No. Even in the best of times, PDF-to-Word converters typically create a frustrating maze of text boxes or frames to preserve the layout when really they should be concerned about editability (otherwise, you’d just use the PDF, right?). I think a good quality text export might be more useful.

      But back to your question. Is the main requirement OCRing image-based PDFs to editable text, or reconstructing the Word document from a text-based PDF?

    • #1277098

      Free Pdf to Wood Converter could not open any PDF

      That’s a shame, I’ve see a few PDFs I’d like to turn to wood:wacko:

      I’ve had reasonable results with SolidConverter. As for:

      the text is overlaying the original pdf text

      might that be because the PDF pages had both images of the text and the actual text? I’ve encountered PDFs like that, where the PDF was apparently from an OCR’d source. When converted, every page had an image of the text overlaying the text itself. To clean it up, I wrote a little macro to go through the document and delete all the shapes. That’d be no good if there were images you wanted to keep, though.

      Paul Edstein
      [Fmr MS MVP - Word]

      • #1277388

        When converted, every page had an image of the text overlaying the text itself.

        That is a technique used in Document Management Systems. When the company I worked for until I retired for installed a DMS, hard copy documents were scanned in this format so that if you look at or print them, they appear the same as the original, but the DMS software can index them and perform word searches on them.

        • #1277394

          I have successfully used PDFZilla to convert PDF to other formats including Word.


          Give it a try.

          • #1277400

            I have been able to open PDF documents by selecting “all files” and open with WORD 2007 and 2010. The text seems to format well.

            • #1277409

              When is a PDF NOT a PDF – when Adobe changes the format. I have tried dozens of PDF to Word or WordPerfect or XYwrite or WordStar converters. Every time that I find one that works it is broken within a year as Adobe updates the format to be more things for more people. What was a simple ‘printer’ file is now a complex multi-overlay. The best solution for long term dependability has been to print the document and OCR-Scan the printout. At least the printout is a flat file.

            • #1277428

              A few programs I tried gave poor results. I settled on VeryPDF’s PDF2Word (http://www.verypdf.com/pdf2word/index.html) which generally handles even complex documents well, though sometimes a little editing of the output document is needed.

              After systematically experimenting with all the program’s settings I found the default ones worked best.

              Asus N53SM & N53SN 64-bit laptops (Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro 64-bit multiboots), venerable HP Pavilion t760 32-bit desktop (XP & Win7 Pro multiboot), Oracle VirtualBox VM's: XP & Win7 32-bit, XP Mode, aged Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2019s (8" & 10.1"), Blu-ray burners, digital cameras, ext. HDDs (latest 5TB!), AnyDVD, Easeus ToDo Backup Home, Waterfox, more. Me: Aussie card-carrying Windows geek.

    • #1277099

      CutePDF can be used to convert Word to PDF, I am not sure but wonder if it will do the reverse as well. Might be worth a look see.

      • #1277105

        Thanks guys. I think part of the difficulty is that this pdf is scanned from a printed source. SoldiConverter seems to have a way to deal with this, but I have to try it out first.
        So I’ve learned something about pdf files – when is text not text? When it is scanned and created as a bitmap!


    • #1277364

      I’ve just updated Nitro Pro with its OCR (money) anyway it makes the BMP image easily and is supposed to convert to Word Text file; (only learning) however i managed to copy text in whole PDF ok, when pasted into Word .doc needs sorting as all formatting has been stripped but is otherwise ok, just got 17 pages into .doc with so can be done

    • #1277369


      Also converts Excel files and others. It works excellent.

    • #1277440

      I recently read on a Yahoo Freeware group (AltCompFreeware) that Bytescout (http://www.bytescout.com) has a PDF reader as freware in their End User Utilities that’s supposed to be able to do this. I haven’t tried it yet, but the price is right ($0)!

    • #1277479

      I Use Foxit Reader which is a free PDF reader that you can get from here http://download.cnet.com/Foxit-Reader/3000-10743_4-10313206.html . You can use the Save As feature to save your PDF document as a Text File then open the Text File in MS Word. You will probably lose some of the formatting but that is easy to correct. By the way I use Foxit PDF for all my PDF needs as they also have a free PDF creator and PDF Editor .

    • #1277519

      Have tried most that were suggested, downloaded PDFZilla and tried it, however didn’t like the output so uninstalled, today my anti-virus KISS detected its exe file attempting to send out data, deleted its exe.
      verypdf emm scanned image into word…had problem uninstalling as it didn’t appear in program list, eventually had to drag its quick launch icon onto revo floating icon…

      FINALY one that works http://www.investintech.com/prod_a2d_pro.htm a program that does an excellent job of converting PDF to Word .doc, $69.95 for ProAble2DocFull, the Able2Doc version would not do it, needed the Professional version, however it did faultless conversion thanks for everybody’s assistance job well done

    • #1277603

      Now you tell me. We needed this last year. Thank you!

    • #1277624

      It would be tedious for a large document, but the free (trial?) version of ABBYY Screenshot Reader does a great job of reading any text shown on my screen. Just surround it and it puts the content onto the clipboard. It even converted the text in a photograph of a sign for me.

      • #1277913

        I have had rather good results using Omnipage from Nuance to change PDF to Word. It seems to me that instead of chasing around for another program, why not get the error fixed so that Omnipage will work again? That program certainly costs enough, so better get the most use out of it.

        It is true that not all PDFs are alike. Some are searchable while others behave just like image files. If you have the Nuance software, you can print the PDFs the way you want them. It is unfortunate that the Nuance software can be so expensive, although I was able to get the reduced price during upgrades. But it is the only software I know of that can really manipulate the PDFs (except, of course, for Adobe for which the prices are way out of my budget).

    • #1277928

      I’ve an ongoing support request with Nitro and they haven’t yet resolved, while however in just clicks Able2DocFull did a perfect job.

      • #1278075

        If you are looking for a method to OCR a document, I found a good way to do so. I’ve been a word processor for many, many years and have tried many programs. I learned this method a few years ago from one of Woody’s columns – Thanks Woody! – and the accuracy of the text recognition amazes me.

        If you have Microsoft Office, try this. I know that it works with Office 2003 and newer but I’m not sure about older versions. Included with my version of Office is something called Microsoft Office Tools, then choose Microsoft Office Document Scanning. Scan your document(s). When that window opens, click on “Send Text to Word”. Another window will open, in Word, with your text ready to edit.

        Hope that helps.

    • #1278310

      Saw this thread yesterday, and surprise, surprise an e-mail arrived today from Adobe, with a service specifically to do this for you. Here is the text:
      Introducing Adobe® ExportPDF,* the simple way to turn PDF files into Word docs — and keep the formatting. Sign up now.

      Select your PDF file through your web browser. You can even choose a PDF file with scanned text inside.

      Click Export. We’ll take care of the rest — and turn your PDF file into an editable Word doc.

      Start editing in Word. Simply download your new Word file with the same fonts, paragraph breaks, tables, images, pagination — even multi-column text.

      Full year cost for the service: $19.99

    • #1278312

      If I may like to update on how i’ve getting along with Nitro support matter, earlier post I mentioned it.
      It appears to me having googled a lot on the subject, the problem attempting to convert from PDF to Word .doc using Nitro OCR Pro program, is very likely because i am using Office 2000 Premium and it turns out it wasn’t until 2002 that Microsoft released “MODI” and included that in XP. So likely if your using XP or later there program would work alright.
      Able2Doc Professional is converting PDF to Word .doc perfectly with my Office program.
      Another issue I’ve not been able to resolve with any PDF program, is convert Word .doc file containing Bookmarks and Hyperlinks with the links working in the PDF. I understand most PDF allow you to add hyperlinks, however i’ve a large document i’d hoped to convert with the links active in it. If anyone could assist could you please lets know

    • #1278313

      Hi Rob
      I also use Nitro PDF PRo….. its way cheaper than Acrobat X!

      There is a setting in the conversion from Word that will do the bookmarks for you – (I assume table of contents type links in Word).


      Have a look for the settings under Preferences/Create PDF From / From Word…… and select the Convert Links……
      That should help you out! Let me know how it goes.

      The bookmarks might also be there, but hidden….. have a way of controlling how the PDF is viewed when opened, to show the bookmarks pane.

      • #1278315

        The information in this article applies to:

          [*]Microsoft Word 2003, 2007

        I had already visited Preferences but its not doing it. I understand i can add book marks however i’d hoped it would picked up the links already active in the (UN doc), but thank you Photorer, might be the dreaded MODI my office lacks…tried Sonic as they thought it might, but it wouldn’t do it either, many thanks for you post

    • #1278316

      Hi Robplum…..

      Perhaps it is something to do with the version of NitroPDF that you are using….? I am using version 6.

      If you would like me to try converting with my setup, I would be happy to do so. We can then determine if it is Office 2000 or NitroPDF.

    • #1278317

      I’ve got the latest version, with the OCR addon, if you wouldn’t mind doing it would help to know whether it is the 2000 or my x2 updated install. Its an old document lodged quite a while ago i had hoped to make a PDF version of it. So yes thank you email and i’ll send back ta

    • #1278326

      Thank Photorer for creating the document using Office 10. Its a pity other programs are unable to. Hopefully someone will come up with a PDF maker that can.

    • #1286144

      Possibly one of the best but definitely one of the dearest options is the Adobe Acrobat software itself
      yes it is expensive but it does work well
      You can open pdf scans or docs created elsewhere and use the built in OCR to recognise text
      You can also save the file to alternate formats – although as with all programs the resulting Doc can be quite complex with graphics, etc
      The better alternative is often to edit the PDF in Acrobat to alter text etc whilst retaining layout
      I wouldn’t pay for Acrobat on my personal machine due to cost but have access on my work desktop and find it capable

    • #1286161

      Thank you Splash, i found a work around, program called Able2Doc6 Professional couple with OpenOffice.
      Main problem i faced was nothing works with my valued Office 2000, Able2Doc6 can do the job OS XP onwards
      thanks Splash

    Viewing 18 reply threads
    Reply To: PDF to Word – any reliable products?

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: