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How to Convert PDF to Excel with an Accurate PDF Converter

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 an excellent PDF to Excel converter for desktop users. It also allows you convert scanned PDF to Excel with OCR.

Part 1. How to Convert PDF to Excel with UPDF

UPDF is an easy-to-use PDF tool that can help you 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 many powerful features. To try UPDF, tap on the below Free Download button.

  • 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.
  • A simplified interface that requires minimal user input.
  • High accuracy in terms of content integrity after conversion.
  • Handles very large PDFs with ease.
  • View, annotate, edit, protect, and share PDF files quickly.

Steps to Convert PDF to Excel with UPDF

Step 1: Import the PDF

Drag and drop the PDF into the UPDF interface to import it.

Alternatively, you can use the "Open File" button of the software window for the same result.

Step 2: Choose the Excel Output File Format

In the right panel, click the "Export PDF" tab and then select the "Excel" option.

Step 3: Convert the PDF to Excel with One Click

Then you can click the "Export" button at the bottom of the pop-up window. Finally, select a destination folder to save the converted file. That's how to Convert PDF to Excel with UPDF. To try UPDF, click the Free Download button below.

Part 2. What is XLS and XLSX?

For files saved as Microsoft Excel workbooks, the XLS file extension is utilized. Excel is a spreadsheet program that allows you to work with data such as numbers and formulas and write and draw shapes. Excel is an application included in the Microsoft Office Suite. Microsoft-only XLS files store spreadsheet data in a Binary Interchange File Format.

The XLSX file extension is associated with Microsoft Excel (2007/2010) files, among the most popular and competent tools for producing and manipulating spreadsheets, graphs, and other documents. Workbooks, spreadsheets, and document files in Microsoft Excel (2007/2010) are stored in.xlsx files. They work the same way as the.xls Microsoft Excel 97 to 2003 Workbook files, but with a different file extension. The Open XML data format serves as the file format's base. ZIP compression is used on.xlsx files, resulting in smaller file sizes

Part 3. What is the Difference Between XLS and XLSX?

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.

  1. In terms of version, Microsoft Excel 2003's default version is XLS. XLSX, on the other hand, was the default version of Microsoft Excel in 2007.
  2. The information in XLS is stored in binary format. It is based on BIFF, or Binary Interchange File Format. Meanwhile, the information from XLSX is saved in an XML-encoded text file. It is based on the Office Open XML format.
  3. The XLS extension's file is not zip-compressed. XLSX extension files, on the other hand, are zip-compressed.
  4. In large data collection, files with complex formulas tend to be much faster in XLS. In contrast, speed performance in XLSX tends to be fairly poor on files requiring a sophisticated formula on data with a huge set.
  5. The XLS file extension supports macros and can store spreadsheets with or without macros. In contrast, XLSX does not support macros because Microsoft opted to discontinue support for macros in this file format instead assigned XLSM to use macros.
  6. XLS is faster than XLSX in files that involve the usage of complicated formulas with large data sets.
  7. XLSX may hold more rows and columns than XLS.
  8. The distinction between XLS, XLSX, and CSV is that XLS and XLSX are Excel file formats that include tables, images, calculations, and so on, whereas CSV can only save files in text format.

The distinction between XLS, XLSX, and CSV is that XLS and XLSX are Excel file formats that include tables, images, calculations, and so on, whereas CSV can only save files in text

What is the main difference between XLS and XLSX regarding row limits?

The capacity of the XLSX file format to compress data and reduce file size is a significant difference between XLS and XLSX. The row limit in an XLS spreadsheet is 65,536 (2¹⁶), increasing to 1,048,576 rows (2²⁰). In an XLSX workbook. The column limit for XLS and XLSX is 256 (2⁸)  and 16,384 (2¹⁴), respectively.

Part 4. What are the XLS File Format Specifications?

An XLS file's data is organized as binary streams in the form of a compound file. Storages, streams, and substreams containing information about the content and structure of a workbook, including workbook data such as worksheet definitions, are employed to store data in the compound file. Each stream or substream has a succession of binary records. Each binary record contains workbook data in one or more structured fields. Examine the Microsoft XLS File Formation Specifications document.

Substream and Stream

The workbook stream represents a workbook. Substreams represent each worksheet in a workbook. In addition to the Global Substream, it has Chart Sheet Substream, Macro Sheet Substream, or Dialog Sheet Substream. Each binary stream or substream containing workbook data MUST be written in the form of a series of binary records.


A record is a variable-length sequence of bytes that stores information about features in a workbook. A binary record is made up of the three elements listed below:

  • Record Type
  • Record Size
  • Record Data


A formula is a series of values, cell references, names, functions, or operators in a cell that yield a new value when combined. Formulas are saved in a tokenized format called "parsed expressions." A parsed expression is turned into a textual formula for display and user customization at runtime. The Formula record specifies cell formulas. The Array record specifies array formulas. The ShrFmla record specifies shared formulas.


Metadata is supplementary information connected with a certain cell or its content. Metadata is solely recorded in BIFF8 for future extensibility.


The chart sheet specifies a chart, a graphic that visually presents data or the relationships between data sets, and a chart data cache, a local copy of the data used in the chart that is missing or broken links to external data sources.

The chart specifies one or two axis groups, a set of axes against which the chart data is plotted, and a set of series, trendlines, and error bars. Each axis group specifies one to four chart groups that define the type of data presentation employed. Each series, trendline, and error bar is associated with a chart group.

Cell Table

Cells are the basic building pieces of a workbook that store the workbook's contents, like text, formulas, and numerical data. Cells keep a record of the recorded data in the form of a data structure known as the Cell Table. The Cell Table is maintained in a series of entries that follow the CELLTABLE criteria specified in the specs document. It comprises a succession of row blocks with rows grouped in row blocks. Each row block contains rows beginning with the first row of data and ending with the last row of data.

Pivot Tables

A Pivot Table is a tool for summarising source data to understand its distribution. In a Pivot Table, relevant columns from the original data are transformed into fields used to summarise data. When the PivotTable's source data is OLAP, OLAP hierarchies and other OLAP entities become fields in the PivotTable.

A PivotTable comprises two key components: a PivotCache and a PivotTable view. A single non-OLAP PivotCache can support several PivotTable views.


This summary shows how to specify formatting and protection information for cells in a sheet. Cell formatting is made up of numerous different types of properties:

  • Alignment properties
  • Font properties
  • Fill properties
  • Number formatting properties
  • Border properties
  • Protection properties


XLS and XLSX are two Microsoft Excel files commonly used to develop mathematical models and store financial data. The binary format underpins XLS. XLSX, on the other hand, is based on the Office Open XML format. Regarding Microsoft Excel, XLS is the older version, and XLSX is the most recent.

Bottom Line

Regarding converting PDF to Excel, UPDF is the best choice for you. With a user-friendly interface, zero learning curve, and accurate and fast conversion capabilities, this is absolutely the final destination when it comes to converting PDF files into other editable formats. To try UPDF through the below button.