Cogniview PDF2XL Full Review and Alternatives


Cogniview PDF2XL



PDF2XL from Cogniview is a powerful PDF to Excel converter tool whose main focus is to eliminate human errors that emanate from manual document processing like retyping. With this software, you can transform your PDF purchase orders, invoices, financials, bank statements, vendor lists, bills of materials, price lists, inventory lists, and more into editable Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Even better, PDF2XL is available in both offline and online modes for reliability, but of course, the desktop version is more featureful. To ensure you have a fulfilling process, you are open to special features like a built-in OCR, smart layout detection, automatic table recognition, and extraction, batch processing, format, and layout retention, among other features this review article will touch on.

Just like TalkHelper PDF Converter, PDF2XL also happens to deliver remarkable processing speeds, going by the fact that it can process 500 pages per minute. Before we can dig deeper into more features, here are some of the PDF2XL pros and cons;

Pros & Cons of PDF2XL

  • Features smart layout detector
  • Offers a built-in OCR tool
  • Boasts batch processing and a live preview option
  • Offers automatic table extraction capabilities
  • Supports native, scanned, image-based, and unstructured PDFs
  • Features a command-line integration
  • Available for both online and offline use
  • Fast and high-quality output delivery
  • Upgrade needs to process scanned PDF with OCR
  • For sporadic personal use, the pricing is a bit high

How to Use Cogniview PDF2XL

Key Features in PDF2XL

PDF2XL takes on the fundamentals of what a good PDF to Excel should offer and these factors are what will guide us in finding out the features that make this conversion tool tick. PDF2XL revolves around a more aggressive approach to every feature to bring out the best output. With that, here are the sweet spots of this PDF to Excel converter software;

PDF to Excel Conversion with Format-retention


This is the core function of this software and PDX2XL tackles the task at hand diligently. Apart from conveying PDF files into the spreadsheet format equivalent, PDF2XL also lets you convert PDFs into other popular formats like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, OpenOffice, CSV, and HTML.

Amazingly, you can choose the pages, page ranges, tables, fields, columns, and rows to convert; therefore giving you total control over the conversion. If you do not wish to tinker with any settings, you can deploy the automatic conversion mode that still delivers exemplary results.

Since our interest lies in the Excel output format, it is prudent to note some of the advanced options that can be tweaked to guarantee an even more tailored output. To be specific, you can choose to adjust the font, add file metadata, enable add-ins, and support Excel 2007 format, just to name a few. During this process, expect the original layout (indentations, line wraps, etc) and formatting (text color, superscripts, etc) to be retained in the output spreadsheet.

Available On: PDF2XL Home, Business, and Enterprise.

Smart Layouts and Table Recognition


At the click of a button, PDF2XL can instantly and automatically detect the entire layout of your native or scanned PDF. Once you have obtained the layout, you have the option to export it for reuse later by importing the same layout on a similar PDF file.

PDF2XL accurately scans through the document and transposes rows and columns based on the structure of the data. Using layouts, you get to make rows out of text or lines, have templates suggested for you, and more. In the instance you are not sure how to build layouts on your own, the smart layout detector is at your disposal courtesy of PDF2XL.


PDF2XL also can automatically detect tables in a PDF file and export them into XLS format with 100% accuracy. There are tons of options here like highlighting tables by the selection, creating format types, appending multiple tables, splitting tables, excluding certain rows/columns/cells, editing table tile, editing column header, and more. The good thing is that you get a preview of the detection at the bottom for you to confirm the results before export.


Not forgetting that you get to tweak the cell formatting (numbers, date, currency, time) to meet your needs. Other options that you can tinker with concerning tables include deciding whether to;

  • Write table and column names
  • Keep empty rows
  • Merge cells that have overflowing text
  • Merge cells to match the layout
  • Keep text attributes
  • Keep leading zeros
  • Keep rows between tables

Available On: PDF2XL Home, Business, and Enterprise

Speedy PDF to Excel Conversion

One thing that I have to recognize about this program is just how fast it makes XLS files out of PDFs. Amazingly, PDF2XL can process about 500 pages in a minute, way more than what most tools can achieve. Such speed levels always have a heart for many users because one saves a lot of time. Coupling this with the batch convert feature takes the process to a whole new level of efficiency and convenience. And the best thing is that, even at these high speeds, the original quality is retained as much as possible.

Available On: PDF2XL Home, Business, and Enterprise

Built-in OCR


While converting native PDFs is usually effortless, scanned or image-based PDFs can prove to be a hard nut to crack unless you have the specialized OCR tool.

PDF2XL boasts of a built-in OCR whose accuracy is tip-top to deliver editable spreadsheets. With this feature, you can OCR an entire document, a single page, document layout, or just a specific region that you select. You are also open to validate words using the provided tools.


Even better, when you are not applying manual OCR, you can configure PDF2XL to perform the process automatically anytime it detects the addition of a scanned PDF file.

As part of the advanced options, you get to tinker with the OCR threshold, recognition language (over 120 languages supported), despeckle level, besides extra options like removing any lines present and defining a forced DPI of choice. All these culminate into an accurate data extraction process with little to no instances of editing required.

Available On: PDF2XL Business and Enterprise

Batch PDF to Excel Conversion


You can agree with me that converting PDF files into Excel format one file after another turns out to be both tedious and overly time-consuming. To bridge this gap for you, PDF2XL offers a dedicated batch conversion feature at your disposal. Simply open the batch convert dialog box, load up multiple PDFs, define the layout, choose a destination folder, and then start the process. In just a matter of a few clicks of the mouse, you can sit back and wait as your PDFs are processed all at the same time.

Available On: PDF2XL Business and Enterprise

Available for Online and Offline Use

The availability of a program is one of the factors considered when settling on a PDF to spreadsheet converter and PDF2XL has made sure that users can work offline and on the go without hassle. This is by proving both an offline and online version of the program for you to pick the most convenient for you.


The online version provides some PDF2XL basic features like the ability to convert PDF files into Excel, Word, or CSV format and an option to e-mail you the output once the conversion is done.

Unlike the online variant, the desktop software has all the features in full glory for you to use (view, convert, OCR, tweak the layout, and more). Therefore, whether you are at home or on the go, you are not limited when it comes to PDF to Excel conversion.



PDF2XL offers a free but limited trial version for you to evaluate the features before making up your mind to obtain one of the paid plans. You are provided with several products (PDF2XL Home, PDF2XL Business, PDF2XL Enterprise, and PDF2XL PRO) all with yearly and monthly pricing except for the PRO package that features a perpetual license.


Billing Plan







PDF2XL Business

(Most Popular)





PDF2XL Enterprise






One-time (Perpetual license)



PDF2XL is without a doubt a program that is committed to ensuring that you have a heaven of time converting PDFs into Excel files hassle-free. With the amazing speeds, format retention, automatic table extraction, layout detection, and overall high-quality output, you are up for a smooth sail. The pricing may be in the form of a subscription basis but still is way more affordable compared to other programs out there. All in all, PDF2XL is software that will guarantee you productivity and a flawless workflow.

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