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Exporting PDF documents to Word

From: Up and Running with Acrobat XI

Video: Exporting PDF documents to Word

At some point you might be asked to sort of reverse-engineer a PDF so that the contents can be used in another application. In this situation I have a PDF that was generated from Adobe InDesign, which is a page layout program, but my friend has Microsoft Word and she needs this layout in Word. She wants it to look just like this. She wants all the text to look the way it does. She want to be able to use these images. In the past this was an absolute nightmare to try to do this, but Acrobat 11 Pro has substantially improved abilities to convert this to Microsoft Word.

Exporting PDF documents to Word

At some point you might be asked to sort of reverse-engineer a PDF so that the contents can be used in another application. In this situation I have a PDF that was generated from Adobe InDesign, which is a page layout program, but my friend has Microsoft Word and she needs this layout in Word. She wants it to look just like this. She wants all the text to look the way it does. She want to be able to use these images. In the past this was an absolute nightmare to try to do this, but Acrobat 11 Pro has substantially improved abilities to convert this to Microsoft Word.

And there are two routes you can take. Under File you can choose Save As, and then you can choose as your option Word Document (docx), the DOCX file, or the older format, the plain- old .doc file. Or you can do it another way, and this is my preferred way. It does exactly the same thing, but it's right here within Acrobat, without having to go out to your directories. Under File > Save As Other, there it is, Microsoft Word. And I can choose Word Document, which is going to be the DOCX file, or I could choose the older format.

In this case she has the newer version of Word, so she wants the DOCX format. So when I choose that I'm just going to save it on my desktop. Now let's take a look at the settings. Retain Flowing Text versus Retain Page Layout, what does that mean? If I retain flowing text, there's a chance that the line breaks on the text might change, but it's a little more easy to edit it. Under Retain Page Layout, it might put in hard returns in order to keep the line breaks the same, and that might make it a little challenging to edit. Either way, it's still editable text, but you might try it one way and see if you like it.

If you don't like the results, then try the other option. We want to include the images. There aren't any comments on this PDF, but if there were, they would survive the trip back to Word. And if necessary, if this was a scan, it would run OCR. Now keep in mind we're not going back in time. We're not pulling the Word file out of the PDF, because it doesn't exist in there; we're repurposing this content and trying to maintain the look of the PDF. So when you click OK and save, you'll see a little progress bar. And now I when I take a look at it in Word, it's a very faithful rendition of that PDF.

The text is completely editable, and notice that I can select it. I can select an image and if I need to crop it or move it or if I need to put in a new image, I can do it. So it's as if it was created in Word, but it came out of that PDF. Now, a couple of things you have to consider. I mentioned the hard returns in order to maintain the line breaks. That's one thing. If you tend to use styles in Word, and I hope you do, you're going to find that there aren't any useful styles here. You'll notice it's just normal; all the text is going to say normal. So even though--or body text in this case-- even though in the original InDesign file there were style sheets used, those don't survive the trip into a PDF, and they certainly don't exist when you try to pull that content out of the PDF.

But still, this is going to give her a wonderful head start. She's now going to have to just take little pieces and start over; she has a usable layout with all the content she needs, and Acrobat has made that really easy.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Acrobat XI
Up and Running with Acrobat XI

37 video lessons · 10789 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 1m 3s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      16s
  2. 9m 13s
    1. Understanding the Portable Document Format
      1m 55s
    2. Comparing the three versions of Acrobat
      7m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Navigating through documents
      4m 57s
    2. Changing the screen view
      7m 29s
    3. Understanding the Tool panels
      3m 45s
  4. 15m 45s
    1. Combining PDFs
      2m 57s
    2. Inserting pages
      2m 33s
    3. Replacing pages
      1m 59s
    4. Changing page order
      1m 29s
    5. Extracting pages
      1m 47s
    6. Creating portfolios
      5m 0s
  5. 16m 28s
    1. Creating PDFs from Word documents
      8m 20s
    2. Creating PDFs from PowerPoint presentations
      3m 5s
    3. Creating PDFs from Excel spreadsheets
      2m 0s
    4. Creating PDFs on a Mac
      3m 3s
  6. 14m 1s
    1. Converting web pages to PDFs
      3m 43s
    2. Scanning hard copy
      5m 27s
    3. Creating PDFs from text and image files
      1m 37s
    4. Converting selected areas of a document and clipboard contents into a PDF
      1m 49s
    5. Printing to PDF
      1m 25s
  7. 9m 43s
    1. Exporting PDF documents to Word
      3m 4s
    2. Exporting PDF documents to Excel
      1m 22s
    3. Exporting PDF documents to PowerPoint
      3m 0s
    4. Extracting images
      2m 17s
  8. 13m 21s
    1. Editing text
      3m 3s
    2. Editing graphics
      2m 38s
    3. Adding hyperlinks
      3m 23s
    4. Adding bookmarks
      4m 17s
  9. 17m 4s
    1. Adding annotations
      2m 32s
    2. Using drawing markups
      6m 48s
    3. Creating email reviews
      3m 26s
    4. Using shared reviews
      4m 18s
  10. 4m 23s
    1. Understanding interactive forms
      2m 27s
    2. Creating forms from Word documents
      1m 56s
  11. 58s
    1. Next steps
      58s

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