How to Copy and Paste from a PDF without Losing Formatting

How to copy and paste from a PDF file for free? It is easy to duplicate and paste content from an editable PDF file. However, the situation will become more complicated when your PDF documents are scanned, secured, or images-made, in which the PDF is read-only mode and disallows others to modify. This article, therefore, introduces some free and practical ways of how to copy and paste from PDF to word without losing formatting. Both online and offline methods are available.

Last updated on June 20, 2022 by Eleanor Written by Eleanor
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How to Copy and Paste from a PDF without Losing Formatting

How to Copy and Paste from a PDF without Losing Formatting

If you are looking for a way to copy and paste from a PDF document, you have come to the right place. The easiest way to copy and paste text and images from a PDF is to select the content, press Ctrl+C to copy it, and then press Ctrl+V to paste the copied content into a Word document. However, the method is invalid when extracting content from a secured or scanned PDF. We have to search for other solutions. This article will share some free and practical ways of how to copy and paste from a PDF file whether it is locked or scanned.

Why Cant I Copy and Paste from PDF?

There are two situations where you can’t duplicate and paste from a PDF.

  • If a PDF file is scanned or made from images, then you can’t copy anything from it. It probably works if you convert it to Word or take a screenshot and convert the screenshot to text with a text converter. However, if there are tables and lists in this PDF, the converted files may lose the original formatting.
  • Password-protected PDFs also disallow others to copy content. If a PDF is secured or encrypted, it means the PDF file is in read-only mode. You can’t make any edits to it even if you enter the password, not to mention duplicate the document.

Generally, the most practical way to make a PDF document copyable is to convert PDF to Word. In this case, you can copy and paste content without missing anything in Word documents converted from the PDF files.

How to Copy and Paste from a PDF to Word

First, you should prepare a reliable PDF Converter. After trying a great deal of PDF conversion software in the market, it is believed that the WorkinTool PDF Converter is worth a try. Follow the steps below, and you’ll understand how to copy and paste from a PDF to Word without losing formatting. By the way, if your PDF file is password-protected, you should enter the password first when opening it.

How to copy text and images from a PDF to Word with WorkinTool

1. How to copy text from PDF images online (Scanned PDFs supported).

workintool free online pdf ocr

  • Upload PDFs and transform your files into docx or txt format.
  • Download the converted files.
  • Copy and paste words or images from the converted files.

2. Copy and paste from PDF to Word offline (more editing and converting features).

  • Open WorkinTool PDF Converter on your Windows PC

copy and paste from pdf to word with workintool

  • Find PDF to Word in the dropdown menu of Convert to/from PDF.
  • Upload a PDF file and convert it to Word format.
  • Copy and paste the text and images you need.

Before & After Comparison

pdf to word before and after comparison

(The converted files will be automatically saved to your PC.)

Why should you choose WorkinTool PDF Converter?

Free pricing

The first thing is that it is a completely free desktop program. How to copy text from PDF for free? This is just a breeze for WorkinTool. Just rest assured that there are no in-app purchases, no ads, and no additional costs for advanced features.

Batch processing

WorkinTool PDF Converter enables users to copy and paste text, words, and images from PDF. Whether your PDF files have a password or not, you can convert multiple PDFs together without pressure after typing in a password.

Powerful features

You can copy and paste from PDF without line breaks after converting PDF to Word. In addition, with its powerful conversion features, you can turn PDF files into or from any format without losing formatting, including Word, Excel, PPT, Image, and even HTML. This PDF Converter also enables users to edit PDF documents. You can enjoy a one-stop service without changing software.

PDF conversion PDF edits
Convert PDF to Excel Merge PDF
Convert PDF to PPT Password protect PDF
Transform PDF into HTML Remove password from PDF
Save a picture as a PDF Edit a PDF

Online version available

WorkinTool desktop PDF Converter can unlock your secured PDF files and convert them to editable Word documents, enabling you to unlock, convert, cut, and paste PDF content with a few simple clicks. In addition, the online OCR converter can convert scanned PDFs to docx and txt format. You can enjoy a one-stop service with WorkinTool.

Extract Content from a PDF on Mac

How to copy text from PDF documents on macOS? Mac users will be happy because the preinstalled program Preview achieves that without downloading a third-party tool. Preview is the native image and PDF viewer on the Mac system, supporting making basic PDF edits with its essential tools like Text Selection and Rectangular Selection.

How to copy and paste from a PDF on Mac?

copy and paste with preview tools text and rectangular selection

  1. Open a PDF file with Preview.
  2. Click Tools at the top of the screen and select the Text Selection tool to copy the text.
  3. Use the Rectangular Selection to copy images if desired.
  4. Paste the copied content to an editable place.


You cant select or copy text in a PDF in Preview on Mac if the PDF is scanned. In this case, you’d better transform the scanned PDF document into docs or txt format with the help of software that supports OCR technology. WorkinTool PDF OCR online can help you with that.

You can also upload the PDF to Google Drive and open it with Google Docs, which also converts your PDF files to an editable form. Just as a note, it might damage the original formatting of the PDF file.

However, how to copy and paste from a secured PDF in Preview? If you know the password, click on Tools and select Show Inspector, press the Encryption Inspector button to enter the password, then you can copy and paste content from a PDF file.


As for now, we’ve talked about how to copy and paste from a PDF document containing words and images. Hope this article is instructive when you need to copy and paste content from a secured, scanned, or images-made PDF

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