If you’re like most people, you’ve tried copying text from PDF after downloading it or viewing it online, only to find that it’s not readily possible to do so. The good news is that there are ways to get around this common problem.
Below, you will learn how to copy and paste text from a PDF document, thanks to our guide and easy-to-understand examples.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How to Check Your PDF Content Copying Permissions
- How to Copy And Paste Text From a PDF With Adobe Reader
- 3 Paste Options In MS Word to Control Your Copy Formatting
- Copy Entire PDF File or Multiple Items to Clipboard
- Copy Paste Keyboard Shortcuts Explained
So don’t fight with your PDFs any longer; keep reading to find what you need to do to get the text you need.
How to Check Your PDF Content Copying Permissions
When copying and pasting text to-and-from PDFs, you have a couple of options and settings you need to be aware of.
This might differ based on the tool you use, but the main idea will be the same.
First, you’ll want to confirm you can actually copy text from your PDF.
Content copying security settings in PDF documents
To do this, you can simply try to modify the text in your open document.
Or, to confirm your full PDF restrictions summary, right-click the document in an empty space and click Document Properties.
Then, go to the Security section to see if content copying is allowed.
If that’s the case, we can move on and show you all the ways to copy text, images, and more from your PDF files.
How to Copy And Paste Text From a PDF With Adobe Reader
Adobe is the original creator of the PDF, so it stands to reason that it would have an option to manipulate this format fairly easily. Indeed, Reader allows you to copy content (unless the PDF author has disabled copying).
To open a password-protected PDF document, you will need to use the password designated by the author. As such, you might not be able to print, edit, or copy content from certain secured documents.
Any tools or menu items that are related to restricted features will be dimmed in Reader if a document contains them. If this is a problem, contact the author of the PDF if you have difficulty opening the PDF or check out our guide if you forgot your PDF password.
Once you have confirmed that copying content is permitted, follow these steps to copy text or images you need from the PDF:
How to copy text from a PDF with Adobe Reader
1. Right-click on the document and select “Select Tool” from the pop-up menu.
2. Drag to select text or click to choose an image.
3. Right-click on the item or text you wish to copy.
Now, let’s take a look at how to copy images.
How to copy images from a PDF with Adobe Reader Snapshot tool
The snapshot tool in Adobe Reader copies the selected area as an image so that you can paste it into other applications.
The process is simple:
1. Click Edit.
2. Select an area of the image you want to copy with the rectangle.
3. Let go of the mouse button to confirm your selection. You should then receive a confirmation pop-up box in Adobe Reader.
However, keep in mind that you can’t copy tables from PDFs this way.
As the selected area will be copied as an image file. You can convert JPG or PNG screenshots to PDFs but the interactivity of it will be lost.
Instead, here’s how to copy a table element from a PDF file
How to copy tables from a PDF with Adobe Reader
1. Right-click on your PDF file.
2. Choose Open with.
3. Open it with MS Word (or any other .docx editor app).
4. A window will open with a message saying your PDF will be converted to an editable Word document. Press OK.
Now, MS Word will convert the full PDF document into an editable Word file format.
So, if you want to copy just the table from your PDF to a separate Word document, here’s how you can do that:
1. Click on the move icon in the top-left corner of your PDF table. This will select the data table.
2. Then, right-click on the table and press Copy. Or press CTRL+C for the shortcut.
How to paste a table from a PDF document onto MS Word
- To paste it, open your designated space, right-click on free space in the document, and press Paste. Or, press CTRL+V for the shortcut.
- Here, you can paste and keep source formatting, paste and merge formatting, paste as text only.
Be sure to check out our full guide to converting PDF to CSV for more info on this!
Now, wondering what’s the difference in the different ways you can paste the text?
Let’s take a look!