Tech

Convert PDF to Excel – this is how it works






Tables in PDF documents cannot be transferred to an Excel table simply by copying them. But there are ways how you can convert PDF content to Excel.

Transferring tables in PDF format to Excel has its pitfalls. Simply marking and copying often does not work and mixes up rows and columns. However, there are three ways of converting or converting PDF content in Excel: using a function in Excel itself, using various website tools or using a suitable PDF reader that enables copying.

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Convert PDF to Excel directly

  1. In Excel, select the “Data” tab and then select “Retrieve data -› From file – ›From PDF”.

  2. Select your PDF file.

  3. A window appears with the page information on which the tables of the PDF document are located. Select the page that contains the table you want. It is displayed on the right in the current window for checking.

  4. A click on “Load” brings the table correctly formatted into the Excel document. A new worksheet is created for this.

Via “Data -› Retrieve data - ›From file -› From PDF ”, you can import tables from PDF documents so that they are correctly distributed across columns and rows.

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Via “Data -› Retrieve data – ›From file -› From PDF ”, you can import tables from PDF documents so that they are correctly distributed across columns and rows.

Note:

The imported data remains linked to its source, i.e. the PDF document, in Excel. In most cases this is not what you want with a PDF document. We therefore recommend marking the imported table and copying it with Ctrl-C, for example. You can remove the copied data from the source via “Paste -> Paste values”. You can use the copy to overwrite the previously imported data when you insert it, or you can delete the imported data after inserting it elsewhere.

If you want to convert an entire PDF to Excel, there are a number of free web tools that can do the conversion for you. Many even offer conversion with OCR, i.e. optical character recognition in images, if the PDF has been scanned. The web converters Freepdfconvert, Smallpdf or Online2Pdf.com do a very convincing job here.

The procedure is very simple: You upload the PDF by selection or drag & drop, have it converted and then usually receive the download of the XLSX document automatically or with a mouse button.

Copy tables with PDF reader

If you use a good PDF reader, such as Foxit Reader, you can use it to open the PDF document, select the table you want, copy and paste it into Excel. As a rule, it is correctly distributed across rows and columns.

Tip:

20 tips for working faster with Excel

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