PDF to Excel

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Smileyguy, Jun 27, 2008.

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  1. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004

    What options (if any) are there for importing a PDF file into Excel? I have a PDF file that contains four very clear columns (one with labels, the other three all numbers). I need this information in an excel sheet. It's quite a long PDF though, about 50 pages. Is there any simple way of importing? Will I need to buy software to convert?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    BTW, I have Office X and CS2 if that's any use.
  2. bsheridan macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2008
    A quick search on google brings up alot of products on this but all seem to be for the pc.
    Seeing as you want to convert to excel, I would say try and get hold of a PC for this job, as you will have less chance of losing formatting when converting.

  3. reh macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2003
    If the PDF is contains text and not just an image of text, you can just do a copy/paste. Select all the text in the PDF and paste it into a plain text document. Then open the plain text document in excel and tell it that spaces are the column deliminators in the dialog that pops up.
  4. diastellein macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Yesterday I purchased the software for mac os x to convert pdf to excel; product is linked from Apple store site; is called deskUNPDF. Firstly, background info: I successfully converted files on a pc using converter ware last year for pdf credit card statements. However, this new software is not working well on a mac. What's happening: only data from a page of numbers is converting; any numbers on a page with images does not convert, and instead gets hung up with an error message.

    I'm not even sure how to phrase my question correctly. How is it, Why is it, What's up with it; that the mac is so impossibly difficult? I have not found the text convert/import into excel to work either; the numbers do not import into a separate column/cells from the text.

    I don't think there's any hope. I'm still waiting to hear back from the techies with whom I am only able to communicate through anonymous email connection at the site from which I made this purchase. :mad:
  5. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Evil lurks?

    Do you suppose it's a Microsoft conspiracy? I mean, why would they want to make Excel work just as well on a Mac as it does with Windows?
  6. diastellein macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Evil lurks?

    Nobody's innocent, and everybody a living has to make; even in Techopia. However this time it's a technical issue with no related conspiracy. Digging deeper, I found the encoding software on my pdfs differed from those saved from same source last year--that upon testing, convert to excel through the new deskUNPDF software. So I found the root of the problem was the encoding software used at the time of saving the file.

    The key: (simple, only in retrospect) Speaking in laymen terms, for the benefit of my fellow laymen: When downloading internet adobe files, if you simply do a "save as pdf," the file will be encoded as the same used to originally create them by that vendor; namely, your bank, credit card company, etc. So, do an OPEN file, so it opens in PREVIEW, THEN do a save as pdf; and voila, you'll have a pdf saved with encoding software OS X; which you'll need in order to be compatible with the deskUNPDF software mac compatible.

    But don't trust my technical advice, because I'm a technoidiot. I did get help from Apple's tech support to discover the need to save in Preview as opposed to doing a save as before opening file. Unbelievable. But kudos to Apple Tech Support. They are GREAT, and always FAIR ( they didn't charge me for this needle in the haystack.) I was relieved I could get in touch with a human for this issue. The guys at Docudesk, the vendor of the software in question, are out of pocket. One can reach them in Bermuda via email, voicemail, or fax.

    Don't get me wrong though. I'm still paranoid about evil conspirators; and I hesitate to update Adobe anything on my mac; and justifiably so, as I just read their license agreement for AIR Adobe--whatever that is (clouds in the future?); and it states, under penalty of going straight to hell, I will not use any third party software to convert any pdf to jpeg, jpg, tiff, giff, etc. --not to mention EXCEL--so help me Bill Gates, God's first cousin.

    I am happy to say, I can now continue in short order, with the business of converting my financial statements from pdf to excel. :D
  7. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    So, it's not the Mac you were dissing that is the root of the evil. Funny, it usually isn't the Mac's fault.
  8. diastellein macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    dissing vs complaint

    Actually, I don't "diss"; rather, I had a complaint that was very justified. And since we now know the technicality involved, the Mac team can take a look at how internet pdf files might be saved automatically as Mac encoded; now that they are aware of this problem.
  9. kosa13 macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2010
    Solution found

    I had a similar problem and came across the following service:


    Works pretty well, although I still had to move some of the text from one column to another, thats probably due to the fact that the pdf I had only used 1st column for every other row.

  10. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I've had success getting a PDF into Excel using a slightly odd method. It works, sure, but the results need manual editing afterward. Here's what I did:
    1. Installed the Sun PDF Import extension for OpenOffice.org
    2. Imported the PDF into Impress
    3. Saved the Impress file as XHTML
    4. Opened the XHTML file in Firefox
    5. Copied all the text
    6. Pasted it into Excel
    7. Edited the resulting data so that the columns lined up properly

    The best part about this method is that all the components used to perform the conversion are free and open-source software (so you don't have to pay anything to use them).
  11. lbpolokid10 macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    Convert PDF to Excel — Mac

    You can choose to use a free tool at:

    Or follow the steps below:
    You will need to convert your flat image (PDF) to text by using an OCR application. I suggest using a freeware one such as (PDF OCR X — http://www.downloadatoz.com/utility_directory/pdf-ocr-x/).

    Once your PDF is converted to text:
    Open Microsoft Excel and go to File – Open and change the Files of Type combo box to All Files (so you can see your newly created .txt file. Choose it and click Open. You’ll now be brought to the Text Import Wizard. You have to open the file in this manner because if you simply right-click and say Open With Excel, all of the text for each row will appear in the first column and not be separated.

    For Step 1 of the Text Import Wizard, choose Delimited from the two options listed.

    For Step 2 check off the Space, Semicolon or Comma checkbox (depending on how your data is set up) and Tab as one of the delimiters. Each value should now be separated by a vertical line, indicating it’s going to be in a separate column. (it gives you a preview of your data)

    Step 3 Click Next and then click Finish. You can now save the file as an Excel file by going to File – Save As. There are a few drawbacks, however, as this conversion does not always work perfectly! Make sure to play around with Step 2 to get the desired columns.

    Hope this was helpful.... Mac isn't that difficult, you just have to be a bit more resourceful
  12. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
  13. icublend macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2011
    How to convert easily a pdf table to an excel spreadsheet

    1.Open pdf file in acrobat
    2.Export as HTML
    3.Open Safari where the HTML page is
    4.Select the table
    5.Move the table with the mouse and drop it in the excel sheet
    6.You can format the cells as you wish in the excel spreadsheet
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