How to Change a PDF to a Word Document

A few ways to convert a PDF to docx

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When you want to convert a PDF to Microsoft Word, you have numerous options. While they all work best when the PDF file primarily contains text and each one is straightforward to use, the best method largely depends on your personal preference and the applications you're most comfortable using. Word, Adobe Acrobat, and even Google Docs feature an approach to convert PDF to DOCX.

Instructions in this article apply to Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word for Office 365.

How to Save a PDF as a Word Document

When a PDF file is mostly text, opening it within Microsoft Word will convert it to a DOCX file automatically.

Once the file is converted, it may not correspond perfectly with the original PDF. For instance, page breaks and line breaks could be different.

  1. Open Microsoft Word.

  2. Select the File tab.

  3. Select Open near the top of the left pane.

    Screenshot of File > Open in Word
  4. Select the location where the PDF is saved, such as OneDrive or This Computer, then select the PDF file. Alternatively, select Browse to navigate to the PDF file you wish to convert into a Word document.

  5. Select Open.

    Screenshot of Open dialog
  6. A message stating that Word will now convert your pdf to an editable Word document will appear. Select OK. This process might take a while.

    Screenshot of PDF conversion notification in Word

    If you select Don't Show This Message Again, Word will automatically convert any PDFs you open in the future.

  7. Once the file opens, you can edit, cut, copy, or format the text. Word will automatically save the file as a DOCX file in the default document location.

How to Convert PDF to a Word Document in Adobe Acrobat

Adobe and Microsoft Office play quite nicely together. In fact, it's possible to convert a PDF in Adobe Acrobat to a Word document, an Excel worksheet, or even a PowerPoint presentation file.

Converting PDF files to Word documents and other formats is only available in premium versions of Adobe Acrobat.

  1. Find the file you want to convert in the list of recent PDFs or select the location where the PDF is stored, such as My Computer or Document Cloud and navigate to the PDF file you wish to convert to a Word document.

  2. Select the PDF file, then select Open. The PDF file will open in Adobe Acrobat.

    Screenshot of Open in Adobe Acrobat
  3. Select Export in the left pane to expand the Adobe Export PDF menu.

    Screenshot of Export PDF in left pane of Adobe Acrobat window
  4. Select Microsoft Word (*.docx) in the Convert to list.

    Screenshot of Convert to Word in Adobe Acrobat
  5. Select Convert.

  6. Sign in to your Adobe account if prompted. The converted document will open in Microsoft Word.

How to Change PDF to Word in Google Docs

As long as you have a Google account, Google Docs offers a fast and simple way to convert PDF files into MS Word documents.

Google Docs won't preserve non-text content, such as photos, when a PDF is converted to a document.

  1. Log into your Google account and go to Google Docs.

  2. Select Open File Picker, which is a folder icon near the center of the page.

    Screenshot of Open File Picker in Google Docs
  3. Select Upload, then drag the PDF file from your computer to the upload box. Alternatively, select Select a File from Your Device to open the Open window and navigate to the PDF file you want to convert.

    Screenshot of Upload tab in Google Docs
  4. Select Open and wait while Google Docs uploads the file.

    Screenshot of uploaded PDF in Google Docs
  5. Select the Open With drop-down arrow at the top of the page and select Google Docs. The file will open in a new Google Docs tab.

    Screenshot of Open With on uploaded PDF file
  6. Select File > Download, > Microsoft Word (.docx).

    Screenshot of File > Download > Microsoft Word in Google Docs
  7. Wait while a Word document version of the PDF is downloaded to your desktop.