2020 Update: How to Extract Data from PDF to Excel (XLS/XLSX)

2020 Update: How to Extract Data from PDF to Excel (XLS/XLSX)

2020-08-14 15:38:00 / Posted by to Convert PDF Follow @ admin

As PDF has become a generally accepted method for storing data, popularly used in serving for receipts, price-lists, HR forms, bank statements and many other types of documents, so people's need is not only to view information in PDF, but to extract data from PDF to Excel, and it is becoming more critical.

Below we explore some options to extract data from PDF to Excel.

Table of Contents:


How to Extract Data from PDF to Excel? (3 Methods)

1. Manually enter

To be honest, manually copy & paste is an easy way to extract data from PDF to Excel.

Here's the original PDF:

Here's what the data looks like after being copied and pasted into Excel:

Anyway, it's not recommended. This method is tedious and time consuming when you have large numbers of PDF files.

So, to summarize:

The pros include:

  • Cost reduction

The cons include:

  • Human error
  • Time-consuming
  • Messy format

Therefore, it would be much better to let dedicated tools to automatically process the whole job.

2. Professional PDF Data Extractor

#1 Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR

Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR is an ideal solution to extract data from PDF to Excel on Mac. After conversion, it can still keep the original data table's structure. In addition, Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR can batch convert native and scanned PDF into 16 formats, with 27 languages supported.

What the best PDF data extractor can do for you ?

  • Easy to use. Most people are the first time to use it, but they can quickly and easily handle it thanks to its simple to use and intuitive interface.
  • A wide range of output formats like: Word, Text, Excel, PowerPoint, TIFF, GIF, HTML etc
  • Options for Advanced Settings. You can manually adjust the applied zone for better result.
  • Batch conversion support. Users can batch add and extract data from multiple PDF files to Excel at one time.
  • With OCR feature, it lets users to extract data from scanned and native PDF to Excel.
  • Original format, layout retained

Free Download

How to extract data from PDF to Excel on Mac?

Step1.  After downloading the program, head to the app on your Mac computer, drag and drop files into it or click the + button.

Step2. Choose the Page range to extract specific data from PDF to Excel, select file language and output format as Excel.

Step3. Tap on Convert button to extract data from PDF to Excel, then assign a file name and store location to save the PDF file.

For Scanned PDF

In a scanned PDF, the data table is always identified as an image rather than text, so if you want to extract data from PDF to Excel, you need to convert PDF to editable text with PDF converters that support Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR can do this. Like we mentioned above, it can convert scanned PDF to editable Word, Excel,PPT etc. Just turn the OCR button on before extracting data from PDF to Excel. To make sure the data will be recognized accurately, you can go to the Advanced Settings to manually adjust the applied zone.

For Password-protected PDF

Some PDFs are password-protected so that we are not allowed to edit them or convert them to any other format. So, before we extract data from password-protected PDF, we should remove the password firstly. But don't worry, Enolsoft PDF Password Remover for Mac helps you remove the password. After removing the password, you can then extract data from PDF to Excel with Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR.

#2 Acrobat Adobe

You must be familiar with Adobe Acrobat DC, one of the world's premier PDF viewing and editing application software. We can use it to quickly extract data from PDF to Excel spreadsheets easily.

Although it's full-featured, it is a relatively high-cost program. Fortunately, there is a free trial version.

Step 1: Download and install Adobe Acrobat DC to your computer

Step 2: Right click the file and choose Open with Adobe Acrobat, go to Tools on the interface and click Export PDF

Step 3:  Choose the output as Microsoft Excel

Step 4: Click the Export to Excel button and then open the exported Excel file in Microsoft Office Excel to analyze it.

3. Online tools

If you want to extract data from PDF to Excel for free, another way is to utilize a free online PDF converter website, then you can extract data from PDF to Excel online without taking any extra computer space, which is the topic I want to write in this part.

Here is the list of best online PDF to Excel websites handpicked for you.

  1. Smallpdf
  2. pdftoexcel
  3. altoconverterPDFtoExcel
  4. pdf2go
  5. sodapdf
  6. zamzar

Take Zamzar as an example to show you how to extract data from PDF to Excel online

Zamzar is a comprehensive online tool to help you convert document files to other formats including image, music, video, eBook etc. It supports the conversion of more than 1,000 different file formats. Using this online converter is very convenient when you are in a hurry. With network connection, you can extract data from PDF to Excel directly.

How to extract data from PDF to Excel without software?

1. Visit the site of Zamzar and you will see like below:

2. Click the button of Add Files to upload the PDF that you are going to convert. Hit on the Convert to button to choose XLS or XLSX as the output format.

3. Click on the Convert Now button. It only takes a few minutes for Zamzar to output the Excel file.


  • Quick, free and user friendly
  • Bulk conversion
  • Supports almost all file conversions


  • File size limit (up to 50MB)
  • Sometimes corrupts in some file conversions
  • Privacy concerns, confidentiality of the converted files could be at risk


Extract Data from PDF to Excel Free Using Tabula (Open-sourced)

1. What is Tabula?

Tabula is an open-source tool to extract data from PDF to Excel using a simple, easy-to-use interface. It was created by several journalists with the support of a number of organizations including Knight-Mozilla Open News, the New York Times and La Nación DATA. It is available on Mac, Windows and even Linux. Users has no need to worry about the security if the PDF contains sensitive data since Tabula will process all data on your computer.

2. How to use Tabula?

Step 1: Go to its website and download Tabula on your computer

Step 2: Click on the tool icon, it will open in your browser

Step 3: Import a PDF file containing data table

Step 4: Drag a box to select the data table part you want to extract

Step 5: Click Preview & Export Extracted Data on the top right corner. Tabula will display a preview for you.

Step 6: If you satisfy the result, then hit the Export button. Now you can deal with your data as a spreadsheet rather than a PDF.

Note that Tabula only works for text-based PDF, which means it cannot identify text or data from scanned PDF documents. Besides, it operates best on simple table formats, not those complex rows or volumes.



After reading this blog post you have a good impression about 4 of the most popular and common methods to extract data from PDF to Excel:

This tutorial will help you to extract data from PDF to Excel spreadsheets quickly and easily. You're also likely to start finding new possibilities and opportunities for analyzing and dealing with data that you didn't do before.