Convert PDF to Excel without PDF converter

Does it sound familiar?

Excel Tips - PDF to Excel

There are many online-converters.  I tried a few of them (freebies) but the result was not satisfactory sometimes.  I don’t blame them as I had managed my expectation.  :P

Without PDF converter, what I tried to do was COPY and PASTE… as you may already know, there is no luck…  The following screen shot shows what I got from COPY and PASTE….Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 2 (well, the clip art was added afterward.)

See!? Data on different columns were concatenated by space, all in column A.  There is no simple way for me to re-organize the pasted data back into a table format, not even with Text to Columns as there is no fixed delimiter nor width.  And there were 10 pages of data…😦

One day, I read an article about viewing PDF file from OneDrive: PDF file we put in OneDrive would be viewed in Word Online… Then I tried to connect the dots…  BINGO, that’s the solution although imperfect.

1) Login OneDrive (previous known as Sky Drive)Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 3

(Note: You should have it already if you have in email account by Microsoft, e.g. hotmail.  If you don’t, you may sign up for one)

2) Upload your PDF file simply by drag and dropExcel Tips - PDF to Excel 4

3) Click on the file you have just uploadedExcel Tips - PDF to Excel 5

4) Word Online is opened to show you the content of the pdf file.  Click “Edit in Word”.Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 6

5) wow… Word Online is going to convert the PDF to Word for me to edit.  Sound good!  Select “Convert”.  Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 7

6) Yes.  There is a limitation.  I can do nothing but accept it.  Let’s “Edit”.

Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 8

7) Let’s “OPEN IN WORD“.  Yes, the familiar Word on your computer.  (note: you may be prompt to login again)Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 9

8) This is what you get!  Because it is Word, it communicates with Excel much much better.  What follows is just simple steps of COPY and PASTE.

Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 10

9) Here we go!🙂

Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 11

As you may have noticed, the output is imperfect:

  • The headers are sitting on two rows instead of one, and they are merged.
  • To scroll down, we see blank rows which was page break in the original PDF file.Excel Tips - PDF to Excel 12
  • Further editing may be required as some layout may not be converted properly.
  • Degree of further editing may vary depending on how the original PDF was created.

Nevertheless, it is already a BIG STEP forward, isn’t it?.  This trick saves me more enough time to compliment than to complain.  :)

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7 Responses to Convert PDF to Excel without PDF converter

  1. Jugnu Khan says:

    Thanks for sharing, that’s amazing. But my organization doesn’t allow internet access and USB/Flash drives, mobile or other media attachment is also not allowed in the office. Some of the reports generated through Oracle in PDF have thousands of records and 40 to 60 pages per report, sometimes I need to prepare my own reports thereof. Then how can I do that, is there any possibility of using VBA code?


    • MF says:

      Hi Jugnu,
      Glad you like it. For your case, i can understand the frustration you have… I think the proper way is to get a decent converter, if any possible.
      Talk to you boss or IT team.
      Good luck!


  2. Amazing post! thank you for sharing!


  3. Sabine says:

    actually you don’t need Onedrive at all.
    1.) Open the PDF in your reader
    2.) Press Ctrl A
    3.) Press Ctrl C
    4.) Open new Excel Sheet
    5.) Press Ctrl V in cell A1
    6.) Highlight column A
    7.) Go to Data -> Text in columns
    8.) Follow the assistant
    At least you may need to formate some text aligns. And then you are done with it.
    Tested with Excel 2003 Professional and Nitro Reader, priceless version



    • MF says:

      Hi Sabine,
      Yes. You may do that and you will probably get the result described in the second screenshot shown in the post.
      Unless your PDF hold a simple table with “fixed length” or “clear delimiter”, you won’t like the tedious work involved.


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