How to Copy from PDF to Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Copy from PDF to Excel

Copying data from a PDF file into an Excel spreadsheet might seem tricky, but it’s actually quite simple. You can complete this task by opening the PDF, selecting the data, copying it, and pasting it into Excel. Sometimes, you may need to adjust the formatting to make it look neat and organized.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Copy from PDF to Excel

This tutorial will walk you through each step to ensure your data transfer from PDF to Excel is smooth and accurate.

Step 1: Open the PDF file

Open the PDF file you want to copy data from.

Make sure you use a reliable PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat. It will allow you to view and select the data you need easily.

Step 2: Select the data

Click and drag your mouse to highlight the data you want to copy.

Be precise with your selection to ensure you grab all the necessary information without extra, unwanted data.

Step 3: Copy the data

Press ‘Ctrl + C’ (or Command + C on Mac) to copy the selected data.

This action takes the highlighted data and stores it in your computer’s clipboard, ready to be pasted.

Step 4: Open Excel

Open a new or existing Excel spreadsheet where you want to paste the data.

Make sure you have the correct Excel sheet opened to receive the copied data.

Step 5: Paste the data

Click on the cell where you want to start pasting the data and press ‘Ctrl + V’ (or Command + V on Mac).

Your data will appear in the cells, but you may need to adjust the columns and rows for better formatting.

Step 6: Adjust the formatting

Format the cells in Excel to make the data look organized and readable.

You can adjust column widths, row heights, and text alignment to ensure everything looks neat and professional.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the data from your PDF will be successfully copied to your Excel spreadsheet. You can now manipulate and analyze it as needed.

Tips for Copying from PDF to Excel

  • Use a reliable PDF reader: Adobe Acrobat works well and allows precise data selection.
  • Check the formatting: Sometimes, the data may not paste perfectly. Be prepared to make adjustments.
  • Use Excel tools: Utilize features like ‘Text to Columns’ for better data organization.
  • Avoid images: Copying text from images in PDFs can be problematic. Use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tools if needed.
  • Practice regularly: The more you practice, the easier it will become to transfer data accurately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my data paste into one cell?

This happens when the data isn’t formatted correctly in the PDF. Try using the ‘Text to Columns’ feature in Excel to separate the data.

Can I copy tables from PDF to Excel?

Yes, you can copy tables, but you may need to adjust the column widths and row heights for a better fit.

What if my PDF is scanned?

If your PDF is scanned, you’ll need OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to convert the image text into editable data.

How can I ensure the data stays accurate?

Double-check the copied data against the original PDF to ensure it transferred correctly.

Are there tools to automate this process?

Yes, software like Adobe Acrobat Pro and certain online tools can automate copying data from PDF to Excel, saving you time.


  1. Open the PDF file.
  2. Select the data.
  3. Copy the data.
  4. Open Excel.
  5. Paste the data.
  6. Adjust the formatting.


Copying data from a PDF to an Excel spreadsheet is a straightforward process once you know the steps. By following the guide above, you can ensure that your data is transferred accurately and efficiently. Remember to check the formatting, as it often needs a bit of tweaking.

For those dealing with scanned PDFs, OCR tools can be a game-changer. Practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to try copying different types of data to become more comfortable with the process.

If you’re frequently working with data in PDFs, consider exploring automated tools to streamline your workflow. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a pro at transferring data from PDF to Excel in no time. Happy data handling!

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