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How To Copy Text From A PDF

Chances are you've encountered an issue when copying text from PDFs, particularly after converting them to Word. The copied text doesn't appear correctly, often jumping or containing random lines, making it difficult to accurately replicate. Rest assured, this problem has a simple solution, and we can inform you that there are multiple methods available for extracting words from PDFs. However, let's first explore the situations in which you might find this information useful.

The PDF format has gained significant popularity as a means of sharing information due to its unmodifiable content. There are various reasons why you might want to copy words from PDFs. You may need to create a new file using content from an existing one, or perhaps you want to incorporate the text from a PDF into another document. Regardless of the purpose, it is crucial to understand the process of copying text from such files.

Copying words from PDFs can be accomplished through a range of methods. In this article, we will explore diverse approaches to swiftly and effectively carry out this task. We will not only cover online methods but also provide alternative solutions for different operating systems.

How To Copy Text From A PDF Step-By-Step

In most cases, you can copy text from PDFs and paste it into other locations by using the standard method of right-clicking on the words and selecting "Copy," just as you would with any other digital document.

Nevertheless, there may be instances where this approach becomes impractical, particularly when working with a scanned file. In such situations, instead of investing in a costly OCR solution, you can conveniently utilize an online tool, such as an online JPG to PDF converter, to convert your file. This conversion enables you to extract and copy words from the transformed file with ease.

To convert image files using the online tool, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the website formatpdf.com/en/jpg-to-pdf/
  2. Click on the "Select JPG file" button located at the top of the homepage. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the required file into the designated area that says "Or drag and drop the JPG here."
  3. Choose the file you wish to convert.
  4. Click on the new red button labeled "Convert to PDF" to initiate the transformation process.
  5. Once the conversion is complete, click on "Download PDF" to obtain your document.

Now that you have your document in PDF format, you can easily copy words from it using the appropriate software.

Convert JPG To PDF With FormatPDF

What You Need To Know About Copying Text From A PDF

When copying text from PDFs, it is important to consider the following points:

  • Some PDFs have restrictions that prevent words from being copied. If you encounter this issue, it means the file is secured or encrypted to protect its content. In such cases, you have a few options: unlock the PDF, attempt to convert it to Word format, or resort to manually typing the text as a last resort using an online PDF editor.
  • After copying the required words from the file, remember to paste them into your desired location. It is advisable to save the new file at this point to avoid losing or damaging the copied text. By doing so, you can access it whenever needed.
  • Select an appropriate location for the copied texts. If you anticipate making changes later on, it is recommended to save it as a Microsoft Word document. Alternatively, you may choose to use design software like Adobe Illustrator or include it directly in an email.
  • If you are copying text from someone else's PDF file, it is essential to obtain their permission before proceeding with the action. Respecting the rights and permissions of others is crucial when handling their documents.

Check This: How To Flip A PDF

Which Programs Allow You To Copy Text From A PDF

Copying text from PDFs online, without the need for software installation, is considered one of the best options available. However, let's delve into how to copy words on both a PC and a mobile device using other programs.

Copy Text From A PDF On A PC

Copying text from PDFs using a PC (Windows, Mac, or Linux) might initially appear daunting. However, the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, the process is much simpler than you might anticipate. Let's explore the steps to copy words by closely examining the procedure.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

The Adobe Reader program is a suitable option for individuals who need to copy words from PDF documents on a PC running Windows 10 or an earlier version of the operating system. This functionality is one of the notable features provided by this proficient PDF reading and editing application.


Fortunately, copying content from a PDF file on a Mac is a straightforward process. Simply select the desired text by moving the cursor over it, right-click, and choose "Copy." Then, you can paste the words into any Word or PDF document. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcuts "Command + C" to copy and "Command + V" to paste when copying text from PDFs.


To copy text from PDFs on Linux, you need to open the required PDF file in Reader. Right-click on the document and select "Tool" from the pop-up menu. To select a picture, click on it, and to select text, drag your cursor over the desired portion. Then, right-click again and choose "Copy" to select the Copy option. Finally, paste the copied material wherever you wish.

Copy Text From A PDF On A Smartphone Or Tablet

There are different scenarios where you may have a PDF file downloaded directly to your phone or tablet. In this section, we will explore the process of copying words from a PDF file on various mobile operating systems.


Opting for an online platform is the most convenient option as it only requires an internet connection. Nevertheless, there are methods to copy text from PDFs on Android devices. You can obtain Adobe Acrobat for mobile from the Play Store. Additionally, there are other programs available in the official app store that enable you to copy words just like Adobe Acrobat does.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

When it comes to iOS, you have similar options as those available for Android. You can utilize Microsoft Word, install Adobe Acrobat, or access online tools. Additionally, you can explore alternative programs in the Apple App Store that offer the same functionality. With any of these alternatives, you can easily copy words from PDFs on iOS.

FAQs About How To Copy Text From A PDF

To copy text from a PDF document, follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file in our PDF editor.
  2. Use your cursor to select the text you want to copy. Click and drag to highlight the desired text.
  3. Once the text is selected, right-click (or use the appropriate keyboard shortcut) and choose "Copy."
  4. Alternatively, you can use the "Edit" menu and select "Copy" to copy the selected text.
  5. The copied text is now saved to your clipboard and can be pasted into another document or application.
Some PDFs might have security settings or restrictions that prevent text copying. If you're unable to copy text from a PDF, consider these options:
  • Check if the PDF is password-protected or has restrictions set by the document creator and, if necessary, unlock the PDF.
  • Try converting the PDF to a text-based format using our PDF to Word conversion tool.
When you copy text from a PDF, the formatting might not always be preserved exactly as it appears in the PDF. The copied text often adopts the formatting of the target application where you paste it. This is because PDFs can contain complex formatting that doesn't always translate perfectly to other formats. If you require the original formatting, you might need to manually adjust it in the application where you paste the text.
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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