What is a PDF file?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is designed to be a platform and hardware-independent format that works on virtually all devices. It carries the document’s formatting, permissions, and layout inside of the file itself.

PDF carries images, multimedia, and a bunch of meta-data inside the file and is used around the world by both creative and tech professionals alike. PDF traverses the whole spectrum - from digital art all the way to API specifications and engineering designs.

PDFs are notoriously hard to edit and format, let alone structure in a neat, well-arranged table. Read on, and we’ll show you just how easy this is to remedy.

PDF is simply amazing if you want to view the same file on your iPhone and your Android TV, but it’s a drawback if you have to use some Microsoft Excel formulas or formatting on one.


How to convert PDF to excel - step-by-step guide

How to convert a PDF document to Excel in Windows?

Converting PDF to Excel is easy with PDF Extra for Windows. All you need to do is head over to PDF Extra and install the application on your Windows device.

However, note that you cannot convert a PDF that is password protected since this would compromise the security of the file. If you must convert such a file, you can use PDF Extra in order to remove the password protection from it before converting!

There are several ways you can start :

· Open PDF Extra and click More

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· Click Convert to Excel from the Home screen

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· Select the document you want to convert. You can choose files from your local device, recent files, or fetch them directly from your MobiDrive cloud storage or OneDrive
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· Click Export to Excel from the Home tab if you’re already viewing the file
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· To greatly improve the accuracy of the conversion, choose up to 3 languages present in the PDF and click Apply
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· Save the document. You can provide any filename you want for the resulting Excel document.

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· After the conversion is complete, you can immediately open the document using OfficeSuite for Windows

· Done!

Your new Excel file has been created and is now ready to be used.


How to convert a PDF to Excel in Android?

Converting PDF to Excel is easy with PDF Extra for Android. All you need to do is head over to the Play Store and install the application on your Android device.

The same caveats about password-protected files also apply to conversions on Android. Luckily you can remove the password in PDF Extra for Windows prior to converting.

There are several ways you can start :

· Tap PDF to Excel from the Tools section

· Tap PDF to Office from the Home screen

· Tap the triple-dot menu, then tap Convert to and Convert to Excel if you’re already viewing the file

· Select the file you want to convert. You can choose files from your local device or fetch them directly from your MobiDrive cloud storage

· Tap Convert to Excel

Your file will be converted to an Excel file, and you will be able to let the operation run in the background while you’re viewing and browsing inside the PDF file.

After the conversion process is complete, you will automatically be redirected to the Downloads location on your device, and the resulting Excel fill will be selected for you. If you choose to let the conversion run in the background, you can still manually navigate to Downloads, where you can grab your new Excel file.

In any case, PDF Extra always preserves your original PDF file and creates a brand new Excel file when converting.

Your new Excel file has been created and is now ready to be used.



How to convert a PDF document to Excel in iOS?

Converting PDF to Excel is easy with PDF Extra for iOS. All you need to do is head over to the App Store and install the application on your iOS device.

The same caveats about password-protected files also apply to conversions on iOS. Luckily, you can remove the password in PDF Extra for Windows prior to converting.

There are several ways you can start :

· Tap More and then PDF to Excel from the Home screen

· Tap the triple-dot menu, then tap Convert and Convert to Excel if you’re already viewing the file

· Select the file you want to convert. You can choose files from your local device, Files app, or fetch them directly from your MobiDrive cloud storage

· To greatly improve the accuracy of the conversion, choose up to 3 languages present in the PDF and tap Next

· Choose where to save the resulting file. You can save the file locally or in MobiDrive. Tap Convert when ready

· Done!

Your new Excel file has been created and is now ready to be used.


What are the advantages of converting PDF files to Excel?

There are multiple advantages to converting a PDF to Excel. Probably the biggest reason one would like to do so is the ability to better analyze and work with the data inside the PDF file by taking advantage of the wide range of features around calculations and data manipulation that Excel formats typically offer.

The converted Excel file can be loaded inside OfficeSuite Sheets, where you can use formulas on the data, draw graphs, add conditional validations, and much more!

The above is an enormous benefit for data analysts, financial advisors, accountants, and really anyone that wants to draw conclusions and visualize on top of a dataset. As we previously touched on, PDFs are rigid and very portable between platforms, but this is precisely what makes them hard to edit and convert.

You cannot really use custom macros, formulas, or other data shaping & management tools and techniques that a professional might want to leverage on their data.

Another noteworthy drawback that PDFs have compared to Excel files is that, for all intents and purposes, they are “flat” documents that simply grow by adding more pages. Whilst in an Excel file, you can grow the file in multiple dimensions - meaning adding more sheets, more rows, or columns to a file.

Thereby having a more compact and wieldy file that would otherwise be hundreds of pages if represented as a PDF. In this regard, PDF Extra comes to the rescue as our conversion algorithm automatically creates a separate sheet in our resulting Excel file for each page in the original PDF documents.


Additional recommendations and tips

Use a smart conversion tool like PDF Extra that respects columns - most free online tools simply put all of the content from the PDF in a single column inside the resulting file.

For optimal results, clean up the PDF using PDF Extra’s rich editing capabilities before converting - by far, the biggest factor in determining how good the resulting Excel file looks is the structure and content of the input PDF file itself.

“Cleaning up” the input file of all things that are not convertible is much easier than trying to clean up the resulting Excel file.

Some objects that have no equivalent in Excel (or just map poorly are):

· Padding, indents, bullet lists, other checklists, and any kind of text ordering and beautification - Excel either doesn’t have them or handles them poorly.

All of them can introduce extra columns that are hard to clean up and are bound to make the formatting worse in the resulting file. Avoid and remove those. The closer the PDF looks to a table, the better!

· Footers, headers, Bates numbers, and other kinds of supplementary content are usually used in text-only documents - same as the above. Avoid and remove.

· High-resolution color images - those do convert, but it’s best to trim them as they are of little use inside an excel file

· Video, audio, and other multimedia content - yeah, those are not a thing in Excel