How to Convert PDF to Word on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Converting a PDF to Word on a Mac is a straightforward process that doesn’t require any extra software – you can use the tools already available on your Mac. Just open the PDF in the Preview app, export it to Word format, and voilà! You have a document that’s ready to be edited and customized in Microsoft Word.

Step by Step Tutorial: Convert PDF to Word on Mac

Before you start converting your PDF files to Word documents, it’s essential to understand what the process involves. By following the steps below, you’ll convert the non-editable PDF into a Word document, which allows you to make changes, add text, and reformat the content.

Step 1: Open the PDF in Preview

Open the PDF file you wish to convert using the Preview app on your Mac.
Preview is the default app for viewing images and PDFs on a Mac, so you can simply double-click the PDF file, and it should automatically open in Preview. If it doesn’t, right-click the file, select "Open with," and choose Preview from the list of applications.

Step 2: Export PDF to Word

Once your PDF is open in Preview, click on ‘File’ in the menu bar, and select ‘Export to’ followed by ‘Word.’
This prompts Preview to convert your PDF into a Word document. Keep in mind that the formatting might not be perfect, especially with more complex PDFs. The software does its best to keep the original layout, but you might need to do some manual adjusting in Word afterward.

Step 3: Choose the Destination

Select where you want to save the new Word document on your Mac and click ‘Save.’
You can choose any location on your Mac to save the Word document – your desktop, a specific folder, or even a cloud service like iCloud Drive. Remember the destination, as you’ll need to navigate to it to find your new Word document.

Step 4: Open the Word Document

Navigate to the location where you saved the Word file and open it to ensure that it converted properly.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully converted a PDF to a Word document on your Mac. Now you can edit it to your heart’s content.

After you’ve completed the conversion, you’ll have a brand-new Word document that’s ready for editing. The text, images, and layout will be as close to the original PDF as possible, but you may need to tweak some elements for perfection.

Tips for Converting PDF to Word on Mac

  • Ensure that your PDF is not protected or encrypted, as this can prevent conversion.
  • If the formatting seems off, consider using online conversion tools for complex PDFs.
  • Be aware that not all PDF content may convert perfectly, especially items like forms or intricate graphics.
  • Always review and proofread the Word document after conversion for any discrepancies.
  • Keep the original PDF file as a backup, in case you need to reference it or reconvert it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t find the ‘Export to’ option in Preview?

Make sure you’re using the latest version of macOS, as older versions might not have this feature.

Can I convert a PDF to Word without Preview?

Yes, there are online tools and third-party apps available for PDF conversion if you prefer not to use Preview.

Will the conversion from PDF to Word keep all my formatting?

The conversion process will keep most of the original formatting, but complex elements might not transfer perfectly.

What should I do if text is missing or jumbled after conversion?

You might need to manually adjust the Word document or try using a different method for conversion.

Can I convert multiple PDFs to Word at once?

Preview doesn’t support batch conversion, but some online tools and third-party apps do.


  1. Open the PDF in Preview
  2. Export PDF to Word
  3. Choose the Destination
  4. Open the Word Document


Converting PDF to Word on a Mac is a breeze with the built-in Preview app. Although it might seem daunting at first, following the step-by-step tutorial outlined above will make it a piece of cake. With this skill under your belt, you can easily edit and customize any PDF document without the need for additional software or tools. Remember to check the formatting after conversion and make the necessary adjustments. Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone who needs to edit a PDF, the ability to convert pdf to word on mac is incredibly useful and will save you time and hassle. Keep practicing, and in no time, you’ll be converting PDFs like a pro!

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