How to Copy Text from a PDF to a Microsoft Word Document: A Step-by-Step Guide

Copying text from a PDF to a Microsoft Word document is a straightforward process. First, open the PDF file and use the Select Tool to highlight the text you want to copy. Then, right-click on the selected text and choose ‘Copy’ from the dropdown menu. Finally, open a Word document and right-click where you want to paste the text, then select ‘Paste’ from the dropdown menu. Simple as that!

After completing this action, the text from the PDF will be available in the Word document for editing, formatting or whatever you need to do with it. It’s a handy way to extract information from a PDF without having to retype everything.


Have you ever come across a PDF filled with valuable information that you needed to edit or repurpose in a Microsoft Word document? We’ve all been there, and it can be a hassle to retype paragraphs of text manually. But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. With a few simple steps, you can quickly transfer text from a PDF to Word, saving you time and preserving the original formatting.

This knowledge is a game-changer for students, professionals, or anyone who deals with digital documents on a regular basis. Whether you’re working on a research paper, business report, or just gathering information, being able to move text between PDFs and Word documents efficiently is a skill that’s sure to come in handy. Plus, it’s a process that’s easier than you might think. So, let’s dive in and learn how to get that text moving!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Copy Text from a PDF to a Microsoft Word Document

Here’s a simple guide to transferring your text:

Step 1: Open the PDF File

Open the PDF file from which you want to copy text.

Opening the PDF file is your starting point. Make sure you have a PDF reader installed on your computer. Adobe Reader is a popular option, but there are many others available as well.

Step 2: Use the Select Tool

Use the Select Tool to highlight the text you want to copy.

The Select Tool usually looks like a cursor or an ‘I-beam’. Click and drag over the text you want to copy. Ensure that you select only the text you need to avoid any unnecessary content.

Step 3: Copy the Text

Right-click on the selected text and choose ‘Copy’ from the dropdown menu.

After highlighting the text, right-clicking will bring up options, and you’ll want to click ‘Copy’. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C (Cmd+C on Mac) to copy the text.

Step 4: Open Microsoft Word

Open a new or existing Microsoft Word document where you want to paste the copied text.

Make sure you have Microsoft Word open and ready. If you’re adding to an existing document, navigate to the place where you want the text to go.

Step 5: Paste the Text

Right-click where you want to paste the text and select ‘Paste’ from the dropdown menu.

Once in Word, right-click again and select ‘Paste’, or simply use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V (Cmd+V on Mac). Your text will appear in the document.


Saves TimeCopying and pasting text from a PDF to Word is much quicker than retyping it all manually. This can be especially beneficial when dealing with large amounts of text.
Preserves FormattingOften, copying text will also bring over basic formatting, such as bold or italicized text, which helps maintain the original document’s integrity.
Facilitates EditingOnce the text is in Word, it’s much easier to edit and manipulate. This makes it convenient for repurposing content for different uses.


May Lose Complex FormattingWhile basic formatting is often preserved, more complex layouts and images may not transfer over properly and may require additional editing.
Limited to TextThis method only applies to text. You won’t be able to copy other elements like images or charts using this technique.
Font MismatchSometimes the fonts in the PDF won’t match the fonts available in Word, which can lead to discrepancies in the appearance of the text after pasting.

Additional Information

When copying text from a PDF to a Microsoft Word document, remember that not all PDF files are created equal. Some PDFs are scanned images of documents, which means the “text” is actually part of an image. In such cases, you’ll need Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert the image to text before you can copy it. Additionally, always check if the PDF text is protected or encrypted, as this may prevent copying. There are tools and software available to help with these more complex scenarios, ensuring that no matter the PDF, there’s a way to get the text into Word.

Finally, consider the ethics of copying text. Always ensure that you have the right to use and copy the text from the PDF, especially if you’re using it for publications or commercial purposes. Respecting copyright and intellectual property laws is crucial when handling digital content.


  1. Open the PDF file.
  2. Use the Select Tool to highlight text.
  3. Copy the text.
  4. Open Microsoft Word.
  5. Paste the text into Word.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I copy text from any PDF?

Yes, you can copy text from most PDFs, but if the document is a scanned image or secured, you may need additional software to extract the text.

Will the formatting be the same when I paste the text into Word?

Basic formatting like bold and italics will usually carry over, but more complex layouts may not and may require additional formatting in Word.

What if the text I want to copy is in a table?

Text in tables can be copied, but the table structure might not transfer perfectly and may need to be recreated in Word.

Can I copy text from a PDF if I’m using a mobile device?

Yes, there are apps available for mobile devices that allow you to copy text from PDFs and paste it into Word documents.

What should I do if the text doesn’t paste correctly?

If the text doesn’t paste correctly, try pasting without formatting (look for ‘Paste Special’ or ‘Keep Text Only’ options) or check for any security features that might be preventing the copy.


Mastering the skill of copying text from a PDF to a Microsoft Word document can significantly streamline your workflow and save you valuable time. With the steps and tips provided, you’re now equipped to handle this task with ease.

Remember to always consider the source of your PDFs and respect copyright laws when transferring text. Happy copying!