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How to Convert a PDF File to CSV (Step-By-Step Guide)

January 17, 2022

PDFS are an excellent way to lock in your excel, word, and other files' formatting and content within, however, once it's locked, it becomes difficult to make changes. 

That is, unless you convert your PDF files back to CSV formatting.

A CSV simply means comma-separated value, which allows data to be saved in a tabular and editable format. Usually, they’re from a spreadsheet-based software (like Excel or Google Sheets).

If you have spreadsheet-based content in your PDF file and want to convert it into a CSV to be able to edit it, we’ll show you all the ways you can do that below.

We’ll cover all the ways you can convert your PDF files to CSV, with step-by-step screenshots and overview for different tools. Whether you’re a Mac or Windows user or if you want to convert your files online or offline.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to Convert PDF to CSV Using Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • How to Convert PDF to CSV Online?
  • How to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac?
  • How to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac Using Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR?
  • How to Convert PDF to CSV in Windows?
  • Converting PDF to CSV Frequently Asked Questions

How to Convert PDF to CSV Using Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe Reader is the go-to PDF tool for many people.

It can assist you in converting PDF to CSV, but you can’t do it in the free software, you’ll need to upgrade to Adobe Acrobat Pro to get the desired results. 

Here’s how to convert PDF to CSV in Adobe Acrobat pro:

1. Open your desired PDF file

Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro and open your PDF record. Go to ‘Home’ and click on ‘Browse’. A new window will pop up, navigate to your desired PDF document, and click ‘Open’.

adobe acrobat open pdf

Step 2: Convert PDF to CSV

Click on ‘Tools’ at the top right corner of the window. Select ‘Export PDF’ from the ‘Create and Edit’ section.

adobe acrobat pro dc export pdf file


Next, select ‘Spreadsheet’ and then ‘Microsoft Excel Workbook’ from the menu. Click on the ‘Export’ button.

adobe acrobat pro dc export spreadsheet file


Step 3: Save Your Exported CSV File

Name your Excel spreadsheet file and click ‘Save’.

save as spreadsheet file


You will now have the option to open your new Excel report and ensure that the data shows correctly. 

Now, in order to convert .xlsx to.csv, head over to ‘File’ and select ‘Save as. 

Go to ‘Browse’ and navigate to the folder where you want to save the CSV file. Click on ‘Save as type’ and change it to CSV. Click on ‘Save’ and you’re done.

excel save as csv


How to Convert PDF to CSV Online?

There are multiple online ways to convert a PDF file to CSV format. 

One way to do so is through PDFTables. 

Here’s how:

Step 1: Open PDFTable

Go to PDFTables, click on the ‘Convert a PDF’ button to start changing over to CSV.

pdftables convert to csv


Step 2: Open PDF File

Navigate to the file that you want to convert to CSV and click ‘Open’.

Step 3: Convert PDF to CSV

When the upload has finished, click the drop-down next to the ‘Download as Excel’ button and select CSV to download it as a CSV file.

download as excel csv file

Step 4: Save the CSV file to your desired location

The file will be automatically downloaded to your ‘Downloads’ folder. Navigate to that folder and move it to your desired location.

After moving your CSV file, click on it to open it, and your converted PDF will open as a CSV file. 

On most PCs, CSV documents open in Excel. 

If you want to open it in an alternate program, right snap on your file, select 'Open with' and select a program from the drop-down.

You have now effectively changed your file from PDF to CSV!

How to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac?

There are multiple ways in which you can convert a PDF to CSV on a Mac. A few of them are built-in, while the others will have to be downloaded. 

How to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac Using Preview? 

For Mac users, there is a free answer for changing PDF to CSV with Preview.

Preview is a macOS application to open, edit, and analyze PDFs and images. 

Step 1: Open the PDF in Preview

Open the PDF record with Preview. You can launch it by double-clicking on the file that you want to convert to CSV.

pdf to csv on mac


Step 2: Move the Required Table

Select the tables or required parts, right snap, and pick ‘Copy’.

mac copy pdf to export


Then, paste the copied table or data to a CSV record, or an Excel file. 

You can convert the Excel file later into the CSV format by using the ‘Save As’ option from the ‘File’ section. Choose ‘CSV’ from the drop-down list while saving the file.

pdf content into excel conversion


While you can edit the PDF content as a CSV this way, there are a few disadvantages of using Preview for conversions, such as:

  • Can't bunch convert PDF to CSV.
  • CSV formatting might be lost.
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How to Convert PDF to CSV on Mac Using Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR?

If your PDF formatting was lost with the Preview conversion, you can try using Enolsoft PDF converter instead.

For this, you’ll need to download the PDF converter here: 

https://www.enolsoft.com/pdf-converter-with-ocr-for-mac.html

Step 1: Open PDF in the Enolsoft PDF Convertor

Go to Enolsoft PDF Convertor and click the + button to add the PDF file.

pdf converter with OCR enolsoft

Step 2: Convert PDF to CSV

Find the PDF in your file finder and click ‘Open’.

After the selection of the file, select the type of format you want it to convert to, for instance, an excel file. Then select between either the full document or a few pages. Select the language you want to convert the file into. 

Click on the ‘Convert’ button and the conversion process will start.

convert to excel from pdf


Step 3: Convert the downloaded file

Once the conversion has been completed, the dialogue box for downloading the file will appear. 

Navigate to your desired location and click on ‘Save’ to finish the conversion process. 

How to Convert PDF to CSV in Windows?

There are multiple software to convert PDF to CSV in windows. 

A few of them are free while the others are paid. 

Let’s have a look at them. 

How to Convert PDF to CSV in Windows Using Wondershare PDF Converter?

If you want to convert a standard PDF, then you can do it using the free version of Wondershare PDF Converter. 

However, if you are looking for ways to convert a scanned document, then you’ll have to subscribe to Wondershare PDF Converter Pro. 

Step 1: Download and Install Wondershare PDF Converter

If you want to convert a standard PDF or a protected PDF to CSV, then use this link to download the free trial version.

However, if you want to convert a scanned PDF, then use this link to get the best price.

After completing the download, install the software to start converting PDFs to CSVs. 

Step 2: Convert PDF to CSV

Open Wondershare PDF Converter and click on ‘Convert PDF’ which is on the right side. 

On clicking onto this option, the software will ask you if you want to proceed with a watermarked document or do you want to upgrade to the Wondershare PDF Converter Pro to remove it. 

You can click Continue Trial for now.

Then, a window will pop up, asking you to navigate to your desired PDF. Select the PDF and click on ‘Open’. 

On clicking ‘Open’, the window will change from the file opening option to the saving option. 

Click on the drop-down next to ‘Save as type:’ and select ‘Excel (.xlsx)’. Click on ‘Save’. A small window will open showing the conversion percentage.

save as xlsx conversion


Step 3: Convert .xlsx to .csv

You can either keep the file in the .xlsx format or you can convert it to .csv. 

If you want it in the CSV format, then open the converted file in Excel. 

Click on ‘File’ and then ‘Save as’. Click on the drop-down option as shown in the image below and select whichever CSV format you require. 

Press ‘Save’ and your work is done!

convert to csv file format


Converting PDF to CSV Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best software to convert PDF to CSV in Windows, Linux, and Mac?

One of the simplest ways to convert PDF to CSV no matter your OS is through Adobe Acrobat DC. It is user-friendly and available on almost all operating systems. However, don’t confuse it with Acrobat Reader because it doesn’t offer a conversion facility. If you want to utilize that, then you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version, i.e., Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. 

You can also download other software, some of them are paid for while the others are free. 

  • How do I convert a PDF to a CSV file?

There are three ways in which you can convert a PDF to CSV. First, through built-in software, for instance, Preview for Mac. Second, by downloading external software (e.g. Adobe Acrobat DC, Wondershare, etc.). Or, you can use online sources, such as PDFTables. 

If you have the paid version of Adobe Reader, i.e., Adobe Acrobat DC, then use its Export feature to convert PDF to CSV in a few seamless steps.  

  • Is there a way to convert PDF to CSV?

Yes, there are multiple ways to convert PDF to CSV. You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Preview (for Mac), and external software, such as Wondershare PDF Converter (for Windows) and Enolsoft PDF Converter (for Mac). You can also use online sources, such as PDFTables. 

Conclusion

Hope this helped!

Now that you know how to convert PDF to CSV, here are some other guides you might want to check out to better manage your PDFs:

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