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How To Copy And Paste From A PDF

We tend to copy, cut, and paste content from Word documents every day, and it's quite simple, to be very honest. However, the same isn't true for PDFs. In fact, if you have ever tried to copy, cut, and paste content from PDFs after downloading them or viewing them online, you might have found that it's a bit different. Well, there's some good news. You can duplicate content from PDFs in different ways.

If you are reading this article, you might have already faced the need to duplicate content from one document to another. Maybe you are a student, and you need to copy some equations from a file textbook to your notes. Or perhaps you are a businessperson, and you need to duplicate some contact information from a PDF business card to your CRM system. In both cases, duplicating content will come in handy.

So, the main question is "How to copy and paste from a PDF?" Luckily, duplicating text from PDFs is quite simple, and in this article, we will show you how. Moreover, we will guide you on how to carry out the task from PDFs that are password-protected or scanned.

How To Copy And Paste From A PDF Step-By-Step

The best and easiest way to duplicate content from PDFs is by using an online tool called FormatPDF. It's a cloud-based program that allows you to duplicate text from PDFs (including locked ones, which can't be copied in other ways).

The steps to duplicate text from PDFs are as follows:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/edit-pdf/
  2. Click on "Select PDF file" and upload the file from which you want to copy the content.
  3. Select the content (text, table, and images) you want to copy. Right-click the mouse and select "Copy" from the drop-down menu. Or else, you can simply click the "Ctrl + C" option.
  4. Again, go to "Edit PDF" and upload the file on which you want to paste the content.
  5. Position the cursor and click on the "Ctrl + V" shortcut. Alternatively, you can also right-click your mouse and select the "Paste" option.
  6. Finally, click on the "Download" button. Simple!

How To Copy And Paste From A Password-Protected PDF

Sometimes PDFs are restricted with a password, and in such a case, you will need to open it first to copy content. So, if you have its password, you can easily enter the code and unlock it. However, if you don't, then you can use FormatPDF to open the same.

The step-by-step guide on how to carry out the task is as follows:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/
  2. Tap on the "Select the PDF" button and upload the file you want to unlock.
  3. Click on "Unlock PDF" and wait for a few seconds.
  4. Once your file is unlocked, go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/edit-pdf/
  5. Upload it by clicking on "Select PDF file" and then choosing it. Alternatively, you can drag and drop it directly in the "Or Drag And Drop The PDF Here" space.
  6. Copy the content and open the file on which you want to paste the content with "Edit PDF."
  7. Position the cursor and paste the content on the new file, and then download it!

How To Copy And Paste From A PDF Image

If the PDF from which you want to copy content is scanned, then the content won't be in text format, but rather, it will be in image format. In such a case, you won't be able to duplicate content from it. Don't worry; FormatPDF is here to help you out.

The steps you need to follow are as follows:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/jpg-to-pdf/
  2. Upload the file from which you want to copy by clicking on the "Select JPG file" button. Or else drag the image directly to the "Or Drag And Drop The JPG File Here" section.
  3. Click on the "Convert To PDF" button. Now, your image will be converted.
  4. Then go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/edit-pdf/
  5. Tap on "Select PDF file" and choose the file you want.
  6. Copy the text or other content and then upload the file on which you want to paste it with "Edit PDF."
  7. Paste it and download the new file on your device.

What You Need To Know About Copying And Pasting From A PDF

There are certain things that you need to keep in mind while copying and pasting content from one file to another. These are as follows:

  • You can always duplicate content from a password-protected file using the method mentioned above. However, if you can't unlock it, you can convert it to a different format, like Microsoft Word or plain text. This will usually remove the copy protection.
  • When you are selecting text to copy, make sure to select all of the text that you want to duplicate. If you only choose part of the text, the copied text will not be complete.
  • Always keep in mind that when you paste text from a file into another one, the formatting may not be preserved. So, you may need to adjust the formatting, such as the font, font size, and alignment, after pasting the text.
  • Of course, if the text of your file is complex, with a lot of formatting, it may be more difficult to paste the content without losing some of the formatting.
  • Obviously, if you are using someone else's file to copy content, it's better to have permission from them. That way, you will be on the safer side.

Which Programs Allow You To Copy And Paste From A PDF

Now you know what's the best way to duplicate content from PDFs, but it's important to know some alternatives to carry out the task. You may prefer to download or install some type of program on your device. That's why we will show you alternatives according to the type of operating system of your device.

Copy And Paste From A PDF On A PC

We are going to start by offering you a list of different software that you can use on your computer, such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. The best part of using computers is that it allows you to view the file on a larger screen. That way, it makes opening and editing PDFs easier.


If you are using Windows and you want to copy and paste content from one file to another, we recommend using the above-mentioned method. Moreover, you can download and use a good PDF reader for that. Simply open your file with it and copy the content. However, if your file is password protected, you can use Adobe to unlock it.


On Mac, on the other hand, you can use a web viewer, which is one of the best options for copying and pasting content from PDFs. You can do this by first finding the file from which you want to extract content. Then, right-click on the file, go to "Open With," and choose a web browser of your choice; it can be Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox.


Just like the other two computer operating systems (Windows and Mac), the same goes for Linux as well. You can open the file from which you want to extract content on a web browser using the method mentioned above and copy text from it. Then, simply paste it in a new file.

Copy And Paste From A PDF On A Smartphone Or Tablet

The process of copying and pasting content from one document to another on mobile devices is somewhat similar to that of the process on computers. So, obviously, the best way to carry out the task is using the method we gave at the beginning of this article.


It's true that you can copy and paste from PDFs on your Android phone or tablet using any of the methods mentioned above. However, that's not the only way. You can access various apps that allow you to copy and paste content from the Google Play Store. You can install one with good ratings, of course, and start working on it.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

Android isn't the only smartphone operating system we see on the market today. That's because we have iPhones and iPads that run with the iOS operating system. So, it's important to know how to copy and paste from PDFs on iOS devices. You can easily install an app designed for such a task from the Apple App Store and use it.

Husain has been around the internet ever since the dial-up days and loves writing about everything across the technosphere. He loves taking tech apart and see what makes them tick, without necessarily putting it all back together.
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