How to Convert PDF to Excel on Mac

PDF files are convenient to view and share but not so convenient when you deal with them on a Mac. The Preview app allows you to do basic edits such as create signatures, fill forms, annotate, etc. But if those PDF files contain tables and numbers that you want to copy and use, Preview isn’t that useful.

In this article, we are going to show you four different ways to convert a PDF into an Excel spreadsheet on Mac. Even if your PDF files are scanned versions that won’t allow direct copy and paste, you can still use some of the methods below to convert the files.

Let’s get started.

Method 1: Using Adobe Online PDF to Excel Converter

Best to use when: you only need to convert a few PDFs, and the files do not contain sensitive business data.



  • Do not support batch conversion, only 1 file can be exported at a time.
  • No OCR integration, can’t deal with scanned PDF files.

How to use:

Step 1: Drag and drop your PDF file into the drop zone, or click the blue “Select a file” button to upload your file.

Step 2: Wait until Adobe Acrobat automatically converts your PDF file to an Excel spreadsheet.

Step 3: Download the converted Excel file.

Done. That’s it. If you have other PDF files to convert, just repeat the steps above.

Method 2: Converting Scanned PDF to Excel with OnlineOCR

Best to use when: your PDF is a scanned image, and it does not contain any sensitive data.



  • Max PDF file size: 15MB.
  • Do not support batch conversion.

How to use: Click “Select File” to upload your scanned PDF document, and 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: Using Desktop Software

Desktop software is what you can download and install on your Mac computer to use when trying to convert PDF files into Excel. If you do this type of conversion often, this is a good option to use as it is very secure and will allow you to convert as many PDFs as needed.

OCR software is fully functional and reliable and is fully designed for this task. The downside is that these software apps usually come with an initial cost.

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. Or you not only need to convert PDF to Excel, but also have many other needs such as editing, creating, and securing PDFs.

Desktop conversion software like Adobe Acrobat DC and PDFelement are popular options. Both apps are more than just a PDF converter, but are an all-in-one PDF editing solution that allows you to edit any attribute of the file such as text, graphics, digital signatures, and many more. I personally like PDFelement more because it’s cheaper and has less learning curve.

How to use Adobe Acrobat Pro:

The interface of Adobe Acrobat. You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro for free for 7 days, then $19.99/month.
  1. Download and install Acrobat on your Mac.
  2. Open it and set the option to “Export PDF”.
  3. Click “Add Files to Export”, and specify the output format to be “Microsoft Excel Document (.xlsx)”
  4. Click the blue “Export to Excel” button.
  5. You’ll be forwarded to the Adobe price/plan page.

How to use PDFelement on Mac:

The interface of PDFelment for Mac. Limited free trial available. $79.99 per year or $119.99 (one-time fee).
  1. Get the app and install it on your Mac.
  2. Launch the app and click the “Convert” option located in the top right corner.
  3. A new window will pop up. Now click the setting icon and change the output option to Excel (by default, it’s Word).
  4. Next, drag your PDFs to the pane or click the Add Files button to upload your PDF files. Note: you can upload multiple items.
  5. Adjust relevant settings to each file you upload. If the file is a scanned PDF, click the “OCR” button to enable it.
  6. Hit “Convert” and you’re good to go.

Final Words

While PDF files are easy to create and share across devices, they aren’t easy to edit. Excel files are great for organizing important information and keeping large quantities of data and numbers secure.

By converting a PDF file to Excel through one of the solutions mentioned above, you can increase your productivity and ensure any professional or personal task you are working on is well organized.

These are the best solutions I’ve found for converting PDF to Excel on Mac. Are there any other alternatives? Feel free to let us know in the comment.

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