Fix Unable to Copy text from PDF using the Best Solution

Do you need to copy text from PDF?

  • Download and Install the AceThinker AcePDF Editor
  • Launch the tool and start copying the texts on PDF
  • Sace and finalize the texts copied from the PDF

In the modern day, PDF documents have become a widely used format for presenting various types of information. However, users often encounter one common issue when working with PDF documents. It is the inability to copy text from them. This limitation can be frustrating, especially for individuals who need to extract specific information or quote text from a PDF for their work or research purposes. Fortunately, the advance in PDF technology has addressed this issue and made copying text from PDF documents possible. If you cannot copy text from PDF documents, following this guide will help you. In this post, we will delve into the reasons why copying text from PDFs can be difficult and provide solutions to overcome this problem. We will walk you through different techniques and resources that can assist you in copying text from a PDF file. Keep reading to learn more.

Navigation of Contents

Common Reasons to Copy Text from PDF

Although PDF documents offer many advantages, such as secure formatting and easy sharing, one common challenge users face is they can t copy text from PDF. This limitation is primarily due to how PDF documents are structured and encoded. Read this section to find out the limitations and reasons behind the inability to copy text from PDFs.

Some Limitations of Text Selection in PDFs

  • One of the main reasons for being unable to copy text from PDF is the limitation of text selection within the document. It is because PDF documents are often created with non-tagged text. It makes it difficult for text selection tools to identify and extract the text accurately.
  • PDF documents can have incorrect text sequences generated by text-extracted tools. It results in an error of not able to copy text from PDF accurately. This problem arises when text extraction tools do not properly interpret the layout and structure of the PDF document. It results in jumbled or incorrect sequences of text.
  • When PDFs are converted into other formats, such as Word or HTML, new noises or errors can be introduced into the document. It makes it challenging to preserve the text's integrity and accurately copy it. Additionally, tables in PDF documents add another layer of complexity to text extraction.

The restriction of cannot copy and paste from PDF is often due to copyright and intellectual property concerns. Many authors and publishers want to protect their content from unauthorized use or distribution by restricting the ability to copy text from PDF files. These are the main reasons why copying text from PDF documents is challenging and restricted. However, solutions are available to overcome this limitation and enable text copying from PDF documents. Continue your reading to learn more about these solutions.

limitations and restrictions of copying text from pdf

Two Common Solutions in Copying Text from PDF

When you cant copy and paste from PDF, two main solutions exist to overcome this limitation. The first solution is to use advanced OCR Technology. On the other hand, another solution is the manual retyping of the text. Let us analyze what is OCR in PDF and manual typing in more detail.

Solution 1. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR technology is a widely used solution for extracting text from PDF documents. It utilizes machine learning algorithms to identify and recognize characters in scanned or image-based documents, such as PDFs. It converts the images of texts into editable and searchable text. This technology allows users to copy and extract text from PDF documents. However, it is important to note that OCR technology may not be 100% accurate, especially regarding complex layouts or handwritten text. So, finding the best PDF software with reliable OCR capabilities is essential to ensure accurate and error-free text extraction.

optical character recognition

Solution 2. Manual Retyping

If OCR technology is not available or feasible, manual retyping is another solution to copy text from PDF documents. Users can manually type the text from the PDF document into another format, such as a word processor or text editor. However, this solution is time-consuming and prone to errors, especially for longer or more complex documents. Additionally, manually retyping the text increases the likelihood of introducing typos or inaccuracies. Therefore, it is often recommended to utilize OCR technology when possible. It offers a more efficient and accurate solution for copying text from PDF documents. Read this page to learn more about how to copy text from images.

manual typing of pdf text

Top Recommended Tool to Copy Text From Secured PDFs

Most of the time, you cannot copy text from PDF documents that are password protected or have restrictions set by the document owner. It requires removing the password or restrictions before copying text from secured PDFs. Unlocking a password-protected PD is now easier and can be done using various desktop tools or online services. These solutions allow you to bypass the restrictions and access the text content efficiently.


AcePDF is a reliable software tool that can unlock and remove restrictions from password-protected PDF documents. It is built with advanced encryption algorithms. It can quickly decrypt and unlock the PDF, enabling you to copy the text without any restrictions. Even if the PDF file is heavily encrypted or protected with a strong password, AcePDF can efficiently unlock and grant access to the text content for copying text. Additionally, the tool is specialized in OCR technology. It can recognize text from scanned PDFs or images within the file. This means it can convert scanned PDF into editable files for convenient editing and copying of text. The tool supports multiple languages. It is to help users accurately extract text from secured PDFs regardless of the language used in the document. Conversion of the extracted text into various formats such as Word, Excel, or plain text is also supported. Aside from this, the tool also provides features for editing, merging, and compressing PDF documents. Adhere to the step-by-step guide below to copy text from PDF effectively.

Try it for Free

Step 1 Download and Install AcePDF

Click the "Download" icon for AcePDF above that corresponds to your computer's operating system. Once you've found it, click the icon to download the installation file. After the download procedure, go to the file location on your local file. Click on it to activate the installation wizard. Afterward, AcePDF will open automatically, and you'll see the user interface displayed below.

acepdf main interface

Step 2 Open the Secured PDF File

Go to the "File" menu and select "Open" or click the "Open PDF" on the center of the use interface. Then, choose the desired password-protected PDF file from your computer. Click "Open" to import it into AcePDF. This will display the dialog box for entering the password to unlock the PDF if it is password-protected.

acepdf open pdf file

Step 3 Unlock and Remove the Password in PDF

To unlock the password-protected PDF, enter the correct password in the dialog box and hit "OK." However, if you don't know the password to unlock the PDF file, seek permission from the owner to unlock the document. You can then remove the password after unlocking the PDF.

unlock and remove the password in pdf

Step 4 Extract the PDF File to Editable Text

Once the password-protected PDF is unlocked, you can extract the text. Scan the document using the OCR feature of the tool by selecting the "OCR" option from the home menu. This will initiate the text extraction., making it possible to copy text from the PDF.

ocr settings

Step 5 Copy the Text you Need from PDF

Go to the "Edit" menu and head to the "Select" option. This will let you select and highlight the text you want to copy from the PDF document. Once you have selected the text, right-click and choose "Copy" to copy the selected text to your clipboard. This will enable you to paste the copied text into another document or application of your choice for further use.

copy the text you need from pdf

Other Must-have Tools and Solutions

1. PDFElement

If you're looking for a versatile tool to edit and unlock PDF files, PDFElement is another solution. With its intuitive interface and comprehensive features, managing PDF documents has never been easier. You can easily extract text from locked PDFs or modify the content. PDFElement is not just an unlocker but also a versatile editing tool. You can easily add or remove content, modify layouts, insert images and graphics, and more. The software also provides advanced security options such as password protection and encryption. It ensures that your sensitive information remains safe from unauthorized access. PDFElement supports various file formats, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. You can convert seamlessly between file types without losing formatting or data integrity.

pdfelement copy text in pdf

2. PDF Lock Unlock Tool

PDF Lock Unlock Tool is a reliable software tool designed specifically for unlocking password-protected PDF files. This program is designed to work with all versions of Adobe and Windows operating systems. You can be sure it will work with your system. With PDF Unlocker, you can easily unlock your documents and extract valuable information. The program uses advanced algorithms to crack the encryption codes that secure these files. It also has a batch mode functionality that makes it easy to manage many files. PDF Unlocker's goal is to help users easily copy, print, and edit PDF files.

pdf lock unlock tool interface

3. ILovePDF

iLovepdf online PDF unlocker is an amazing tool that can help you unlock any password-protected PDF documents in just a few simple ways. One of the main features of iLovepdf online PDF unlocker is its simplicity. The tool is very easy to use and requires no technical expertise. All you need to do is upload your password-protected PDF file, and the tool will do the rest. It will unlock the file and allow you to download the unlocked version. The tool lets you continue working with the unlocked PDF using its various available features. It includes merging, splitting, compressing, and converting PDFs. Another great feature of iLovepdf online PDF unlocker is its security. The tool uses advanced encryption algorithms to protect your files. You can ensure your data is safe and secure.

ilovepdf unlock pdf interface

Extra Tips: Available Tools to Convert PDFs Online

After unlocking a password-protected PDF file, you may need to convert it to a different format for various purposes. These online conversion tools will reduce the need to copy and paste text manually. Most of these tools support a wide range of file formats for conversion, including PDF, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Below are the top-rated online conversion services.

1. Zamzar

Zamzar is a highly regarded online conversion service that enables users to convert files from one format to another. The tool supports all the commonly used documents, images, and web page formats. Furthermore, this tool converts PDFs with superior accuracy while preserving their original formatting and layout. Its advantage includes converting large files up to 2GB in size. The conversion process will only take a few seconds, and the converted file is ready to be downloaded and used. Aside from PDF files, the tool provides the option to convert Image files, audio, and video files as well. This makes Zamzar a versatile and convenient online conversion service for users with various file conversion needs.

zamzar online pdf converter

2. Online2PDF

Online2PDF is a user-friendly online conversion service that provides a wide range of conversion options. Users can transform various files from PDF to other formats and from other formats to PDF. These options include Word to PDF, Excel to PDF, PowerPoint to PDF, and image to PDF. The tool is capable of handling multiple files and converting them simultaneously. It also provides the capability to merge multiple files into one. This online conversion service is highly recommended for its convenience, versatility, and efficient file conversion capabilities. So, if PDF won t let me copy the text, Online2PDF is a good option to easily save the PDF text in a preferred format.

online2pdf online pdf converter interface

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I convert a PDF to an editable format?

If you like to convert a PDF to an editable format, there are various tools available online that can help you do so. You can use software like AcePDF or third-party tools like Zamzar or Online2PDF. These tools allow you to convert PDFs to popular editable formats like Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

Are there legal consequences for extracting text from secured PDFs?

Yes, there can be legal consequences for extracting text from secured PDFs. Copyright laws protect secured PDFs, and extracting text without permission could be considered copyright infringement. It's always best to obtain permission or seek legal advice before extracting text from secured PDFs to avoid potential legal issues.

Leave your comment and join our discussion