Finding a document that works for your project as a template can be frustrating when you keep coming across PDF files. Trying to convert them from PDF to Word has you scrambling. It’s a maze of websites selling software that keeps you going in circles.

PDF documents are excellent until you need to edit one. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and they permit you to open them with ease on any operating system or device. Still, converting PDF to Word can be challenging on a Mac, so we’re here to offer a few suggestions on how to convert PDF to Word on Mac.

Methods of Converting PDF to Word

One of the first things you should try to find out is if the PDF you are working text-based or the source of it. Documents that are graphics-based, like scanned ones, as an example, will be challenging to convert. Also, secured documents can be challenging, as well.

There are few easy to more technical methods to convert a PDF to Word. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Using Google Docs

PDF documents that are primarily text-based can be converted using this method. You must be logged into your Google account. Go to and open up a new document.

Select “File” and then “Open.” Browser to find the file in your Mac Finder. Select the PDF to open it in Google Docs. Then click “File” and “Download As” and pick “Microsoft Word (.docx).”

You can now find the file in your downloads folder or the folder you chose. When you open it, you should be able to edit the text and graphics just like any other word document.

Copy and Paste Method

Could you imagine that something so simple as copying and pasting could be the answer you were seeking to convert a PDF to Word? Still, it is one of the more simple methods. Although it’s not actually converting or an automated system, if the PDF is text-based, it works unexpectedly well.

As an added benefit, you can convert the file into any format you want — anything from DOC, DOCX, RTF, or back to a PDF.
Open the PDF in Preview your Mac. Using the mouse cursor, select the text. Then hit Command + C.

Next, open a new document in Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or your word processor of choice and paste by hitting Command + V. Another option is to use Command + A to select all the text in the document at once. You can almost call it non-tech since it’s so simple.

While most of the time, this works like a charm, occasionally, it isn’t. It usually depends on the PDF you are using. Once you have all the text you want, you’re able to save it to your format of choice.

Using Adobe Professional

Adobe Professional is the most costly option, but the highest quality one. Considering that Adobe created the PDF format, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they have a product that allows you to convert their format to something else.

Adobe Professional may be the best option if you have tons of PDF files to convert that need to be converted at the highest possible quality. Still, if you are only converting a few files, the price seems a little high. It’s up to you to decide if the Adobe Professional is worth the money.

Create an Application Using Automator

You probably imagine this is incredibly difficult, but it’s quite simple and comes free with your Mac. There’s an application on your Mac called Automater, you can find it in the Utilities folder, or you can search for it using the Application Browser. Once you locate the application, open it.

When open, Automator will display several options, select “Application,” and then click “Choose.” In the explorer looking window, choose “PDFs” from the left column. From the next column to the right of the left column, pick “Extract PDF Text,” then click and drag it over into the open space.

Under “Output,” you will need to select “Rich Text,” then you can choose where to save the Application or can keep the default of “Desktop.” You can also select an Output name or keep the default there as well. Then go to “File” and “Save.”

In the window, the appears, choose where the application should be saved, give it a name you will remember. An example is “Word to PDF App.” Make sure it says it is an Application and not a Workflow and then click on “Save.” You should now find the app on your desktop or where you saved it.

The only thing left is to locate a PDF on your MAC then drop it on top of your new Application. At the top of your screen, you will see a small gear looking icon appear rotating. Then the RTF document will be created where you set it to be saved, open it, and you’re ready to begin editing. How to convert a PDF to Word on Mac is actually that simple.

Download a Converter

While this can be risky because free software can come with unwanted guests (Malware and Viruses), the last option is to search and download a converter. It’s usually safer to find one from the Apple App store on your Mac. Either way, there are many options available to try.

One that is dependable is PDF to Word Premium, and it’s in the Apple App Store. It’s not free, but it is a useful application that won’t cost as much as Adobe Extractor or Professional. Of course, there are many others there as well.

What is a PDF File & Why Do We Still Rely on Them

Free application in the Apple Store is frequently limited and may not let you save a full document. While a paid app may cost you a few dollars, it may be significantly more beneficial.

What’s Next

Converting PDF to Word on a Mac may feel a little less challenging with this new information. New things sometimes feel overwhelming until you do them for the first time. If this article was helpful to you, check back for more.