PDF files do not carry editing capabilities, especially when sharing unless you use specialized software to achieve that. This means that unless you retype content, you cannot obtain the plain text that may be in a PDF file. Luckily, this article looks at some of the best PDf to Text converter software that you can seek help from when you need to obtain that plain text to use elsewhere.
These programs carry with then a built-in OCR feature that aids in this process. Basically, OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition which simply means that it functions to solely identify text in a document. With it, accuracy is guaranteed to very high levels compared to tools that do not have feature it.
This article delves into tools that can convert PDF to Text in a satisfying way either as online or offline software. We also go the extra mile of giving you guides on how to get started with some of these programs, especially when it is the first time you are getting started. No matter the platform or device, you will just find that one tool that will lace your shoes in the best way possible. In fact, after going through the list, you will be able to extract text from PDF files that you may have without much hassle. Let us get started.
Top 7 Free Software to Convert PDF to Text in Windows
|Software Name||Supported OS||Offline Version||Download Link|
|Windows 7/8/8.1/10||Full Version||Free Download|
|Windows 7/10||Free Trial||Free Download|
|Windows 7/8/10||Free Demo||Free Download|
|Windows 7/8/8.1/10||Free Demo||Free Download|
|Windows 7/8/10||Full Version||Free Download|
|Windows 7/8/10||Free Demo||Free Download|
|Windows 7/8/8.1/10||Full Version||Free Download|
1. TalkHelper PDF Converter (Recommended)
TalkHelper PDF Converter has never disappointed when it comes to any kind of PDF conversion. This time around, it has made it to the best PDF to Text converter list due to it being reliable and versatile.
You get full support for the Windows platform as a free trial software and if the features satisfy you, you can upgrade to the premium version at a small cost. Converting PDF to Text has never been this easy especially with the simple to use and intuitive user interface. You can always customize the output directory besides defining the number of pages you need to be converted.
By default, this top tool will save the output in the source folder but you can always customize to your own. Speed and accuracy are guaranteed so that you can save time and at the same time get the best output. For those of us who deal with many files at once, you can implement batch conversion for that ultimate convenience.
Zamzar is one of the best PDF to Text converter software when it comes to intuitiveness and ease of use. In fact, in just 3 steps, you are able to extract text from PDF file and save in a new text document. Converting PDF to Text has been made possible by the built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool.
Files can be added for conversion by browsing normally from the local directories or when in the need for convenience implement the drag and drop feature. Being an online conversion tool with support for over 1000 file formats, this top software gets rid of the need for cumbersome software installations. This culminates to that getting started is very straightforward.
For instance, when you need to convert scanned PDF to Text, just add the file to the tool, select text as the output format and then convert. Moreover, in the instance you don’t have time to wait for the conversion to end, you can submit your email address to be notified when the process is complete.
3. HiPDF PDF To Text Converter
HiPDF is a very rich tool that you can employ when you need to convert PDF to Text. It has featured as one of the best PDF to Text converter software as it can be obtained for free and delivers the best experience. It can be used as either an online or offline PDF to Text conversion program. It is able to achieve this due to the built-in OCR feature which handles text extraction from a PDF file.
This top tool is also very easy to use and cannot be a hassle even for a first-timer. There is support for batch PDF to Text conversion in case you need to work on many files at once in addition to integrated cloud services which include Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, and Box. With these services, you are able to add files directly for conversion without the need for uploading from the local computer.
4. Abbyy Finereader
Abbyy Finereader is one of the best PDF to Text converter programs that go an extra mile in ensuring simplicity as much as possible. It has Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive as the default integrated cloud services that you can directly add PDF files for conversion from beside the normal method of uploading files from the local storage.
It also features a built-in OCR tool that comes in handy when converting PDF to Text. You can set the language of the input document now that the tool has support for almost 200 languages. When exporting, you can choose to combine all pages to form one single file.
In addition, you can save the output to Box, Evernote, Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. It is also a very accommodating tool that allows the addition of files of up to 100MB each.
In the pursuit for the best PDF to Text converter software, SimpleOCR is that fast and free go-to software for such tasks. Unlike other free PDF to Text conversion programs that come with limitations, this tool is not limited in any way at all. You can obtain this tool on your computer by simply downloading and installing at no charges.
It will conveniently get rid of the need to retype documents be it for personal or commercial use. You will be able to convert scanned PDF to Text at the click of a button and by that, you get to save a lot of time that could have been used in retyping. Batch conversion is also supported so you can rest assured that you do not have to keep adding files one after the other.
UniPDF is a multi-lingual tool with support for the major languages in the world hence very reliable. It does not require any extra software to work besides being very instinctive and simple to use. Converting PDF to Text can be done using the free trial version and in case you want to continue using the tool, you can register at some charge for the full-unlimited version.
There is support for batch conversion besides the ability to customize the saving path. To be specific, you can choose to save to the source path, the desktop or even a user-defined directory. Adding files has been simplified with the drag and drop feature besides getting more information about your files like size, total pages, selected pages for conversion and the status. At the end of the day, you have a very powerful tool at your fingertips.
7. Google Docs
Google Docs aims at providing you with the Office suite all in one place for that ultimate convenience. When converting PDF to Text, expect very great levels of accuracy and ease of use. You will find out just how fast it is to extract text from PDF files when you give Google Docs a run. What makes this even better is that the tool does not ask for any money to use the services.
All you need is the document to work on, a modern browser and a good internet connection for you to upload the file. In case your PDF file is hosted on Google Drive, you can open it directly online without the need to upload it from the local storage.
The other wonderful thing about this tool is that it is completely cross-platform so does not discriminate any operating system. This means that conversion can be done while on the go too.
The moment you get started with any of these PDF to Text conversion tools, you will realize that you no longer have to retype content from PDF files. At the click of a button, you will obtain a plain text that can be transferred to any compatible document via copy and paste in a very convenient way. Save not only time but also effort with these awesome and top tools for that experience you have always wanted when it comes to convenience.
How To Convert PDF To Text: Top 7 Methods
Now that you have a list of the tools to convert PDF to text with, here is a section that picks the top ones and gives you a guide on how to accomplish the task at hand, depending on your convenience. Actually, you will be opened to various ways to do this including when using the Mac, utilizing the OCR, working on scanned PDF files, implementing python to help in PDF to TXT conversion, working from the Windows, Android or Linux platform all which basically cover all the scenarios. It will get rid of the need to go through a steep learning curve once you have the go-to program at hand.
This section is actually pretty comprehensive to make sure that even that user who is not that tech-savvy will have an easy time getting around to accomplish the first conversion task. It is the perfect moment now to get a good insight into the top 8 methods that you can follow in order to realize a successful process to extract text from a PDF file.
How to Convert PDF to Text in Windows 10/8/7
No matter the Windows version you are on, TalkHelper PDF Converter is that comprehensive program that you can call to help in the PDF to Text conversion. It comes bundled in a simple and instinctive user interface with support for dragging and dropping when it comes to importing PDF files. You will also get to enjoy convenient batch conversion on top of getting access to file management options. It supports most of the popular languages when it comes to utilizing the OCR besides delivering very accurate results.
Our greatest interest lies in the exact steps required to undertake a successful process to convert PDF to TXT. In that line, follow the steps below to extract text from PDF files with TalkHelper PDF Converter.
- Start TalkHelper PDF Converter after installing.
- On the left panel, pick the “PDF to TXT” option under the “Convert PDF To Other Files” section.
- Drag and drop the file(s) to be converted into the marked area.
- Pick a preferred output directory at the topmost area of the tool.
- Click on the “Convert” button.
Once you have gone through these steps, this program will automatically implement the OCR and deliver a text file with the same name as the original PDF file. As the conversion happens, you will have a progress bar that will come in handy to track how far the conversion has been done as a percentage. How else better can this get?
How to Extract Text From PDFs on Mac
On the Mac platform, you do not necessarily have to install a fully-fledged software to convert PDF to Text when the built-in Automator is just a click away. It comes in very handy to deliver a convenient process that can be likened to none other. You will be surprised to know that it supports the much-coveted drag-and-drop features when it comes to importing PDF files into this tool. Better yet, you get to access it for free without having to dig deep into your pocket on top of the app proving to be foolproof.
PDF files into this tool. Better yet, you get to access it for free without having to dig deep into your pocket on top of the app proving to be foolproof.
To convert PDF to Text with the help of the Automator program, follow the steps outlined below. The process is not complex at all.
- Navigate to the “Finder” then “Applications” and open the “Automator” app.
- In the options, pick “Workflow”.
- Import the PDF file to be converted via a simple drag-and-drop.
- Select the “Extract PDF Text” option.
- Click on the “Play” button to commence the process.
Once the conversion process is complete, you will have a text file in the saving directory that you can now use for further actions as applicable. With this tool, you will also get the chance to retain formatting like bold and italics in order to avoid the need to do it afresh in the generated text. Therefore, even before you can employ other software on your Mac, this built-in solution will not disappoint you despite it not being very feature-laden.
How to Convert PDF to Text on Linux
On the Linux platform, working from the terminal is more of the norm and most of the software is command-driven. You are not left out on the process to convert PDF to Text on Linux as a tool like pdftotext has been crafted to cater to such needs. It can process restricted files, extract text from a page range on top of maintaining the original layout to the greatest extent. It goes without saying that you have to first install this tool on your preferred Linux distro.
After installing pdftotext, what steps does it take to take care of the task at hand? Get your answer in the guide below.
- Depending on the Linux distro you are on, installing the software is still not as complex as it is done via the terminal. For instance, in most of the Ubuntu-based distributions run this command “sudo apt install poppler-utils”.
- Next, you dive right into the conversion process by running this command in the directory containing the target PDF file “pdftotext -layout nameofPDF.pdf nameofOUTPUT.txt”.
Make sure to reference the PDF file and the output text file with the appropriate names on the command as the ones specified above as just mean to guide you on the syntax. In case you do not specify an output name, the text file will be generated with the same name as the original PDF file. By specifying the layout flag, you will be able to retain the formatting even if there are multiple columns in the PDF file. Do not forget that you are also opened up to batch conversion when the need arises.
How to Convert PDF to Text on Android
Android smartphones have become a part of our lives as we use and interact with them at all times. Being handheld means that they are actually very portable and thus can be used from anywhere. In regard to the PDF to TXT conversion task, there are apps that have been developed to work on Android devices and one such app is LightPDF. With such an app, you will kiss goodbye to the need of carrying your computer everywhere. This app is free to obtain and delivers several conversion modes on top of the one to extract text from PDFs. There are no limits at all as you can convert any size of PDF file without much hassle.
LightPDF has proven to be a convenient online app that just requires you to follow the steps below in order to have a usable text file.
- Navigate to the tool website on your Android device.
- Under the “Convert from PDF” pick “PDF to Word”.
- Import PDF files but clicking on the “Choose File” option.
- Download the output file once the conversion process ends.
Besides the conversion, this tool can also personalize the output with your preferred watermark in the form of text or an image. It also has support for password-protected files and goes the extra mile to make sure that the output is of the best quality as much as possible.
How to Convert Scanned PDF to Text With OCR
We all know that for the success and accuracy of the PDF to Text process, the OCR must come into play. In that line, when you are working online and want to work with a service that features an OCR, visiting the Free Online OCR website will give you the ultimate solution. With support for up to 46 languages, you can be sure to extract text from any PDF file. All you need is to pick the document language and the rest will be done for you. It offers a free service although you can only convert 15 files every hour. Luckily, this limitation can be overcome through registration.
Enough with the intro, here are the steps that are guaranteed to lead you to very satisfactory results in the end.
- Upload the PDF file to convert – should not exceed 15MB.
- Select the OCR language matching your document.
- Pick the output format as “Text Plain (txt)”.
- Hit the “Convert” button and wait to download the text file.
The good thing about this web app is that it is able to extract text in one of the most accurate ways and thus save you the trouble of having to apply further editing instances. In addition to that, you are not restricted to any specific device or platform, as long as you have a good internet connection and of course a supported web browser.
How to Convert PDF to Text With Adobe Acrobat DC
Adobe Acrobat DC has proven without a doubt to be one of the most comprehensive PDF software that can perform any form of action when it comes to PDF files. When you need to convert scanned PDF files, the built-in OCR will do the magic to deliver text output that does not require you to edit it since there are no errors. It is a pretty efficient tool as well especially when you consider the fact that the process takes just a matter of moments to complete. You will get to experience custom fonts that have a very slight difference for the original PDF file.
A new user would get stranded on how to get started but that is no longer the case as here is a simple guide on how to get the most out of this converter program.
- Open the scanned PDF files to be converted.
- On the right pane, pick the “Edit PDF” tool – Here, the OCR is applied automatically.
- Click on the text element you are interested in.
- Under the “File” menu, click on the “Save as” option in order to give a name to your text file before finally saving.
Whether you are on a Mac or Windows PC, this is a tool that has been crafted to deliver exemplary results in the end. It will offer you a free trial period for you you have a feel of the features to enjoy before you can make up your mind to upgrade to the premium version. You will save greatly on time as this program happens to be very snappy in the process to extract text from PDF files.
How to Convert PDF to Text Files in Python
Python is a high-level programming language whose syntax is not complex to comprehend. It has been implemented in the PDF to Text conversion as you will find out here. For specificity, we will be implementing the PDFMiner tool that is a superior solution that focuses purposely on extracting and analyzing text. It will also comprehensive information about the text in your document including fonts and lines in the instance you need it. Apart from converting PDF files into the text equivalent, it also supports other output formats.
Regarding the task at hand, you can simply follow the steps below to realize a text file once the process is done.
- Setup Python on your computer.
- Install PDFMiner by executing this command – “pip install pdfminer”.
- Perform the conversion in the directory containing the PDF files by referencing it in this command “pdf2txt.py nameofPDFfile.pdf”.
The process will not take long and the resultant text file will be with you within a short time. You will get the chance to provide passwords in the instance you are working on restricted PDFs. it is worth noting that you will not have the privilege of extracting text from images contrary to what other tools are capable of. Other than that, this is definitely a program to consider.