Last updated: Mar. 29, 2017
PDF files are great to view but not so great if you want to deal with them on your Mac. Although the Preview app allows you to do basic edits such as create signature and sign, fill forms, annotate, etc.
But if those PDF files contain tables and numbers that you want to copy and use, Preview won't be that convenient. That's why you may want to convert those PDFs into Excel spreadsheets.
In this article, we'll be showing you 4 different methods to convert a PDF document into an Excel spreadsheet on a Mac. Even if your PDF files are scanned versions (basically images that won't allow direct copy and paste), you can still use some of the methods below to handle the files.
Method 1: Use PDF to Excel Online
Best to use when: you only need to convert a few PDFs, and the files do not contain sensitive business data.
- Only convert PDFs with no more than 50 pages or 5MB in size.
- Do not support batch conversion.
- No OCR integration, can't deal with scanned PDF files.
How to use: first specify the file types (in this case, it's "PDF" to "Excel"), then click the "Select your file" button to upload the PDF you want to convert, enter your email address, and hit the "Convert" button. Wait for a few minutes before the file reaches to your email inbox.
Method 2: OnlineOCR (to Convert Scanned PDFs)
Best to use when: your PDF is a scanned image, and it does not contain any sensitive data.
- Max PDF file size 5MB.
- Do not support batch conversion.
How to use: upload your scanned PDF file, specify the language and output format, in this case, choose "Microsoft Excel (xlsx)". Click the "Convert" button to continue. Soon the converted Excel file will be available to download.
Method 3: Try PDFelement Software
Wondershare PDFelement is a Mac application that allows you to convert a PDF document into any format or edit pretty much any attribute of the file such as text, graphics, digital signatures, and many more.
Best to use when: you need to convert PDF files with many pages. Also, the content of your PDFs contains business confidential or private data.
How to use:
- Get the app and install it on your Mac.
- Launch the app and click the "Convert" option located on the top right corner.
- A new window will pop up. Now click the setting icon and change the output option to be Excel (by default, it's Word).
- Next, drag your PDFs to the pane or click the Add Files button to upload your PDF files. Note: you can upload multiple items.
- Adjust relevant settings to each file you upload. If the file is a scanned PDF, click the "OCR" button to enable it.
- Hit "Convert" and you're good to go.
Method 4: Convert via Adobe Acrobat DC
Best to use when: you not only need to convert PDF to Excel, but also have many other needs such as editing, creating and securing PDFs.
- Free Trial: Acrobat Reader (limited function, not able to convert or edit PDFs unless you purchase a license)
- Price: $300 flat fee or $15 monthly subscription
How to use: after installing Acrobat on your Mac. Open it, set the option to be "Export PDF", click "Add Files to Export", specify the output format to be "Microsoft Excel Document (.xlsx)", then click the blue "Export to Excel" button. Next, you'll be forwarded to the Adobe price/plan page.
These are the 4 PDF to Excel conversion methods we'd like to share. Are there any other alternatives? Sure. But these are the ones that I've used personally, and they show merits. If you have other favorable solutions, feel free to let us know in a comment.
Chris is a computer geek for a decade. He loved talking to computers via codes, and now he finds it more interesting communicating with the real people. He now writes everything related to computer issues and loves helping people solve problems.