How to Copy Text from PDF


PDF can be used for a variety of purposes, both for work and for daily reading. Due to the popularity of the PDF format, it has its own advantages compared to other formats such as Word and Excel. It is very convenient to read. But it also has the disadvantage that the text cannot be edited.

Sometimes you may need to copy important content or text from a specific PDF file. These texts are used for publishing in web pages, multimedia presentations, word processing documents, or desktop publishing tools. There are many tools and techniques available for copying content from PDF files. Here, we will recommend 5 tools for you.

1. Preview (Mac)

Preview is an image viewer and PDF reader that come with the Mac system. In addition to viewing and printing digital images and PDF files, it can also edit these media types.

Meanwhile, Preview provides some other functions. You can extract a single page from a multi-page document (such as a PDF file), sort the pages, and so on. When you click the "Edit" button, it allows options to insert shapes, lines, do cropping, and among other things.

Step 1. Open the PDF you want to copy the text in Preview.

Step 2. Drag to select text and choose "Edit"> "Copy". If you want to copy a column in the table, you can click the "Text Selection" button, hold down the "Option" key when selecting the text, and choose "Edit" > "Copy".

Preview Copy Text from PDF

Step 3. The text is copied to the clipboard then you can paste the copied content in another application.

What We Think: This application has many features but it is just suitable for Mac users. It is not universal for most systems.

Editor's Rating:4.0/5

2. EasePDF

EasePDF is a free and safe PDF online converter. EasePDF is a brand that was established in 2018, but it has been researching PDF for more than 10 years. You can feel free to use all the tools here without any download and registration.

With this free online PDF converter, you can work well on any OS, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. It can also work on any OS on smartphones like iOS and Android OS.

Step 1. Upload the PDF document to the "PDF to Word" tool. You can upload the PDF file by pasting the URL or upload from Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

EasePDF PDF to Word Upload

Step 2. Then the PDF to Word free converter will start uploading and processing your chosen PDF file. Click the "Download" button and the converted Word document will be saved to your local device.

Step 3. Open the converted Word document with Microsoft Word then select the text you want to copy. Right-click in the text and choose "Copy".

Microsoft Word Copy Text

What We Think: With this converter, you can edit PDF directly before copy the text. However, it needs to convert the PDF to Word first, you cannot copy the text directly with the EasePDF. The server will automatically delete the files and links within 24 hours. You can enjoy the services without worry.

Editor's Rating:4.5/5

3. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC gives you everything you need to easily create, edit, share, and sign PDF documents from anywhere. When you are on the road and need to collaborate with colleagues in multiple locations, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC can help you to share the PDF and deal with the PDF file with colleagues together.

Step 1. Open the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC software. If you haven't got this software installed, please go and install one.

Step 2. Click "File" > "Open" in the drop-down menu to select the PDF that you need to copy the text.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC File Open

Step 3. In this step, you can click the "Edit" > "Select All" to select and copy all the text in the PDF. You can also select the text you need to copy then right-click in the text and choose the "Copy" button.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Copy Text

Step 4. At last, paste the copied text into the document you need.

What We Think: This is a desktop application; it is not as convenient as other online and built-in tools. But it is easy to operate, whether you are a novice or a professional, you can copy the text easily with a few clicks.

Editor's Rating:4.0/5

4. Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. With Google Drive, you can store, share, and access your files from any device and have 15 GB of free storage space. You can view and edit the file in your Google Drive on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. No matter where you go, all documents are with you.

Step 1. Log into your Google account and enter Google Drive.

Step 2. Click the "New" > "File upload" to upload the PDF.

Google Drive File Upload

Step 3. When the file is uploaded, click the file and open it with Google Docs.

Google Drive Open with Google Docs

Step 4. Click the "Edit" > "Select all" button to select and copy all the text in the PDF. If you just want to copy some text, select the text you need to copy then right-click in the text and choose the "Copy" button. Finally, paste the copied text into the document you need.

Google Drive Copy Text

What We Think: This online file storage service can not only save important documents in the cloud but also can view and edit the file directly. However, its storage capacity is limited so that you may not upload all files you need.

Editor's Rating:4.5/5

5. Wondershare PDFelement

Wondershare PDFelement is a fast, simple, and advanced PDF editor. PDFelement can use to create, convert, edit, OCR, merge, and fill documents from anywhere. Just like in a Word document, you can edit any text, image, page, link, background, watermark, header, and footer on a PDF and can even correct typos, rearrange pages, crop, or exchange photos.


"Before you start, please make sure that you have downloaded the latest version of Wondershare PDFelement."

Step 1. Launch the Wondershare PDFelement software. On the "Home" tab, click the "Open File" button. Then, select the PDF file from which you want to copy the text, and click the "Open" button again.

Step 2. Click the "Select" icon which shows on the upper left corner then click the mouse to select the desired text.

Step 3. Right-click on the text and select "Copy Text" or you can also press "Ctrl + C" after selecting the text.

Wondershare PDFelement Copy Text

What We Think: There are many functions in this application; it can save you a lot of time to deal with PDF files. The disadvantage is that it needs to be downloaded to use.

Editor's Rating:4.0/5


If my PDF file is encrypted, how do I copy the text from PDF?

You can use the "Unlock PDF" tool in EasePDF to unlock your PDF for free first. Then you can copy your text according to the steps we introduced above. This online PDF password remover is for those who want to turn their locked PDF files into editable and readable versions.

I am a Mac user, which of these tools is the most convenient to use?

Preview software is the most convenient for Mac users. You don't need to download any software, just open the PDF file with this application then you can copy the text from PDF freely.


With the tools we have listed above, we hope that this post can help you a lot. Please leave a message to us if you have any good ideas. We will provide and recommend more useful tools for you in the future.

Was this article helpful? Thank you for your feedback!


Process Your PDF Files
Add File(s)
Upgrade to premium for all tools
Select Tools
Install EasePDF - Free Online PDF Tools Chrome Extension?

No, thanks Install