How to Open PDF in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide to Importing PDF Data

How to Open PDF in Excel

Opening a PDF in Excel might sound tricky, but it’s actually pretty straightforward! You can get your PDF data into Excel by converting the PDF into a format that Excel can read, such as CSV or XLSX. Once converted, you can open the file in Excel, and your data will be there waiting for you. Here’s how to do it step by step.

How to Open PDF in Excel

The following steps will guide you through converting a PDF file into an Excel-compatible format and opening it in Excel.

Step 1: Convert the PDF to a CSV or XLSX file

Find a reliable online PDF to Excel converter or use software that can accomplish this.

There are plenty of free and paid options available, like Adobe Acrobat, Smallpdf, and Nitro. Choose the one that suits you best.

Step 2: Upload Your PDF File

Upload your PDF file to the chosen converter.

Most tools will have a simple "Upload" or "Choose File" button to help you locate your document on your computer.

Step 3: Choose the Output Format

Select the format you want to convert your PDF to, either CSV or XLSX.

CSV stands for "Comma-Separated Values," and XLSX is the file format used by Microsoft Excel. Both will work, but XLSX is generally more versatile for Excel users.

Step 4: Download the Converted File

After the conversion process is complete, download the new file to your computer.

The process usually doesn’t take long, but the time can vary depending on the size of your PDF and the converter you’re using.

Step 5: Open the File in Excel

Open Excel, go to "File" > "Open," and select the converted file.

Excel will read the file, and your data will appear in spreadsheet format, allowing you to work with it as you would any other Excel file.

After completing these steps, your PDF data will be available in Excel and ready for you to analyze, edit, or manipulate as needed.

Tips for Opening PDF in Excel

  • Use a Reliable Converter: Make sure to choose a reputable PDF to Excel converter to avoid errors and data loss.
  • Check the Formatting: After conversion, check your Excel file for any formatting issues that may need manual adjustment.
  • Break Down Large PDFs: If your PDF is very large, consider breaking it into smaller sections for easier conversion and handling.
  • Keep Original PDF: Always keep a copy of the original PDF in case you need to refer back to it.
  • Experiment with Tools: Try a few different converters to find the one that works best for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I open a PDF directly in Excel?

No, Excel does not support opening PDF files directly. You need to convert the PDF to a compatible format first.

Is there a free way to convert PDFs to Excel?

Yes, many online tools like Smallpdf and PDF to Excel offer free conversion services.

Will the formatting of my PDF be preserved?

The formatting might not be perfect, so be prepared to make some manual adjustments in Excel.

Can I convert scanned PDFs to Excel?

Yes, some converters include OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to convert scanned documents into editable text.

Do I need any special software to convert PDFs to Excel?

No special software is required; you can use online converters or applications like Adobe Acrobat.


  1. Convert the PDF to a CSV or XLSX file.
  2. Upload Your PDF File.
  3. Choose the Output Format.
  4. Download the Converted File.
  5. Open the File in Excel.


Opening a PDF in Excel is a handy trick that can save you loads of time and effort. By converting the PDF into a format that Excel can read, you can easily manipulate and analyze the data within a spreadsheet. Whether you’re using it for work, school, or personal projects, this method is straightforward and accessible.

Remember to choose a reliable converter and check your data for any formatting issues after conversion. Experiment with different tools to find the best fit for your needs, and always keep a copy of your original PDF just in case.

If you’re frequently working with PDFs and Excel, mastering this skill can be a game-changer. Feel free to explore more advanced features and integrate this technique into your workflow. Happy converting!

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