How to Convert a PDF to a Microsoft Word Document

Person Editing Microsoft Word Document on Laptop

PDFs are a fairly popular document file type and have multiple uses. They are easy to read and maintain all of the formatting when shared and opened from multiple devices. Even if text from a PDF is copied and pasted into a new file, there’s zero chance of altering the formatting within a PDF.

Unfortunately, PDF documents are difficult to edit unless you pay for the Pro version of Adobe Acrobat. Wondering what you can do to make changes to a document when you only have access to a PDF version? You can use a conversion tool to convert the PDF to Word before editing.

Convert a PDF to Word Using Adobe Online Converter

As long as you have an Internet connection, the easiest way to convert PDFs to Word is to use Adobe’s free converter. Since Adobe invented PDF files, it’s the best converter in terms of formatting preservation and ease of conversion. The converter also makes sure everything is editable so that you can use the converted document in Microsoft Word.

Adobe does limit the number of times you can use the tool for free, but you can easily get around this restriction by using Incognito mode on your web browser.

Follow the steps below to convert your PDF to a Microsoft Word Document.

  1. Pull up Adobe’s PDF-to-Word converter in your preferred web browser.
Pdf Word Converter Adobe Website
  1. Click on “Select a file.” You can also drag and drop the file, and if you do, skip the next step.
PDF Word Converter Adobe Select File
  1. Locate the file on your computer, then press “Open.”
Pdf Word Converter Adobe File Finder
  1. Wait for the file to convert. It usually takes just a few moments.
Pdf Word Converter Adobe Coverting
  1. Adobe will open the newly converted Word document in a web-based editor. However, you can click “Download” to save the file and open it in Microsoft Word.
Pdf Word Converter Adobe Download

Convert a PDF to Word With Third-Party Apps

Although Adobe’s conversion tool does the best job transferring all elements of your PDF to an editable Word Document, there are several other Web-based tools that will convert files.

1. BigPDFConverter

BigPDFConverter is a free-to-use online PDF-to-Word conversion tool. Once you convert the file online, you can download your newly converted Microsoft Word Document to edit or share it with others. This tool does a fairly decent job of converting text but has a harder time with non-text elements (especially tables).

Pdf Word Converter Bigpdfconverter

2. Nitro PDF to Word Converter

Nitro PDF to Word Converter is another website that lets you convert files for free. Unlike some of the other options, Nitro collects your email address and sends the converted file to you. Besides this minor inconvenience, Nitro’s converter works fairly well and is completely free.

Pdf Word Converter Nitro

3. PDFtoDoc

PDFtoDoc offers something most of the other conversion tools don’t: multi-file conversion. Instead of converting PDFs one at a time, you can use PDFtoDoc to select as many PDFs as you’d like, convert them all simultaneously, then download a zip file with all of your new Word documents in it. That feature aside, it works the same as other converters.

Pdf Word Converter Pdftodoc

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I open a PDF file in Microsoft Word without converting it?

Yes. Right-click the PDF, then select “Open With -> Microsoft Word.” When Word opens the file, it will warn you that converting the file may make the file look different.

In many cases, the formatting does not transfer well with Word’s native conversion option, which makes using a PDF-to-Word converter a better option.

Why won't my PDF convert to a Word document?

Sometimes people add security features to PDF files to prevent other people from extracting the data from the PDF. If you try to convert a PDF file with password protection or other security features enabled, it will not work.

Image credit: Daniel Thomas via Pexels. All screenshots by Megan Glosson.

Megan Glosson
Megan Glosson

Megan Glosson is a freelance technology writer based in Nashville, TN. She has extensive experience working with everything from printers to smart home systems, and serves as the go-to “tech guru” for a small business that sells digital products. Megan has created thousands of articles for online publications and company blogs, including How-To Geek, Clean Email, and Review Geek. When she’s not writing, you will probably find Megan playing board games with her partner and two children or swimming in the pool. You can check out Megan’s entire portfolio on her website,

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