How do I convert PDF to Word for free?

PDF is a common file format developed by Adobe that people used to present and share documents, because it’s portable and cross-platform supported. However, when we need to make some changes on a PDF, we have to convert the PDF to an editable Word document.

Is there any way to convert PDF to Word in a free and quick way? The answer is yes. In this post, you’ll pick up 6 easy ways to convert a PDF to Word. You can convert your PDF using free converters, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe ExportPDF Service. Now, let’s start the step-by-step tutorial.

Before we start, please notice that there are two different types of PDF – text version, scanned version. Text version PDF is much easier to convert to editable Office format. But for canned PDF, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology is necessary for converting. Without OCR, the elements on those PDFs can not be recognized and extract to Word.

So please make sure which type your PDF file is and notice whether OCR service is needed. Therefore you can choose the right way for your converting task.

Solution 1. Use A Free Online PDF to Word Converter

One of the most convenient ways to convert your PDF documents is to use an online PDF converter for free. In this way, you don’t have to install any software or pay for a dine.

Step 1. Go to the EasePDF homepage. Open your web browser and type in easepdf.com, click “PDF to Word” tab.

Convert PDF to Word

Step 2. Upload your PDF file(s)

Click “Add File(s)” to upload your PDF file(s). There are two ways to access your document. You can upload it from your local device, or open it from your Google Drive, Dropbox or any other URL.

Upload PDF Files

EasePDF supports batch convert PDF to Word, so you can upload and process multiple files at one time.

Step 3. Convert PDF to Word

Click “Convert” button to start converting your PDF file(s). The processing time depends on your file’s size, normally it only takes seconds.

Converting PDF to Word

Step 4. Download the converted Word document(s)

Click “Download” button to save the file(s) to your device.

Download Converted Word Document

Now you’ve got your PDF successfully converted to Word.

Besides EasePDF, there are hundreds of online PDF converters out there, each with different functions. To choose the perfect converter to assist your daily PDF work, you might want to pay attention to these criteria: elements extraction, layout preservation, formats option, converting speed, security, price, etc.

Solution 2. Use Google PDF to Word Converter

Google Docs is an online word processor that helps people create and format documents. With it, you can easily create and edit Word documents online. Moreover, Google Docs can open PDF files and save as other formats like docx, rtf, txt, epub, etc. Therefore, uses always called Google Docs “Google PDF to Word Converter”, “Google PDF Editor”, etc. Now let’s see how it works on PDF to DOCX conversion.

Step 1. Go to Google Docs and log in with Google account.

Step 2. Click the file icon to upload your PDF file.

Google Docs Open File

You can open a file from your Google Drive or upload from your device.

Google Docs Upload File

Step 3. Open with Google Docs

Once the file is opened, click the little triangle tab beside “Open with Google Docs”, and choose “Google Docs” on the dropdown list.

Open PDF with Google Docs

Step 4. Save PDF as Word

Click “File” on the top bar of the interface, click “Download” on the drop-down box, then choose “Microsoft Word (.docx)”. The converted Word document will be downloaded to your device immediately.

Google Docs Download As Word

Note: Google Docs enables you to convert PDF directly to Word including scanned PDF. But when your PDF file contains images, it can only convert all text element, all images will be missing. So if you have an image-contained PDF file, don’t go this way.

Solution 3. Change PDF to Word with Microsoft Word

If you already have Microsoft Office software (2013 or above version) installed on your computer, you don’t need to find another way to convert your PDF files. Microsoft Word has a built-in feature called “PDF Reflow” that allows users to change PDF format to editable Word.doc. As long as the layout of your PDF files is not complicated. Now let’s see how to open a PDF in Word and convert it.

Step 1. Launch Microsoft Word, click “File”.

Step 2. Open PDF on Microsoft Word

On the pop-up menu bar, click “Open”. You can choose PDF files on your computer, OneDrive or other locations on web or your local device. Choose any PDF file you want to convert and click “Open”.

Microsoft Word Open File

Note: If your PDF files became invisible in the target folder, please select “All Files” on the open dialog.

Step 3. Confirm and start converting PDF

Microsoft will show you a warning message: “Word will now convert your PDF to an editable Word document. This may take a while. The resulting Word document will be optimized to allow you to edit the text, sot it might not look exactly like the original PDF, especially if the original file contains lots of graphics.”

Microsoft Word Conversion Warning

Click “OK” to start the converting process.

Step 4. Check the converted Word document

Microsoft Word will automatically transfer the contents of the PDF file into a Word.doc and open it. Take a good look at the text and formatting to see if the contents you want to edit are all there.Note: In this way, images can’t be saved on the new Word document. If you need to change graphics along with all texts on the PDF to Word, you can use a PDF converter like and Adobe Acrobat.

Solution 4. Download A Desktop PDF to Word Converter

A desktop PDF to Word converter is not as convenient as online ones, but it works when you don’t have an Internet connection. There is a bunch of desktop PDF to Word converters like PDFeements, SmallPDF, LightPDF, PDF Candy, etc. You can free download them and try if they fit your requirements. Today we’ll use PDFelement as an example.

Step 1. Free download the PDFelement and install it to your Windows or Mac computer.DownloadDownload

Step 2. Open PDF file

Launch the program and click “Open File” to choose files from your computer, or you can simply drag and drop the PDF file you want to convert into the interface.

PDFelement Open File

Step 2. Perform OCR recognition (Scanned PDF only)

If your PDF file is a scanned one, you need to use OCR to recognize the texts before the conversion. For normal PDF conversion, you can skip this step and go directly to step 3. Click “Tool” on the top menu bar. Choose “OCR Text Recognition” on the drop-down menu.

PDFelement OCR Text Recognition

Step 3. Convert PDF to Word

Once your PDF file was opened, click “File” on the top menu bar, then click “Export to” and choose “Word” as output format. Choose an output folder you want to save the converted Word document. When you’re done, click “Convert” button to start the converting process. Your PDF file will be changed into Word.doc in seconds.

PDFelement Export PDF to Word

Solution 5. Convert PDF to Word with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a better option when it comes to converting image-contained PDFs and scanned PDFs. When you convert scans to Word in Acrobat, the original formatting gets well maintained – even in complicated layouts. No need to spend time to adjust text and images.

Step 1. Open a PDF file in Acrobat.

Step 2. Click on the Export PDF tool in the right pane.

Adobe Export PDF

Step 3. Choose Microsoft Word as your export format, and then click on Word Document.

Adobe Export PDF to Word

You can click on the setting cog to choose your converted Word options, such as layout, comments, image and recognition settings.

Adobe Save As Word Settings

Step 4. Click “Export”. Acrobat will run text recognition automatically if your PDF contains scanned text.

Step 5. Select a location where you want to save the file, name your new Word file, and then click “Save”.

Adobe offers a seven-day free trial of Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud (DC). You can use the trial version for a one-time conversion if you don’t need a plan for further usage.

Solution 6. Export PDF to Word Use Adobe ExportPDF Service

Adobe Export PDF is an Adobe Document Cloud service that lets you export PDF to Word or Excel, online or on a mobile device. Compare to expensive Adobe Acrobat Pro, Adobe Export PDF costs much lower, it only needs $23.88 a year. So if you’re an Adobe user and you have frequent PDF converting requirements, this is a better option then the free trial of Adobe Acrobat DC.

In conclusion, for text-heavy PDF files that don’t contain many photos, we suggest choosing Google Docs and Microsoft Word (2013 and above) to convert formats to Word.doc. For PDFs with lots of graphics, using online or desktop PDF to Word converters like EasePDF, PDFCandy, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe ExportPDF is a better option.


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.