Different Ways of Extracting Data from PDF Files to Excel

Businesses commonly exchange, record, and manage business data with PDF files. Through PDF files, they can easily view, share, manage, and even store important data. However, it should be noted that extracting data from them and transferring it to an Excel file is surely difficult.

Excel sheets are the best option for sharing business data for editing, manipulating, and viewing tabular data. Yet, businesses use PDF files for the same. When the data is shared through Excel sheets, it can easily be united into other databases or software. Businesses can easily analyze the data to create intuitive reports. But is it easy to extract data from PDF to Excel?

Through this article, you shall learn different ways to extract data from PDF files to Excel.

The Best Way to Extract Data from PDF to Excel

Here are the most practiced ways of removing data from PDF files into an Excel sheet.

Copy from PDF file and paste into Excel file

When you need to extract data from minimum PDF documents, this method is an ideal way. In this method, the data is extracted by copying data or tabular data from a PDF file and then pasted into the Excel file manually. Here is how you can do so.

  1. Open the PDF file
  2. Select the tabular data to be extracted or simply the data in the table
  3. Copy the selected data
  4. Go to the Excel file or sheet and paste the data copied there

This way, you can copy table from PDF to Excel or data from PDF files to Excel files easily and quickly.

Copy and paste using Microsoft Word

To your surprise, Microsoft Word can open different file formats including Word documents like Web pages, XML files, PDF files, etc. In case you aren’t using a PDF editor, Microsoft Word can help you open the PDF files and remove data from them. To do so, follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Open a Word file. Give a click on ‘Open’, and then select the option ‘Browse’.
  2. Locate your PDF file and select it to open the file
  3. Check out the dialog window and select the option ‘OK’ to confirm the task. Once you click on ‘Open’, the PDF file will open.
  4. Select the data that needs to be extracted. Give a right click and select the option ‘Copy’ from it.
  5. Now open the Excel file. Select the option ‘Home’, ‘Paste’, and then ‘Paste Special’ from the options. Next, select the option ‘Text’ and then select ‘OK’ to paste the copied data.
  6. If the data gets pasted in a single column, select the data again and click the option ‘Text to Columns’ from the options available under the tab Data.
  7. Next you have to select the file type ‘Delimited’ and click on the ‘Next’ option.
  8. When the next window appears, select the option ‘Space’ as Delimiters. Now click on ‘Next’.
  9. Finally click on ‘Finish’ and close the wizard.

Once you have done all these, you can now arrange the table headers as you want.

PDF Converters

Online PDF converters are the best alternatives when extracting data from complex PDF files. Various online converters are available in the market such as web-based online solutions, mobile applications, free software, etc. The PDF converters are capable of transforming any kind of data from PDF files in merely a few seconds. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Select the PDF file you wish to extract data from
  2. Upload the file on the online PDF converter software or application
  3. Click on ‘Convert’ option

The entire file would get converted into an Excel file or any other format in some time. There are certain PDF scrapers available also that help you edit the images and text in the PDF file before exporting them into an Excel file. No doubt, PDF converters can help you extract data from PDF files, but they still can’t extract bulk data. You will have to upload single files to convert them. Again, it should also be noted that PDF converters would only extract data from original PDF files and not scanned documents that were saved in PDF formats.

PDF Table Extraction Tools

Want to extract only a particular data table from the PDF file or image? A PDF converter tool can be helpful, but what if you fail? Similar to online PDF converters, certain tools help in extracting tabular data. Some of these tools extract data by circling the table and then removing data from the PDF file or image into an Excel file or any other file type. Again, it should be noted that to copy PDF table to Excel through extraction tools, the PDF file should be original and not scanned. Using a PDF table extraction tool requires proper knowledge of using the tool. Hence, it is not ideal for anyone willing to extract tables from PDF files.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Every Data Extraction Method?

Thinking about which data extraction method would be good for your files or data? Here is the list of pros and cons of every data extraction method to help you decide which method to adopt.

MethodProsCons
Copy and Paste
(includes transferring into both Microsoft Word and Excel)
1. Good choice for a small number of files
2. No additional equipment or software is needed
1. Very time-consuming when there are many files to extract data
2. Chances are that errors might occur
3. Process is tiresome
PDF Converters1. Very simple and easy to use
2. Several tools to select from online
3. Economical extraction option
1. Limited functions are available
2. Not suitable for bulk data extraction
3. Only suitable for original PDF files
PDF table extraction tools1. Easy, accurate, and quick extraction of data from tables
2. Useful to extract data into various formats
1. Only suitable for original files
2. Requires experts to extract data
3. A combination of automated and manual extraction process

After going through the pros and cons of every method, it can be concluded that every method has its importance and suits the needs and size of the PDF file. Nearly every method is incapable of handling huge data files and reprinting PDF files. Again, they need the involvement of both automated and human efforts.

DataPlusValue – Experts in Data Extraction

Extracting data from any type of PDF file to Excel or any other format shouldn’t be a laborious task, and we at DataPlusValue work on this efficiently. Serving as a top data extraction company, we help our clients with simplified extracting solutions for different PDF documents. We help our clients with advanced extraction services from unstructured, semi-structured, and structured documents. We ensure that healthy data gets delivered to your system with entrenched data quality management. With us, you can easily transform essential data as per your business requirements without conceding on accuracy levels or speed.

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