How to Convert PDF to Excel with 5 Methods

Doing a PDF to Excel conversion is often useful when your original document has tables and other content that can only be edited in a spreadsheet program. Since PDF itself doesn't inherently work with tabular data, the best way to make changes, add formulas, and perform other table operations is to do it in Excel. However, in most cases, in order to convert PDF to Excel format so it is editable, you need special tools, many of which allow you to convert PDF to Excel free if you're only doing one document at a time. This article shows you 5 different PDF to Excel converter applications for desktop users. Some of them even allows you convert scanned PDF to Excel with OCR.

Method 1. How to Convert PDF to Excel with UPDF Converter

UPDF Converter is a special-purpose file conversion utility for Mac and Windows. It can convert PDF to Excel, convert PDF to CSV, and more than a dozen other file formats in an editable form so the information can be modified on native platforms. It's a handy and intuitive utility with a simple interface but several powerful features, some of which are listed below:

  • Batch processing of PDF conversions.
  • Convert PDF to 14 different file formats including images, MS Office, HTML, Text, CSV, and more.
  • Advanced conversion options such as OCR for text recognition in scanned or image-based PDF documents.
  • Automatic removal of permissions passwords from restricted PDFs and convert protected PDF to editable formats.
  • A simplified interface that requires minimal user input.
  • Cross-platform support - Windows and Mac versions.
  • Bulk conversions are done quickly and accurately.
  • High accuracy in terms of content integrity after conversion.
  • Handles very large PDFs with ease.

Steps to Do a PDF to Excel Conversion on Windows and Mac with UPDF Converter

Step 1: Import the PDF

Drag the PDF from its Finder or Explorer location and drop it into the UPDF interface to import it.

Alternatively, you can use the "Add Files" button in the middle or at the bottom of the software window for the same result.

pdf to excel

Step 2: Choose the Excel Output File Format

In the panel on the right, click the "Excel" option to choose that as your output file type.d

convert pdf to excel

Step 3: Convert the PDF to Excel with One Click

All that's left is to click the big "GO" button at the bottom and the file will not only be converted but also saved to a default location on your desktop.

pdf to excel converter

The folder containing your converted Excel spreadsheet will open in a new file manager window and will be highlighted so you can find it easily. From here, you can double-click it to open the .xlsx file in its native application, Microsoft Excel.


Method 2. How to Convert PDF to Excel with Able2Extract Professional 17

Able2Extract PRO 17 is a slick and intuitive PDF editor with a powerful conversion engine to transform PDF workflows into a variety of file types including Excel, and so on. The software is uncannily good with complex PDF tables and renders them near-perfectly as properly formatted Excel files just the way they looked in the PDF. The platform also offers an online version to convert one file at a time, but the PRO desktop version can process more than 100 PDF tables per minute without losing accuracy.

Able2Extract Professional Key Features

  • Bulk processing of PDF to Excel conversions
  • Also converts tables in Word and Image files to Excel
  • Original source formatting is maintained in the output Excel spreadsheet
  • Multilingual text recognition with OCR
  • Perform other actions such as PDF editing, signing, filling forms, annotating, and protecting PDF

Pros

  • Professional PDF management tool
  • Online option for one-off conversions
  • Secure desktop platform
  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux distributions

Cons

  • Expensive if you're only going to use it for PDF to Excel and other conversions
  • Smart Layout Detector is only available in the latest Able2Extract version 17

Pricing: $149.95 for a perpetual license; $34.95 for a 30-day license (no auto-renew)

PDF to Excel Conversion Steps in Able2Extract Professional 17

Step 1: Open the PDF

Using the Open button on the left extreme of the ribbon toolbar or the File → Open menu, open the PDF to be converted to Excel.

convert pdf to excel free

Step 2: Select the Data for Conversion

There are multiple options to choose from: select with your mouse, select a page range or select the All or Area option. Pick one now and apply the required parameters.

Step 3: Convert PDF to Excel

Click the Excel icon on the ribbon toolbar or click File → Convert to Excel.

pdf to excel free

In the pop-up window, you'll see a custom option on the right where you can define the table structure prior to conversion; or else, simply click the Convert button on the left

export pdf to excel

Method 3. How to Convert PDF to Excel with TalkHelper PDF Converter

This Windows-only PDF conversion utility comes with OCR and file/page management tools. The interface is relatively simple and clear, and it all happens in a single window. The conversion accuracy is fairly good for most file conversion combinations including when you convert PDF to Excel. Other features are pretty minimal.

TalkHelper PDF to Excel Converter Key Features

  • Convert to and from PDF - all major format types are supported, including HTML, image files, Office files, and even book formats such as EPub
  • Merge and split PDF files, and extract PDF pages to a new PDF
  • OCR in 40+ languages - convert scanned PDFs to Word and Excel formats

Pros

  • Simple interface - zero learning curve
  • Convert from PDF to and to PDF from various formats
  • Additional tools to manage PDF files: Merge, Split, and Extract

Cons

  • OCR quality is merely acceptable
  • Table conversions may show errors or wrong formatting at times

Pricing: $29.95 for a single perpetual license; $49.95 for a perpetual license + the ability to do OCR on 500 pages.

pdf to excel table

Steps to Convert PDF to Excel Spreadsheet with TalkHelper

Step 1: Add Files for Conversion

Use the Add File(s) option near the bottom of the software interface to import your PDFs.

Step 2: Choose Excel as Your Output Format

Select PDF to Excel in the panel on the left side of the software interface.

Step 3: Convert PDF to Excel Spreadsheet

Set the destination folder near the top of the software window - you can choose the same or different folder from the location of the source PDF file.

Click the Convert button near the bottom and wait for the conversion to be processed.

Save the output file when prompted.


Method 4. How to Convert PDF to Excel with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Acrobat Pro DC is undoubtedly one of the best and most feature-rich PDF editors around. The conversion engine is also very accurate, powerful, and well-suited to heavy PDF workloads. In most cases, pricing is quite prohibitive, which may be the case for students, cash-strapped entrepreneurs, and smaller companies that process a lot of paperwork. Nevertheless, as the market leader in the PDF space, no list of PDF conversion tools would be complete without mentioning Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Key Features

  • Full-fledged PDF editor
  • Powerful and accurate file conversions to and from PDF
  • Annotate and sign PDFs, fill forms, etc.
  • Secure PDFs
  • Organize pages, merge/split files
  • OCR to convert scanned and image-based PDFs into editable formats

Pros

  • A full suite of PDF tools
  • Comprehensive conversion features
  • Fast and accurate PDF to Excel conversion

Cons

  • Some operations are complex for first-time users
  • Expensive PDF utility

Pricing: Approx. $15 per month on an annual subscription. A perpetual license is $450.

Steps for How to Convert PDF to Excel without Losing Formatting in Acrobat Pro DC

Step 1: Open the PDF

In the Acrobat Pro DC interface, click the My Computer button in the Home tab to navigate to and select the file you want to convert to Excel

Import the required PDF file

Step 2: Export as Excel

Click the Tool tab to see the list of options on the left-hand side panel. Choose Export Excel and, if you want the file to open automatically after conversion, check the box against where it says "Open file after export".

When prompted to choose the destination folder, select it and hit Save to begin the conversion process

The file should automatically open in MS Excel once it's been created; if not, you can simply go to Explorer and double-click it from there, after which you can edit it natively on MS Excel.


Method 5. How to Convert PDF to Excel with Kofax Power PDF

Kofax, formerly known as Nuance, is a powerful PDF editing and conversion tool with a host of other functions to handle document workflows, such as creating and editing forms and tables, PDF security, electronic signature, page numbering, page organizing, etc.

Kofax Power PDF Key Features

  • Accurate PDF to Excel converter
  • Fast conversion
  • PDF creation and editing
  • Forms management tools
  • Security tools
  • e-Signature

Pros

  • Easy process to convert files
  • A versatile suite of tools for other PDF tasks
  • Popular with former Nuance users
  • Available for Mac and PC

Cons

  • No advanced tools such as OCR and batch processing
  • Bulk processing only for Combine PDF feature
  • The advanced version is fairly expensive

Pricing: $129 for Standard; $179 for Advanced

free pdf to excel converter

Steps to Convert PDF to Excel in Kofax Power PDF

Step 1: Open the PDF

Use File → Open to import the PDF to be converted.

Step 2: Save As

Click File again but this time choose the Save As option.

Step 3: Choose Folder

In the Explorer or Finder window, select the target folder.

Step 4: Select Output Format and Save to Convert

Change the file type to Excel.

Click Save to convert the PDF to Excel and save it in the chosen folder.

Conclusion

All of these tools offer accurate conversion quality and speed. Some also allow batch conversions. Yet others have advanced OCR so you can convert scanned PDF tables to Excel as well. But of all the applications showcased here, the only dedicated PDF conversion platform is UPDF Converter for Windows and Mac. With a user-friendly interface, zero learning curve, and powerful conversion capabilities, this is absolutely the final destination when it comes to converting PDF files into other editable formats.