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We’ve all been there: a friend, family member or colleague has sent over a document for you to check – but it’s a PDF, meaning that you have to laboriously type your feedback into an email or use the clunky comments tool in your PDF reader of choice. Luckily, it’s possible to convert a PDF into a fully editable Word document.
Alas, while this would just be a case of opening a PDF in the newest version of Word for PC users, that useful feature isn’t available for Mac owners. However, there are still options.
If you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat, the process is a piece of proverbial Battenburg: open the PDF you want to convert and then navigate to File | Export To | Microsoft Word | Word Document. You can then choose a destination for your new document and iron out the inevitable formatting issues (these tend to be easily solvable problems such as different fonts, colours and slightly larger/smaller tables).
PDF To Doc
If you aren’t equipped with the Adobe software, there’s still hope – but it comes in the form of an online tool. There are literally (and we don’t use that word lightly) hundreds of websites that promise to convert your precious PDFs for free. The one I use is PDF To Doc (pdf2doc.com), which is intuitive, uncluttered, and quick.
To begin, upload a PDF (although I’ve found the website to be trustworthy, I still wouldn’t recommend converting any ultra-sensitive personal or financial information) and watch the percentage bar as it converts it to a Word document. Once it’s finished, the file will appear as a small box with a preview window (see below).
Click the yellow download button and open the file in Word. We’ve found that PDF To Doc does an excellent job of retaining even quite complicated formatting. For example, I converted a PDF containing lots of small logos and images, which were in exactly the same place – and at the same resolution – after the process. It’s a neat timesaver.
It’s also possible to convert a PDF to an editable Google Drive document. Simply upload the PDF file to your drive, right click on it and select Open with | Google Docs. That said, I found that the formatting was all over the place (that’s the technical term) afterwards, so it might be worth using the previous two methods for PDFs full of images, fonts or tables.