How to Convert PDF to Word

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In today's digital age, the need to convert PDF files to Word documents has become more crucial than ever. Whether you're a student editing your research paper or simply looking to make changes to a PDF document, the ability to switch between formats is a valuable skill.

We understand that you may have varying preferences or situations that call for different methods, so we've got you covered with detailed instructions for both online and offline conversions. Whether connected to the internet or working offline, you'll find a solution that suits your needs.

Additionally, we'll introduce you to some handy apps that can make this task even more effortless. So, if you’re new to PDF documents or don’t know how to convert PDF to Word, keep reading!

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How I picked PDF to Word converters

Choosing the best service to turn PDF into Word I carefully considered several factors:

  • Accuracy. The converter has to maintain the original layout and formatting, including text, images, tables, and other elements.
  • Ease of use. The conversion process should be simple and the interface is supposed to be clear and intuitive.
  • Batch Processing. The ability to convert several PDF documents at once is a big time-saver.

By evaluating PDF converters using these criteria, I was able to choose the best tools for online and offline conversion.

Best Offline PDF to Word converters

Program Available Formatting preservation OCR Batch conversion Rating
Icecream PDF Editor
Windows
Great
Yes
Yes
5.0
Microsoft Word
Windows
MacOS
Only basic layouts
Laggy
No
4.0
PDF Candy Desktop
Windows
Great
Yes
Yes
5.0
The Document Converter
MacOS
Excellent
No
No
4.5
WPS PDF to Word Converter
Windows
MacOS
Good
Yes
Yes
4.0
Adobe Acrobat Pro
Windows
MacOS
Android
Awesome
Yes
No
4.5
Foxit PDF Editor Suite
Windows
Fine
Yes
Yes
3.5
UniPDF
Windows
For simple layouts
Yes
Yes
3.5

1. Icecream PDF Converter

Icecream PDF Converter stands out as the best PDF to Word converter for Windows thanks to its intuitive interface and robust conversion capabilities. The offline tool ensures seamless and accurate PDF to editable Word document conversion.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Download the free PDF to Word converter and follow the onscreen guidance to install the tool.
  2. Launch the application from the desktop.
  3. Press the "From PDF" button on the app's main menu.
  4. Click "Add PDF File" to add files for conversion or drag and drop them to the working area.
  5. Hit "Convert" to initiate the conversion process.
  6. Click the "Open Folder" to one folder with the converted Word files.

Best Features:

  • Convert multiple PDF files to Word simultaneously, saving time and effort.
  • High-quality preservation of formatting and content.
  • Preview PDF files before conversion to select specific pages or content to be converted.
  • Supports password-protected PDFs and provides secure handling of sensitive documents.

Pros:

  • Accurate and reliable PDF to Word conversion.
  • Select specific PDF pages you want to be converted.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Lightweight installer.
  • The software works on most Windows PCs.
  • All the basic and most premium features are available for free.

Cons:

  • Not available for Mac or Linux systems.

2. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a versatile desktop application that can be used as a PDF to Word converter. It allows you to save PDF files as editable Word documents with ease. You can also choose between DOC or DOCX extensions as per your requirements.

Microsoft Word

Best Features:

  • Built-in OCR software of Microsoft Word to scan images and PDFs.
  • Advanced content editing functionalities for the output file.

Pros:

  • Freely available for Microsoft 365 and Word for the Web app subscribers.
  • Can turn PDF to Word and visa versa in a few clicks.
  • You can view, edit, and convert documents in one place.
  • Word doesn't have file size restrictions.

Cons:

  • The app freezes when it tries to process the OCR scanning in the background.
  • The software struggles to convert complex PDF layouts accurately.
  • You must buy the whole Microsoft 365 package just to use the PDF to Word converter app, so it’s barely cost-effective.

Download: Windows | Mac

3. PDF Candy Desktop

Another lightweight, free, yet powerful PDF to Word converter is the PDF Candy Desktop application. It offers a powerful and user-friendly solution for converting PDF files to Word formats at no cost.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Download and install the PDF converter app for free.
  2. Launch it on your Windows computer.
  3. Click "PDF to Word" and choose the file for conversion.
  4. Once all the documents have been added, press "Convert".
  5. Hit the "Open Folder" button to access all converted files.

Best Features:

  • Powerful OCR feature that converts almost all scanned or printed PDF documents to Word files.
  • It preserves all original elements any special characters, punctuations, alphabets, etc.
  • The tool expertly formats the output file by matching the content organization of the input PDF.
  • Processes documents locally for data safety and security.

Pros:

  • You can convert PDF files of any page volume or size.
  • Beyond just conversion, the software offers tools to split and merge PDFs.
  • Available for free for personal use with limited conversion tasks.
  • You can convert several PDF files to Word format using batch processing.

Cons:

  • No MacOS and Linux support.

Download: Windows

4. The Document Converter

The Document Converter is a robust PDF to Word desktop application developed exclusively for macOS users. It offers an efficient way to convert PDF files to Word documents on Mac computers.

PDF Converter

Best Features:

  • Tailored for macOS, ensuring seamless performance and integration.
  • Allows users to convert multiple PDFs to Word documents simultaneously.

Pros:

  • Native macOS application for optimized performance.
  • Preserves document formatting and layout during conversion.
  • Converts PDF to DOC DOCX, TXT and other formats.

Cons:

  • Limited functionality beyond converting PDF to Word.
  • Not available for Windows or other operating systems.
  • Must buy in-app premium passes to use most PDF to Word conversion features.
  • Requires an internet connection as the conversion is done on a cloud server.

Download: Mac

5. WPS PDF to Word Converter

WPS PDF to Word Converter is free a desktop application for converting PDF to Word. This tool provides a rapid conversion process, which is important when needing to convert documents quickly.

WPS

Best Features:

  • An intuitive interface allows both beginners and professionals to use the tool.
  • Users can convert PDFs to Words in batches.
  • Good text and symbol extraction accuracy.

Pros:

  • Keeps maximum document formatting.
  • The OCR feature can turn scanned PDF into editable Word text.
  • It also supports the merging multiple PDFs into one file.
  • Some functionalities are available for free.

Cons:

  • Mostly used PDF to Word converter features are behind a paywall.
  • Only converts three pages in the free edition.

Download: Windows | Mac

6. Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Pro is a popular PDF suite that also includes the feature of PDF to Word conversion. However, if you wish to use this tool for PDF to Word converting purposes, you have to get the whole suite, which is extremely costly.

Adobe Acrobat Pro

Best Features:

  • Advanced OCR algorithm to detect every piece of printed or scanned text, symbols, numbers, etc.
  • Automatically detects content organization and formatting in the source file and carries forward the same in the output Word document.
  • Provides tools for editing PDF text and adding comments, using drawing tools, stamps, and more.

Pros:

  • Globally acclaimed PDF suites.
  • Advanced content annotation features.
  • Array of professional-grade features.
  • Has an online version too.

Cons:

  • Complicated user interface.
  • Steep learning curve.
  • Extremely costly just for PDF to Word conversion purposes.
  • Consumes a lot of system resources.

Download: Windows and Mac

7. Foxit PDF Editor Suite

Foxit PDF Editor Suite is a comprehensive desktop software for converting PDF to Word. It provides professional editing capabilities and is known for its efficient and accurate PDF to Word conversion.

PDF Converter

Best Features:

  • Import source PDFs from online and offline sources like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Foxit Archive, etc.
  • DOC and DOCX conversion supported.
  • Uses advanced OCR to convert PDF files to other document formats.

Pros:

  • Comes with a wide range of PDF editing features.
  • Supports batch conversion.
  • Convert to Word directly after scanning the document.

Cons:

  • Paid software, so it may not be suitable if you don't need to convert PDFs to Word regularly.
  • Can be resource-intensive on older computers.
  • Comes with a steep learning curve for some advanced features.
  • The cost isn’t suitable for freelancers, small businesses, and individual users.

Download: Windows and Mac

8. UniPDF

UniPDF is a desktop application designed for converting PDF documents to Word files with ease. It offers a straightforward and valuable solution for preserving the content and formatting of PDFs when converting them to editable Word format.

UniPDF

Best Features:

  • The PDF converter can recognize PDFs with non-English characters, including multiple European and Asian languages.
  • You can choose to extract text or images out of a PDF, without having to convert the entire document.

Pros:

  • Simple and intuitive software.
  • Preserves document's layout and formatting.
  • Allows for bulk conversion of PDFs.

Cons:

  • Limited features compared to some premium alternatives.
  • May have occasional difficulties with complex or heavily formatted PDFs.
  • The free version might have restrictions on the number of conversions or pages.

Download: Windows

Best Online PDF to Word Converters

Program Formatting preservation Size limit Batch conversion Rating
PDF Candy
Great
Up to 500MB
Yes
5.0
Google Drive
Fine
No
No
4.5
Apryse PDF to Word Converter
Good
50MB
No
4.0
iLovePDF
Good
100MB
Yes
4.0
DocFly
Okay
200MB
No
3.5

1. PDF Candy

If you occasionally need to save PDF as a Word file, you can use an online converter. PDF Candy is absolutely free for personal and professional use. It boasts advanced Optical Character Recognition software on the cloud that can perform PDF to Word conversions much faster and with greater accuracy than most web apps.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to the online PDF to Word converter.
  2. Click "Add Files" and choose a file from the local or cloud storage.
  3. Select "PDF to DOC" or "PDF to DOCX".
  4. When the conversion is done, click "Download file" to get the output Word document.

Best Features:

  • Upload source files from Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Batch processing for scaled-up workloads.
  • It is possible to convert PDFs to multiple formats including PPT to create presentations.

Pros:

  • Convert PDF to Word for free.
  • Process large files up to 500MB
  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • A quick preview of the output file before conversion.
  • Faster processing online.
  • Fully encrypted data transmission for maximum security.

2. Google Drive

Google Drive has a feature that serves as an excellent free PDF to Word converter. It allows you to seamlessly change PDF files to Word documents within the Google Workspace platform.

Google Drive

Best Features:

  • Create searchable documents directly within interface.
  • Share and edit the converted document with collaboration tool.
  • Download Google Docs as DOC, DOCX, etc.

Pros:

  • Completely free to PDF to Word conversion.
  • No need for any third-party apps.
  • Collaborate with multiple users in real time.

Cons:

  • The OCR algorithm is primitive and can lead to lost formatting.
  • Not suitable for professional and business-grade projects.
  • If you are dealing with sensitive documents, uploading them to a cloud service can pose a risk.

3. Apryse PDF to Word Converter

Apryse PDF to Word Converter is an online tool that allows users to easily convert PDF files to Word. It features a straightforward interface for quick and convenient conversions.

Apryse

Best Features:

  • Supports most web browsers including those for smartphones and tablets.
  • One-by-one processing of OCR scanning tasks.
  • Quickest OCR scanning.

Pros:

  • Daily two free PDF to Word conversions per user.
  • OCR tailored for the English language.
  • No email sign-ups are needed.

Cons:

  • The free and online version offers limited features and tasks per user.
  • Since the OCR scanning algorithm is fast, you might notice inaccuracies in the output file.

4. iLovePDF

iLovePDF is another popular and acclaimed suite for various jobs like merging, splitting, compressing, eSigning, and converting to different document formats.

Online PDF to Word converter

Best Features:

  • Upload PDF from Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Drag and drop interface to convert PDF to Word online.
  • The platform is intuitive, simple to navigate and understand.

Pros:

  • Freeware tool for professional and personal usage.
  • No setup needed.
  • Tools beyond just conversion including rotating PDF.

Cons:

  • The free version only offers no OCR for PDF to Word conversion.
  • Free users might see ads.

5. DocFly

If you’re in a hurry and need a quick solution to convert your PDF to Word files for further editing and modification, you can also check out DocFly. It offers a three-step way to save PDF as Word.

DocFly

Best Features:

  • Upload PDFs from the local storage or add them from Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • The server uses HTTPS encryption to protect your PDFs.

Pros:

  • Download the converted files directly or get them emailed to yourself.
  • Drag and drop uploading of source files.
  • Deletes your PDF from the server automatically after 24 hours.

Cons:

  • Its free service is extremely limited to only three conversions in a month.
  • The accuracy it delivers while converting a PDF is substandard.

Reasons to Convert PDF to Word

Find below the scenarios where you may want to learn how to convert PDF to Word using standalone or web applications:

  1. Simple editing. You can easily edit the content of a document in the Word format rather than the PDF.
  2. Collaboration. Multiple editors can edit one Word file hosted on cloud storage like OneDrive. This facility isn’t available or easily accessible for PDF documents.
  3. Formatting. Word allows for precise formatting control, making it ideal for creating and customizing documents.
  4. Text to speech. Word documents are often more accessible for screen readers and assistive technologies.
  5. Working with text. PDF to Word conversion helps extract text for reuse or quoting in other documents.
  6. Spelling check. Word offers robust spelling and grammar check features, aiding in document accuracy.
  7. Fill in forms. If you work with PDF forms a lot, you may want to change PDF to Word format for faster modifications, data extraction, etc.
  8. Compression. Converting PDF to Word can reduce file sizes, making sharing and storage more manageable.

Conclusion

So now you know how to perform PDF to Word conversion using various online and offline applications for Windows, MacOS, etc. You have also explored the ultimate list of PDF to Word converters you can rely on for personal, professional, and business use cases.

Among all these desktop and cloud applications that convert PDF to Word, the Icecream PDF Converter should be your first choice for offline tools because it’s easy to use and highly affordable. It gets things done quickly so you don’t get stuck at configuring apps for PDF to Word conversion tasks.

For online conversions, we recommend choosing PDF Candy because it focuses on internet data privacy and security more than any other PDF to Word web apps in the market.

Remember, the perfect tool for you is one that caters to your needs most efficiently.

Tamal Das

Expert Tech Writer

Tamal is a tech writer at Icecream Apps. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies. Now, he’s a professional content writer of B2B and B2C software products and also a meticulous software reviewer whose reviews on applications and web apps have been published in reputed technology websites. He has already been published on such reputable sites like MakeUseOf, Geekflare, AddictiveTips. When he’s not writing, he researches the internet and technology journals to stay updated about the latest happenings in the SaaS industry.
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