Top 3 Ways to Open a PDF with Excel Without Layout Issues

Convert PDF to Excel with just three easy steps!

  • Save AcePDF on your device and explore it.
  • Import PDF and hit "Tools" from the main menu.
  • Select "PDF to Excel" and hit "Convert" to start.
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In today's data-driven world, the ability to open PDF files directly in Excel has become a crucial skill for professionals across various industries. Converting PDFs to Excel offers many advantages, from enhanced data analysis and manipulation to improved collaboration and reporting. PDFs, while excellent for preserving document integrity, can sometimes hinder the seamless extraction and manipulation of data. By learning how to open PDFs in Excel, you unlock the potential to transform static PDF tables into dynamic, editable spreadsheets effortlessly. This enables you to perform intricate calculations, generate insightful charts, and utilize Excel's powerful functions for in-depth data analysis. Whether you're dealing with financial statements, research reports, or any data-rich document, this capability empowers you to harness the full potential of your data, simplifying tasks, saving time, and elevating your productivity. Furthermore, read our comprehensive post on how to open PDF in Excel and take your data manipulation skills to the next level. Don't miss out on this valuable resource – read the full post and unlock a world of possibilities for easily handling your PDF data!

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Benefits of Opening PDF in Excel

There are various benefits you can get in opening PDFs in Excel. These benefits can help you to handle and harness your data efficiently. To be familiar with this, read the list of benefits we collected to help you understand the process completely.

  • Enhanced data manipulation capabilities. By converting PDFs to Excel, you gain the ability to manipulate and organize data with Excel's comprehensive suite of tools. Seamlessly rearrange, sort, and filter information to suit your needs.
  • Streamlined data extraction process. Say goodbye to tedious manual data entry. Converting PDFs to Excel automates the extraction process, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors that can occur during manual input.
  • Facilitated data analysis and visualization. Excel's analytical prowess shines when working with data. Convert PDF tables into Excel to easily perform calculations, create dynamic charts, and generate insightful graphs, enabling you to draw meaningful conclusions from your data.

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Different Methods to Open PDF File in Excel

1. Copy and Paste Method

Surely, the copy-and-paste method has been the go-to solution for transferring data from PDF to Excel. It is a manual way of extracting PDF contents and transferring them to Excel. Nevertheless, note that the success of copying and pasting from a PDF to Excel can vary depending on factors. That includes the PDF content's complexity, the data's formatting, and any potential restrictions in the PDF document. Additionally, if the PDF contains tables, the copying and pasting process might work better if the PDF has been properly structured with recognizable table elements. Still, it is convenient as you don't need additional software or tools to perform the copy-and-paste operation. Most computer users are familiar with the copy-and-paste functionality to insert PDF into Excel quickly.

User Guide:

  • Open the PDF document using a PDF reader or directly open it on your web browser. Then, use your cursor to select the text or data you want to copy from the PDF. You can click and highlight all the desired content.
  • Right-click on the chosen text and pick the "Copy" option from the context menu. Besides, you can use the keyboard shortcut for Windows (press Ctrl + C) and Mac (press Command + C).
  • Next, open a new or existing Microsoft Excel workbook where you want to paste the copied data. Hit on the cell where you want to start pasting the data. Then, right-click on the cell and choose the "Paste" option from the menu. Also, use the keyboard shortcut for Windows (Ctrl + C) and Mac (Command + V).

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  • It allows you to transfer information from one source to Excel without the need for complex data import procedures.
  • You have direct control over where the data is pasted within the Excel sheet. You can select specific cells or ranges to place the copied data.

  • There's a higher risk of introducing errors during manual copy and paste, such as accidentally skipping or duplicating rows, missing data, or pasting into the wrong cells.

2. AcePDF

AcePDF is a premier PDF-to-Excel solution combining cutting-edge features. Unlike other software, it offers a robust batch processing capability, allowing you to convert multiple PDFs to Excel simultaneously, enhancing efficiency. Its precision ensures seamless complex data transformation into editable spreadsheets, surpassing many alternatives. Also, the app includes powerful editing options. You can comment, arrange pages, remove image from PDF file, and more for easy content manipulation directly within the PDF before converting to Excel. What truly sets AcePDF apart is its advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, enabling text extraction from scanned PDFs and images with exceptional accuracy. Working with many PDF files will be streamlined while minimizing potential errors. Check below how the PDF open in Excel process works with AcePDF.

Try it for Free

Step 1 Install the PDF to Excel App

First, click "Download" at the top of this step to get the AcePDF installer. Choose a Windows or Mac OS version, and follow the installation instructions carefully. You'll notice the program launch automatically after installation. Before moving forward to the next step, explore the software's interface and features for more effective use.

acepdf main interface

Step 2 Initiate the PDF to Excel Conversion

Next, tick “Batch Process” in the left panel to launch a new set of tools. Hit the “Convert from” button and import the PDF file by dragging and dropping it to the converter. Once done, navigate to the bottom part and set “Excel (.xlsx)” as the output format. Also, specify the output folder for easy access to the output file. After that, tick “Convert” to begin.

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

Step 3 Review the Excel File

Once the PDF to Excel conversion is complete, the new file will be automatically saved on the folder. So, open the folder you pick and find the Excel file. You can easily locate it; the original document has the same filename as the PDF version. Then, double-click the file to launch it on your Excel desktop app automatically. Finally, you can now check it and make necessary adjustments depending on your requirements.

locate file, double-click it, open on excel


  • AcePDF features an intuitive interface with minimal navigations and buttons, making it accessible to users with varying technical expertise or even professional users.
  • The software provides flexibility by allowing you to customize output formats apart from Excel, like PDF, HTML, PNG, Word, and others.
  • It offers other editing features, like modifying text, changing the background color, adjusting alignment and spacing, and more.

  • While AcePDF is proficient in handling intricate data structures, extremely complex layouts may still require some manual adjustments after conversion.

3. PDF2Go

If you want to avoid installing third-party tools but want a convenient way of opening your PDFs in Excel, we recommend PDF2Go. PDF2Go simplifies PDF to Excel conversion across Windows and Mac devices. Accessible from various platforms, this web-based tool ensures seamless conversion for scanned files using the OCR feature. It accommodates diverse language needs, like English, Russian, German, Spanish, and more, enhancing global usability. What is more, the tool has a Firefox and Chrome add-on that you can easily acquire. That way, you can instantly launch the tool if you need to convert PDF to Excel. Below is a simple guide to help you open a PDF with Excel using PDF2Go.

User Guide:

  • Launch PDF2Go on your preferred web browser and hit the “Choose File” symbol to import the PDF. Meanwhile, you can hit the “drop-down” menu if you want to get the PDF on your Google Drive or Dropbox cloud storage or its URL.
  • Then, let the tool read the file until it appears in the converter. Afterward, pick "Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)" for the output format and choose your conversion method and languages. Finally, hit the "Start" icon to initiate the process.
  • Once done, the output file will be transferred to your computer's "Download" folder. You also have the option to save it to the cloud on another window that will pop out. Now, open the file into your Excel app.

pdf2go main interface


  • The tool's online nature means it can be accessed from various devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, making it convenient for users on the go.
  • You can perform PDF to Excel conversions straight from their web browser, eliminating the need for software installation and potentially saving storage space.

  • Service outages or maintenance on the PDF2Go server could temporarily disrupt users' ability to perform conversions.

Best Practices for Working with PDF Data in Excel

Adopting effective practices is essential when working with PDF data in Excel to ensure efficiency, accuracy, and data integrity. By adhering to these best practices, you can effectively manage PDF data within Excel, enhance collaboration, and maintain data accuracy throughout the conversion and transformation process. Beneath are some best approaches to consider. On the other hand, you can also extend your reading here to learn more about how to deal with scanned PDF to Excel.

  • Regularly save and back up your files. Frequently save your Excel files and create backups to prevent data loss. This is especially important when dealing with multiple PDF data imports and transformations.
  • Maintain a standardized file structure. Develop a consistent file naming and folder organization system. This ensures easy retrieval of PDFs and Excel files, streamlining your workflow.
  • Document data extraction and transformation steps. Maintain a log or record of your steps to extract data from PDFs and transform it into Excel. This documentation helps troubleshoot issues and replicate successful processes.
  • Keep source PDFs. Keep the source PDFs for reference and auditing purposes. Storing the originals ensures you can re-extract data if needed and provides a point of comparison.

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Open PDF File in Excel: Troubleshooting Common Issues

There will always be issues you cannot avoid for every process, whether you are using online or offline converters. So, remember to refer to the documentation of your tools and consider exploring it to avoid any error when you open PDF in Excel. On the other, we collected below a few of the common issues you might encounter and the solution to fix them.

  • Incomplete or Incorrect Data Extraction. Ensure that the PDF content is well-structured and properly formatted. Complex layouts or images might affect extraction. When using OCR, review the accuracy of extracted text. Poor scan quality or handwriting can lead to errors. Experiment with the tool's different conversion settings or options to enhance data extraction accuracy.
  • Excel Performance Issues. Large Excel files can slow down performance. Trim unnecessary data, formatting, or use external connections to link to the source. Also, excessive formulas, especially volatile ones, can impact performance. So, optimize or limit the use of complex calculations.
  • Compatibility and Limitation. Online PDF converters may have file size limits, and complex layouts might need to convert accurately. Consider desktop alternatives for more robust features. Also, verify that your Excel version is compatible with the PDF conversion tool to prevent compatibility issues.

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FAQs About Opening PDFs in Excel

Is it possible to convert a scanned PDF to Excel?

Yes, you can export a scanned PDF to Excel with the help of OCR technology. OCR can easily analyze and convert scanned files to Excel. There are several software programs available that can perform this task, such as AcePDF. To do so, you can hit the "Batch Process" and select "OCR." After that, import the scanned PDF and select "Excel" as the output format. Once done, hit the "Recognize" button to process the document. However, the accuracy of the conversion may depend on the quality of the scanned PDF and the software used.

open pdf in excel faqs

Can I open a password-protected PDF in Excel?

As for opening a password-protected PDF in Excel, it is impossible to do so directly. You will need to first remove the password protection from the PDF using a software program or online tool. Once the password is removed, you can convert the PDF to Excel using one of the methods mentioned above.

open pdf in excel faqs

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