How to copy text from PDF

How to copy text from PDF? Sometimes you want to copy and use sentences and pictures from a PDF displayed on your computer or smartphone screen, for which it is easy to use the PDF viewer’s copy text feature. However, copyrighted PDFs and PDFs created from images cannot be copied, so another solution is required. This article will share with you various ways to copy text from PDF.

How to copy text from PDF
Image created by Market Business News.

In addition to PDF viewers for viewing PDFs, modern browsers can directly open PDFs distributed on the Web. You can then specify and copy the text range from the screen displayed in the browser.

For example, the Chrome browser will:

  1. Use the mouse to select the range to be copied on the displayed PDF page.
  2. Click the right mouse button to display the menu and select the “Copy” command, or press Ctrl + C while specifying the range to be copied to copy the selected text range.
  3. Next, display the editing screen of the text editing software and paste it.

When pasting, there is a newline at the end of each line in the copied source PDF. Whether to insert a newline at the end of a line depends on the browser or PDF viewer.


Insert a newline character for each line
Microsoft Edge (83.0.478.58) (based on Chromium open source)
Adobe Acrobat Reader (Adobe Reader) (2020.009.20067)
Google Chrome (83.0.4103.116)
online pdf editor ( web online tool)
No line breaks (connecting lines) per line

Firefox (78.0.1)

PDF cannot copy text – the most common reason is PDF protection

Copying the text displayed on the screen in PDF format is easy. However, there are occasional situations where it cannot be replicated and cannot be replicated.

For example, when you select a text range in Adobe Reader and open the Edit menu, the copy command might not be enabled .

In this case, check the PDF properties first. In Adobe Reader, use the Properties command on the File menu to display the document properties dialog with the Security tab selected.

The Document Restrictions Summary section of the Security tab displays the status of PDF usage restrictions (protection) set by the PDF file author. If “Copy Content” is set to “Don’t Allow”, you will not be able to copy text, images, etc.

In order to use the text on such PDFs, you must obtain a password from the PDF author and release the protection. If this is not possible, you must print the PDF or convert it to an image, then use OCR software to recognize the characters and convert them to text.

Other workarounds:

For copy after conversion via online service
convert pdf to word ( web online tool)

If you have multiple PDF files, you can use merge pdf to merge them, and then use the online pdf editor or convert pdf to word.


How to copy text from PDF? The above document provides you with various solutions, with which you can try them step by step.

There are many reasons why PDF text cannot be selected and copied, such as when scanned images of printed documents are converted to PDF, or when characters in the PDF are not considered text , these PDFs will also be converted to text using OCR software