It's wise to store data in PDFs, as it is one of the most acceptable document file types. But some tasks require you to use tools other than PDF editors. For instance, you may need to use MS Excel for advanced data manipulation. So how to copy PDF data to Excel?
You can do that in many ways. And here are the easiest and most efficient methods. You can use PDF editors like PDFelement or Google Sheets. Also, you can rely on some of Excel's built-in features.
In this article
Method 1. Use PDFelement
Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor is a powerful offline PDF solution for Windows and Mac. It's one of the most reliable tools in the market. How reliable is it? - you may ask. Well, PDFelement provides you with three easy ways to copy PDF data to Excel. Follow the tutorials below to do so.
Using the Extract Data Feature
Suppose the PDF that you have has form fields. And you need to copy the content of those form fields to Excel. PDFelement's Extract Data feature allows you to do that efficiently. Here's how to use it:
Step 1 Launch Wondershare PDFelement, and open your PDF document with it.
Step 2 Click Form > Extract Data.
Step 3 On the "Extract Mode" window, select Extract Data from form fields in PDF. Click Apply.
Step 4 Paste the extracted data to Excel.
Simultaneously Extract Data from Multiple PDFs
Suppose you have multiple similar PDFs. For example, you have sent your students forms they have to fill out. Extracting data from the PDFs one by one can be tedious. Thankfully, PDFelement allows you to extract data from PDF batches.
Step 1 Launch Wondershare PDFelement.
Step 2 Select Batch Process > Extract Data.
Step 3 The "Batch Process > Extract Data" window will open. Click Add files or drag and drop the PDFs into the designated area to import them.
Step 4 Under "Extract Data" on the right panel, ensure the Extract data from PDF form fields option is selected.
Step 5 Select Output Folder. Click Apply. Paste the extracted data to Excel.
Convert a PDF to Excel
Does the PDF contain nothing else but the filled-out form? Converting the file to PDF can streamline the process of copying data for you. Here's how to use PDFelement's converter feature.
Step 1 Open PDFelement. Click Convert.
Step 2 Select the PDF containing the data you want to copy to Excel.
Step 3 Under "Output format," select Excel (*.xls).
Step 4 Give the output file a name. Select a destination folder for the converted file. Click Ok.
● PDFelement is free to use only for a limited time. After your free trial period, you need to subscribe to regain access to its tools.
Method 2. Import PDF to Excel
MS Excel also has a feature that allows you to get data from PDFs. By using this tool, you don't have to open the PDF where the data will come from. It makes the process easier. Thus, it also makes you finish the task faster.
Here are the steps for using Excel's Get Data feature.
Step 1 Open an Excel file. You can make a new one or continue the one you have saved on your computer.
Step 2 Select a cell. This will be the top-left corner of the table you will extract from a PDF.
Step 3 Click Data from the top toolbar. Click Get Data on the top left of the screen.
Step 4 Select From File > From PDF. On the pop-up window, select the PDF containing the data you want to copy. Double-click it or click Import.
Step 5 Select the page of the PDF where the table you want to copy is located. Check if you selected the right one using the preview on the right panel. Click Load. MS Excel will paste the table to the active file.
● You have to do the whole process to insert one PDF table into the Excel file. Thus, it can eat up time if you have many tables in the PDF document.
Method 3. Using Google Sheets
What if you don't have a PDF editor? You can use Google Drive to open the PDF document and copy its contents. The best thing about this method is it makes the data you want to copy accessible from anywhere.
Follow these instructions to copy PDF data to Excel via Google Sheets.
Step 1 Upload the PDF document to your Google Drive. Right-click the file. Select Open with > Google Docs. Google Docs will perform OCR on the document to make it editable.
Step 2 Copy the data you want to paste into your Excel file.
Step 3 Go back to your Google Drive. Click New > Google Sheets. Paste the data you copied to the Google Sheet document.
Step 4 Click File > Download > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)
● Google Docs' OCR can sometimes be unreliable. Sometimes, opening PDFs with it results in a document with lots of random letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, the formatting could be lost.
Method 4. Copy PDF Data to Excel Manually
If you don't have access to the abovementioned tools or features, don't worry. There is one method that is available to all. You can copy and paste the data manually. The downside of this method is it does not offer efficiency. If there's so much data to copy, it can easily tire you. But if you only need to copy a small table, it's still a good method.
Step 1 Open your PDF document with a PDF editor.
Step 2 Open your Excel file with Microsoft Excel. Select and copy the table from your PDF.
Step 3 Select a cell in MS Excel. It will be the top-left corner of the table. Paste the data you copied.
Note: You can also copy-paste the data one by one instead of doing it by tables.
● It is time-consuming and very inefficient. So we don’t really recommend this method. If you can’t install a PDF editor with an Extract Data feature, use Excel’s built-in features for importing data.
You may be asking the same questions people have been asking regarding copying PDF data to Excel. Find answers below.
1. How accurate is the copied data from a PDF to Excel?
The accuracy of the copied data from a PDF to Excel depends on various factors. The said factors include the quality of the PDF file, the complexity of the data, and the method used. We recommended double-checking the data after copying it to Excel to ensure accuracy.
2. Can I convert a PDF file to an Excel file directly?
Yes, some PDF readers, such as Wondershare PDFelement, allow you to export the PDF file to an Excel file directly. Additionally, there are online tools and software programs like HiPDF that can convert PDF files to Excel files.
3. How can I copy PDF data to Excel if the PDF file is not machine-readable?
If the PDF file is not machine-readable, you can use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert the data to editable text. PDFelement offers a strong OCR tool that recognizes over 20 languages.
4. Can I copy data from a password-protected PDF file to Excel?
If the PDF file is password-protected, you may need to enter the password before you can copy the data. Or you can use a software program to remove the PDF's password.
5. Can I copy PDF data to Excel if the PDF file is in a foreign language?
Yes, you can use OCR software that supports multiple languages to convert the data to editable text. Then, copy and paste it into Excel. Some OCR software may also include translation features.
Copying data from PDF to Excel is a tedious task. But that is if you'll do it manually. The story is different when you use tools that can automate or streamline the process. For instance, you can use Wondershare PDFelement to extract data from PDF and put it into Excel. Also, PDFelement allows you to convert the PDF to Excel. OCR is also available, so non-editable documents become editable.
As you can see, having a tool like Wondershare PDFelement on your computer helps a lot. It provides you with many tools to solve your PDF problems.