pdf to word conversion

I am trying to convert pdf file to ms word,but after pasting there are only images and no text.This pdf file has no security.But it has embedded fonts.How to solve this problem plz...help
Riveka SahayAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Riveka,
There are two very distinct issues here. First, the one that Shaun identified, i.e., it may be what we call an "image-only" PDF, typically created by a scanner. Most scanning software has the ability to perform OCR, thereby creating copyable/searchable text, but if your PDF is image-only, you'll need to perform OCR on it to create text. There are many ways to do this, both online and local, both free and not free. Shaun has already provided a link for free, online OCR. Here's a 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorial showing how to do it via a local install of free software:

How to OCR pages in a PDF with free software

And here are two EE articles and another 5-minute video Micro Tutorial showing how to do it via a local install of software that isn't free, but usually produces better results than the free software:

PaperPort - How To Create Searchable PDF Files

Batch Conversion of PDF, TIFF, and Other Image Formats via Command Line Interface to PDF, PDF Searchable, and TIFF with Power PDF Advanced

Convert Scanned Image-Only PDF Files to PDF Searchable Image Files via OCR with Power PDF Advanced

The second issue is conversion of a PDF file to a Word doc (after your PDF has text from OCR). Your initial post makes it sound as if you're OK with a simple copy/paste of text, but, of course, that results in a Word doc that doesn't look like the PDF due to loss of formatting. For PDF-to-Word, I've had good (not perfect) results with this free online tool:

If you prefer a local install, I've also had good (also not perfect) results with this free tool:

You may get better results with non-free products. I've gotten better (but still not perfect) results with Nuance's Power PDF (comes in both Standard and Advanced editions):

There's a free trial for the Advanced edition (but not Standard) so you can see how well it works for you before buying it:

Another good (non-free) product is Able2Extract PDF Converter:

It also offers a free trial.

The first link in this post is to the (free) Nitro cloud. Nitro is a well-known name in PDF tools and their Nitro Pro has a PDF-to-Word feature:

There's also a free trial for this, but I've never used it, so can't vouch for its performance. However, it uses the same engine as the online tool, which I have used and is very good, so I would expect the same of Nitro Pro.

One more non-free product (but reasonably priced at $39) is CAD-KAS's PDF-to-Word:

I haven't used this product, but I have used their PDF Editor Objects, which is excellent. Based on the quality of PDF Editor Objects, I think that their PDF-to-Word is worth a try, and there's a free trial:

It probably goes without saying, but Adobe Acrobat can do it — both Standard and Professional (but not Reader). As with everything, results aren't perfect.

I've been on previous threads here at EE where other experts have recommended these three (free) online tools:

I can't personally vouch for these, but based on the positive comments from other members, I'm passing them along for your consideration.

No matter which way you go, keep in mind that PDF-to-Word conversion is tricky business – maintaining the formatting/layout is tough stuff! I haven't found anything that is perfect, and results vary from one document to the next. So my suggestion is to put some, or all, of these products on your short list for evaluation. Define a few test PDFs – your PDFs! Of course, it may be easier in your case since you mention only one PDF. Compare the resulting Word file to see which, if any, of the tools produce a Word file that is satisfactory. Regards, Joe
Shaun VermaakTechnical Specialist/DeveloperCommented:
Chances are that PDF is a scanned document or in fact only contains images. If this is the case you need to OCR PDF, not convert it
Neil FlemingConsultant and developerCommented:
Wow.. Extremely useful list of resources, Joe. Thank you.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome, Neil, and thanks back at you for the kind words and endorsement — much appreciated! Regards, Joe
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
The post chosen as the Accepted Solution has a thorough answer to the question and is worth the lion's share of the points. The post chosen as an Assisted Solution discusses one aspect of the problem (OCR) with one possible solution, but does not address the issue of retaining formatting in Word — still worth some points, though.
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