The Best Ways to Extract & Copy Table from PDF to MS Word

Do you want to instantly convert PDF tables to Word?

  • Install our AcePDF app and hit the "Batch Process" on the main menu.
  • Next, tick "Convert from" and upload the PDF table you need to convert.
  • Then, modify the output to "Word" and click "Convert" to convert the document.
feature copy table from pdf to word

Copying tables from PDF to Word may seem like a straightforward task, but the reality can be quite challenging. Many of us have encountered frustrating formatting issues and skewed layouts, making the process more time-consuming than anticipated. However, fear not! This concise guide will unravel the secrets to flawlessly transferring tables from PDF documents into Word. Our step-by-step approach will equip you with the knowledge to tackle simple and complex tables. Learn how to handle text recognition errors and effectively manage graphics to ensure the integrity of your data remains intact. With practical tips and tricks, you'll soon be able to effortlessly copy table from PDF to Word, saving time and effort on manual adjustments. Whether you're a student, professional, or simply looking to enhance your document management skills, this is the right place. This guide will empower you to conquer the challenge of copying tables from PDF to Word. Get started now and elevate your table-copying proficiency!

Navigation of Contents

Understanding PDF Tables

PDF (Portable Document Format) tables are structured data representations within a PDF document to convey information in a tabular style. Working with the data in PDF tables efficiently requires understanding their structure. Furthermore, tables are made in a PDF by specifying rows and columns, and each cell in the table holds data. The rows and columns of these tables are often made using text, lines, and vector images. Before you extract table from PDF, you must know the different types of PDF tables and their complexities. Here are a few of them:

  • Simple Tables. Simple tables in PDFs typically include only the most basic of row and column layouts. They can be extracted or copied into other programs without difficulties.
  • Complex Tables. Complex tables can have split, merged, or multi-level headings and different cell sizes. These tables' irregular structures can present difficulties during extraction. So, learning how to copy paste a table from PDF to Word is essential with this type of table.
  • Scanned Tables. Scanned PDFs are produced by scanning paper documents. They don't have editable text; instead, they have photographs of tables that need to be converted using OCR, also called optical character recognition technology. OCR accuracy could cause problems with the extraction of scanned tables. Furthermore, you can read this post to discover more about how you can process PDF to editable Word with OCR.
  • Nested Tables. Tables within tables can be found in PDFs with nested tables. Accurately extracting nested tables can be challenging since it requires sifting through several tiers of data arrangement.
  • Graphic-Heavy Tables. Some PDF tables have a lot of graphics, such as charts and diagrams. It can be necessary to use specific tools to manage graphical elements while extracting data from such tables.

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Different Tools to Copy Table from PDF to MS Word

1. AcePDF

AcePDF is one of the top PDF to Word converters that excels in converting tables from PDF to Word with remarkable precision and ease. This feature-rich software boasts advanced OCR technology, allowing it to extract tables from native and scanned PDF documents accurately. You can swiftly convert complex tables, maintaining their original formatting, cell structures, and mathematical formulas intact. With its batch processing capabilities, AcePDF streamlines the conversion process, saving valuable time and effort. Also, you can directly edit the tables from the PDF, remove highlight from PDF, or add new elements before converting to Word to minimize your editing time. Whether dealing with financial reports, research data, or any tabular content, the app is an invaluable tool for seamlessly transferring tables from PDFs to Word documents.

Try it for Free

Step 1 Get the PDF to Word Converter

Find the matching installer above for your computer OS and click it. After a while, the installer will be saved on your device. So once you have the installer, run it to access the installation prompts. Follow along with the guide on the prompts to safely saved AcePDF. Once the tool is installed, start it to see its main interface.

acepdf main interface

Step 2 Add File and Begin Converting

Next, locate the “Batch Process” on the left menu and pick “Convert from.” Then, drop the PDF file that contains the tables you need into the converter interface. If you need to convert more PDF files, you can hit the “+Add file” button on the bottom to add them. Afterward, modify the output folder and the format to “Word (.docx).” Finally, hit the “Convert” button to convert table in PDF to Word.

hit batch process, convert from, add files and modify settings, hit convert

Step 3 Open Converted File in Word

When the conversion process ends, the output file will be moved to the specified output folder. So, head to that file folder location and find the document with the same file name as the original file but in Word format. Lastly, double-click on it to automatically open and view it on the MS Word app. You can now edit the table depending on your liking. That’s how to copy chart from PDF to Word with AcePDF.

locate document and open it on word app


  • It has an “Enhanced” OCR mode for a more accurate recognition process of complex files.
  • The tool allows you to compress PDF files to a smaller file size for a faster conversion process.
  • You can convert PDFs to other well-known file formats, including Excel, PPT, PNG, and more.

  • The OCR feature of the tool is not yet available on its mobile app version.

2. Tabula

Tabula is an efficient software designed to copy tables from PDF to Word documents seamlessly. It lets you import PDF files and extract tabular data effortlessly. The standout feature of Tabula lies in its ability to accurately detect and separate tables from surrounding content using its "Autodetect Tables." Then the extracted tables can be conveniently copied and pasted into Word, preserving their original structure and formatting. Tabula's efficiency makes it a valuable tool for users who frequently handle data-rich PDFs and seek reliable methods to transfer tables to Word on Windows or Mac. To learn how to copy table from PDF to Word with Tabula, read the guide below.

Step 1 Install and Setup Tabula

Get the right installer version for your computer OS on the tool's official web page, whether Windows or Mac. Since Tabula is an open-source program, a zip file that contains the installer, license, authors, and other details will be saved on your device. So, extract the zip file to see the "Tabula" file and launch it. After that, wait for it to load until the Tabula appears on your web browser.

tabula main interface

Step 2 Import PDF and Select Tables

Now, hit the “Browse” button to import the PDF file or drop it into the tool for faster upload. Once done, click the “Import” button on the right side of the file box. Then, the PDF file will be launched completely. Hit the “Autodetect Tables” on the upper section to detect the tables. Later, click the “Preview & Export Extracted Data” to preview the extracted table from the PDF.

hit autodetect tables,and click preview and export extracted data

Step 3 Copy and Paste the Table to Word

Finally, copy the detail by dragging your mouse cursor into the table. After that, hit the “three dots” icon that will appear and select “Copy.” Once done, paste the copied table to your Word app. You can modify the table according to your preference. That’s how to copy a table from a PDF to Word with Tabula.

select table and hit copy, open word and paste table


  • Tabula is a free and open-source tool, making it accessible to anyone without any cost barriers.
  • The software accurately detects and extracts tables from PDF documents, even in complex and multi-page files.

  • Since it is open-source, the frequency of updates and support may be limited compared to paid software alternatives.

3. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an industry-leading PDF solution that copy and convert PDF table to editable Word document. Its powerful tools enable users to select and copy tabular data from PDFs precisely, ensuring accurate Word transfer while preserving formatting and structure. Moreover, it has an OCR function to extract, convert, and edit scanned PDF documents of images and other still files into editable Word files. Besides, the software has built-in editing tools to help you edit the table, text within a table, add new details, and more before processing it. With this app, you can confidently manage, edit, and convert tables from PDF to Word, streamlining workflow and maintaining data integrity.

Step 1 Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Install Adobe Acrobat Pro DC on your Windows or Mac computer. Ensure to observe the instructions on the dialogue box to keep the app on your device completely. Afterward, launch it and begin exploring its features and navigation.

adobe acrobat pro dc interface

Step 2 Add PDF You Need to Convert

Then, add the PDF file with tables by clicking the “File” option in the upper-left corner and picking “Open” to see your computer’s file folder. Browse the files until you see the PDF you need to export. Click the file and hit the “Open” button to import it thoroughly into the app.

select file, find pdf and hit open

Step 3 Export PDF to Word Format

Afterward, move to the right-side menu and choose “Export PDF.” Once done, select the “Microsoft Word” and the “Word Document” options. Now, hit the “Export” button on the lower part and pick the destination folder for the output. Finally, click the “Save” button, and the conversion process will push through. You can check the file under the output folder that you set and open it to Word to access the tables.

select microsoft word format and hit export


  • The software supports other editing features, like merging, compressing, splitting, and arranging pages.
  • You can modify the settings to launch the converted file automatically to check it quickly.

  • Due to its extensive feature set, Acrobat Pro DC may require some time and effort to master, especially for casual users.

Extra Tips: Formatting and Editing Extracted Tables in Word

The appearance and usability of retrieved tables can be greatly improved by formatting and altering them in Microsoft Word. Also, the table arrangement can be changed, styles can be used, and more features may be included to make your tables look more polished and appealing. These formatting options allow you to create visually appealing tables that effectively convey your data and complement the overall document's aesthetics. Here are the different tips you can follow to avoid table formatting issues:

Adjusting table layout and column widths:

  • To adjust the table layout, click on the table to reveal the "Table Tools" tab in the top menu.
  • Use the "Layout" options to add or delete rows and columns, merge or split cells, and adjust the table's overall structure.
  • To modify column widths, place the cursor on the column's border and drag it to the desired size.

Applying styles and formatting options:

  • Utilize pre-defined table styles in Word by selecting the table and clicking the "Table Styles" gallery in the "Table Tools" tab.
  • Customize the style to match your document's theme by modifying font, cell background color, borders, and other elements.

Headers, footers, and captions:

  • To add a header or footer to the table, select the table and navigate to the "Table Tools" tab.
  • Click "Insert Above" or "Insert Below" to add a row for headers or footers. You can add titles, notes, or contextual information in these rows.
  • To add a caption to the table, place it below it and format it with a different font size or style to differentiate it from the table content.

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Troubleshooting Common Issues and Errors

You may need help copying and converting tables from PDF to Word even after knowing how to copy paste table from PDF to Word. Luckily, you can improve the accuracy and reliability of copying and converting PDF tables to Word by using the troubleshooting advice provided here, guaranteeing a smoother data transfer and maintaining the integrity of the original material. Here are a few typical ones, along with troubleshooting advice:

  • Incorrect Table Formatting. If the table appears disorganized or misaligned after copying it to Word, try adjusting the page layout to match the original PDF's dimensions. Use the "Paste Special" option in Word and select "Keep Source Formatting" to retain the actual table layout.
  • Table Split Across Pages. If the table is split across multiple Word pages, adjust the table properties in Word to ensure it stays intact. Adjust column widths and row heights if needed.
  • Large Tables Causing Slowdown. Large tables might slow down your Microsoft Word app. Consider splitting lengthy tables into smaller parts or managing the document more efficiently.
  • Missing Data or Distorted Text. Ensure that the PDF is not protected or encrypted, as this can prevent proper text extraction. If it's a scanned PDF, use OCR technology to convert images to editable text, which can minimize data loss.

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FAQs About Copying Tables from PDF

How can I extract tables from PDFs on a Mac?

On a Mac, you can utilize a variety of third-party programs and utilities made just for extracting tables from PDFs. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Tabula are a few of the most well-liked choices. Data extraction is now easier and more effective thanks to these programs' functionality for identifying and removing tables from PDF files.

copy table from pdf to word faqs

Are there any limitations in extracting tables from scanned PDFs

Yes, there are limitations in extracting tables from scanned PDFs. Scanned PDFs are essentially images; traditional table extraction methods cannot directly process them as structured data. OCR technology is used to overcome this limitation, which converts scanned images into editable text. AcePDF is an example of a software that integrates OCR capabilities, enabling you to extract tables from scanned PDFs. This makes it the best way to copy table from PDF to Word effortlessly. However, table extraction accuracy depends on the scan's quality and the content's clarity.

copy table from pdf to word faqs

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