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How to Convert PDF to Word on Mac Free 2021

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2021-11-29 14:17:06 • Filed to: PDFelement for Mac How-Tos • Proven solutions

It's often essential to be able to convert PDF to Word on a Mac device, especially if you need to edit your PDF. Even though PDF documents are often the default format for sharing files online unless you have the right know-how or the right software, editing a PDF document can be a challenge. The best course of action is usually to change PDF to Word on Mac. This article offers you a complete guide on how to export PDF to Word on Mac (including macOS 11 Big Sur) with PDFelement for Mac.

PDFelement is regarded as the best and most recommended option for PDF to Word conversion on Mac. That's because this application has been intricately crafted to help you solve all of your PDF file editing needs with ease, convenience, and flexibility. Benefits of PDFelement include:

  • Superior OCR capabilities simplify the process of transferring any images or scanned PDF files into easily editable and searchable text formats.
  • Numerous word document editing features like edit text and image, spell check, line mode, and paragraph mode.
  • It allows creating and converting PDF files into any other document format like Word.
  • It increased data security features in the form of permissions, passwords, digital signatures, text redaction, and so on.
  • It makes it easy to leave comments, notes, and highlight text on PDF files.
  • It has a charming and user-friendly interface.
  • It supports Mac OS 10.14, 10.15, and 11 Big Sur.

How to Change PDF to Word on Mac

Step 1: Open PDF

Drag and drop your PDF file into PDFelement's main window to open the file. Or click on the "Open File" button or "Open" button to select and open the PDF.

how to convert pdf to word mac

Step 2: Convert PDF to Word Mac

Once the file has been opened in PDFelement, click on the "File" button to enable the "Export To" function. You can then click the "To Word" button to choose Microsoft Word as the output format. You can rename the file and select the output folder in the pop-up window. Once you are happy with all the changes, click "Save" and your document will be converted within a few seconds.

convert pdf to word mac

Step 3: Convert Scanned PDF to Word on Mac (Optional)

To convert a scanned PDF file, you need to click the "Tool" > "OCR Text Recognition" button on the top menu first. After recognized the scanned PDF, click on "File" > "Export To" and select "To Word" in the menu bar. Then click "Save" to start the conversion.

how to change pdf to word on mac

Convert PDF to Word on Mac Free with Google Docs

Another option is the widely used program, Google Docs. It can also help you convert PDF to Word Mac free online. Here are the steps to follow:

  • 1. Log in to your Google account on the Google Docs website.
  • 2. Upload the PDF document that you want to convert to Word.
  • 3. Navigate to the "File" tab. Select " Download as" > "Microsoft Word(.docx)" to export your PDF to a Word document.
change pdf to word mac

How to Export PDF to Word on Mac with Automator

There is also another free method available for Mac users to convert PDF to word. This is the built-in Mac app Automator. It can help you convert a PDF file to a plain or rich text format.

  • 1. Search for "Automator" in your Application and open it.
  • 2. Search for "Extract PDF Text," then select "Rich Text" (RTF) or "Plain Text" (TXT) on the right side to save your PDF. You can also set other options as needed.
  • 3. Click the "Run" button, and choose a PDF file to convert to a text document directly.
how to convert pdf to word on mac free

Preview Can't Convert a PDF to Word on Mac

If you are more interested in using a free PDF editor, you can try using Preview. However, despite the fact that it is an inbuilt Mac PDF editor, it tends to fall short when it comes to functionality and features. Below are a few of its best features. It allows users to edit, annotate, add images, and highlight sections of the text in a PDF file, but is a bit limited in terms of functionality. It enables users to combine files, and it is free to use. However, it can't convert PDF to Word in macOS, and it only supports converting PDF into JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.


  • It's a built-in app on Mac devices.
  • It enables users to combine files.
  • It's free to use.
  • It provides basic editing features.


  • The program lacks certain functions.
  • The program lacks an OCR feature.
  • The document conversion feature is difficult to use.

PDF Expert is unable to Convert PDF to Word on Mac

PDF Expert is unable to Convert PDF to Word on Mac. However, it is still a useful PDF app for Mac. Even though it lacks features compared to PDFelement, it is simple and cost-efficient. It operates at high speed and includes fairly annotation features, document signing tools, an impressive sharing feature, and form-filling capabilities. It is also compatible with most Apple devices (Macs, iPads, and iPhones). However, it does not support converting a PDF document to Word format on Mac. Learn more details about PDF Expert.


  • It can be used on a number of Apple devices.
  • It has split-screen capabilities.
  • It also offers easy file transfer options.


  • It is limited in features and functionalities compared to PDFelement.
  • It has limited OCR capabilities.
  • It has limited image editing tools.
  • It is not user-friendly for document conversion.

Part 4. How Do I Convert a PDF to Word on Mac Free Online?

It’s very easy to convert PDF to Word on a Mac using online methods. The following sections explain three different ways to do this using your browser. As such, no software installation is required and you can be done in just a couple of minutes. Let’s look at how the ‘convert PDF to Word Mac online’ process works.

Method 1: Using Wondershare HiPDF PDF to Word Free Online Conversion Tool

The first method involves the use of Wondershare HiPDF, a comprehensive suite of online tools to handle PDF files and other document workflows. It’s simple to use, fast, and efficient, and the conversion accuracy in terms of preserving the original content is best-in-class. So, how does it work? Let’s take a closer:

1. Go to the web page for the HiPDF free PDF to Word conversion utility and click Choose File to upload the source PDF document - you can also drop a file into the window or import one from a cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

pdf to word online

2. Once the file is uploaded, click Convert and it will be instantly modified into a Word document.

pdf to word online

3. Finally, click the Download button or use the sharing option to generate and send a link to others.

Method 2: Using Adobe’s Online File Conversion Service

Adobe has an equally efficient file conversion service that is free to use for single file conversions from PDF to Word. The interface is user-friendly and the conversion accuracy is excellent. Here’s the process outlined for you:

1. Drag and drop a file into the Adobe PDF to Word online conversion URL or use the Select a File option to import it.

adobe pdf to word online

2. When the PDF has been uploaded, it will be processed automatically and you’ll see a new window to download the Word file and perform other actions

adobe pdf to word online

3. Click Download and save the file to a local Mac Finder folder

The only problem with this method is that you’ll need an Adobe account and be signed in to share the document with others as a link, store it online, or put another file in the conversion queue. Nevertheless, if you have just one file to convert, this is a great option to consider.

Method 3: Using (formerly known as Xodo PDF)

Xodo PDF was a well-known online PDF utility that has undergone some rebranding. It is now simply known as but still belongs to the PDFTron brand alongside the desktop and mobile versions of the app. Here’s how to use the service to convert PDF to Word free online.

1. Go to the PDF to Word conversion URL and click one of the file upload options - you can also drag and drop a file, as with the previous two methods.

xodo pdf

2. On the next page, you can simply click the Convert button or add more files.

xodo pdf

3. Save the converted files to a local folder once the conversion is completed and you see the download option on your screen.

All of these methods are equally effective, but we recommend HiPDF due to the fact that it offers a whole range of other PDF tools as well as a robust desktop PDF editor called PDFelement. Moreover, even if you decide to upgrade to a paid subscription or license, you’ll find that it is much more affordable than most equivalent solutions, especially those from Adobe.

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

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Audrey Goodwin

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