How to Convert PDF to Word on Mac with 4 Methods (macOS Big Sur Included)

PDF remains the most common type of file to share as it can be opened in any operating system. But it is still rather difficult to edit a PDF document, which is why converting PDF to Word on Mac may become necessary. Once the document is in Word format, you can easily make any changes to the document and then convert it back to PDF to share it. Here, we look at the best ways to convert PDF to Word on your Mac.

Method 1. How to Convert PDF to Word on Mac with UPDF Converter

The easiest way to convert PDF to Word on your Mac computer is to use UPDF Converter for Mac, a program that is designed specifically for that purpose. UPDF can convert your PDF document to the most popular formats including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Images, Text, HTML, RTF, XML, PDF/A without affecting the formatting of the original document. This will make it easier for you to edit the document without having to worry too much about macro changes.

UPDF Converter is a very simple program to use. Once it is installed on your computer, open it and then follow these simple steps to convert PDF to Word on Mac:

Step 1: Import File to Be Converted

The first thing you need to do is add the PDF document into UPDF Converter. You can do that in one of two ways: you can click "Add Files" at the top and select the file to add or you can simply drag and drop the file into the main interface.

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Since UPDF Converter supports the conversion of more than one file at the same time, you can choose to add as many PDFs as you want to the program. Once all the files have been added to the program, you should see them in the next interface.

Step 2: Select Word as Output Format

On the right panel, you need to select "Word" as the output format. UPDF Converter offers three options for Word format: Flowing, Continuous, and Exact. (If you want to know details about these three options, you can check the PDF to Word conversion user guide).

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If you just want to convert some pages of the PDF document, you can click the "Vertical three dots" icon and then choose page ranges from All Pages, Odd Pages, Even Pages, and Custom. You don't need to choose if you want to convert all pages as it is the default option.

Step 3: Convert PDF to Word on Your Mac Computer

Then click on the "GO" button at the bottom right to begin the conversion process. Select the destination you want to save the converted document. You should see the conversion progress next to each document, with a green check-mark appearing when the conversion is complete.

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Method 2. How to Change PDF to Word on Mac with Preview

If you want to convert PDF to Word on Mac for free, you can use the Preview app that comes built into every Mac. This process is relatively simple although you may find that it works well with text-based documents or those that don't have a lot of formatting.

Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Right-click on the PDF document, select "Open With" and then select "Preview".

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Step 2: Select the text or pages that you would like to convert to Word and then hit "Command + C".

Step 3: Open Microsoft Word on Mac and then use the "Command + V" keyboard shortcut to paste in the text.

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You can then save the Word document and you'll have converted the text to Word. But as you might be able to tell, you will not be able to keep the formatting and you may have to reformat the text to mimic the original.

Method 3. How to Export PDF to Word on Mac with Automator

Automator is a utility that comes built into macOS. It is usually helpful in various ways including renaming or moving files in batches. In this case, we can use it to extract the text from PDF without having to convert the file to Word. You can then use another text editor to make changes to the extracted text.

This may be helpful if you don't have Word on your Mac, but you still find that you need to make changes to the document. Here's how to extract text from your PDF using Automator:

Step 1: Open Automator from the Applications Folder.

Step 2: Select "Workflow" and tap "Enter" on the keyboard.

Step 3: Select "Files and Folders" on the left column.

Step 4: In the middle column, choose "Ask for Finder" items and then drag it into the "Drag actions or files here to build a workflow" pane.

Step 5: Select the PDFs with the text that you would like to extract in the left column and then click "Extract PDF Text" in the second column.

Step 6: Drag and Drop "Extract PDF Text" under "Find Files and Folders".

Step 7: Choose "Rich Text" or "Plain Text" if you would like to keep the original formatting of the document.

Step 8: Choose where you want Automator to store the extracted files. Save as an application, then open the new application and choose the PDF with the text you want to extract.

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You can then open the new Rich Text document in a word processor like Ulysses. With Ulysses, you should be able to make any changes you want to the text and then export the work into an eBook format of your choice or even into a new PDF file. Ulysses can also open Word files and export them to PDF.

Method 4. How to Convert PDF to Word on Mac Free Online with Google Docs

Google Docs is a convenient solution for converting PDFs to Word since you can do that directly on your browser, without having to download the PDFs to your computer first. But as useful as this method can be, it may not be a useful solution if the PDF document you have has a lot of images. Google Docs has been known to remove some of these images during the conversion process.

Here’s how you can use Google Docs to convert your PDFs to Word:

Step 1: Open Google Drive and click on the gear icon on the top right. Choose "Settings".

Step 2: In the General Tab, check the "Convert Uploaded Files to Google Docs editor format" box under "Convert Uploads".

Step 3: Now find the PDF document that you want to convert. Right-click on it and select "Open With" and then choose "Google Docs".

Step 4: The PDF will open in a new Google Doc. Click "File" in the menu at the top bar and then select "Download as Microsoft Word". This will save the PDF document to your computer in Word format, allowing you to edit the document in any way you want.

This Google Drive solution is an ideal way to convert simple text PDF documents to Word. If the PDF has a lot of images, you will need a more powerful converter that will take into account the images on the document and their effect on the conversion process.


There are a lot of ways for you to convert PDF to Word on Mac and while most will get the job done, they may involve more than one step. This may not be ideal if you have a lot of documents to convert or if you don't want to have to go back into the document to re-format or add images afresh. To convert your PDF as is, we recommend using UPDF Converter.