Excel Tutorial: How To Convert Pdf To Excel In Mac


Converting PDF to Excel is a crucial skill for anyone who works with data. It allows you to extract important information from a PDF document and manipulate it in Excel for further analysis and reporting. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to convert PDF to Excel on a Mac, using a simple and efficient method.

Key Takeaways

  • Converting PDF to Excel is essential for data manipulation and analysis.
  • It is important to familiarize with the tools available on Mac for conversion, such as PDF and Excel.
  • Research reputable online converters and explore their step-by-step guide for usage.
  • Consider installing Adobe Acrobat on Mac for a reliable conversion method.
  • Explore third-party software options for Mac, weighing their pros and cons for the best fit.

Understanding the Tools

When it comes to converting PDF to Excel on Mac, it's important to familiarize yourself with the tools available and understand how they work. This will help you streamline the process and ensure accurate results.

A. Familiarizing with PDF and Excel on Mac
  • PDF: Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) is a popular file format for sharing and printing documents. It is widely used due to its compatibility and security features.
  • Excel on Mac: Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that is part of the Office suite for Mac. It is commonly used for data analysis, calculations, and presenting information in a tabular format.

B. Exploring built-in conversion options
  • Preview: Mac's built-in Preview app allows you to open and view PDF files. It also offers basic editing and conversion features, including the ability to export PDF to various formats, including Excel.
  • Online tools: There are several online tools and software programs specifically designed for converting PDF to Excel on Mac. These tools often offer advanced features and customization options for better results.

Using Online Converters

Converting a PDF file to an Excel spreadsheet on a Mac can be easily accomplished using online converters. These tools are convenient and user-friendly, making the process simple and efficient. Below, we will explore how to research reputable online converters and provide a step-by-step guide on using one to convert a PDF to an Excel file on a Mac.

Researching reputable online converters

  • Check for user reviews and ratings: Before using an online converter, it is important to research the reputation of the tool. Look for user reviews and ratings to ensure that the converter is reliable and effective.
  • Consider the security of the website: It is essential to choose an online converter that prioritizes the security and privacy of user data. Look for secure websites with proper encryption and data protection measures in place.
  • Verify the file size and format limitations: Some online converters may have limitations on the file size or format that can be processed. Make sure to verify these limitations before choosing a converter to ensure that it can accommodate your PDF file.

Step-by-step guide on using an online converter

  • Upload the PDF file: Begin by uploading the PDF file that you want to convert to Excel. Most online converters will have a simple interface for uploading files directly from your computer or cloud storage.
  • Select the output format: After uploading the PDF file, select Excel as the output format for the conversion. This will ensure that the converter generates an Excel spreadsheet from the PDF data.
  • Initiate the conversion process: Once the file and output format are selected, initiate the conversion process. The online converter will then work its magic to transform the PDF data into an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Download the converted file: After the conversion is complete, the online converter will provide a link to download the Excel file. Simply click on the link to save the converted file to your Mac.

Utilizing Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a powerful tool that allows you to convert PDF files to Excel format with ease. Here's how you can make the most of it on your Mac:

A. Installing Adobe Acrobat on Mac

To begin with, you need to install Adobe Acrobat on your Mac. You can do this by visiting the Adobe website, downloading the installer, and following the on-screen instructions. Once installed, launch Adobe Acrobat to get started with the conversion process.

B. Converting PDF to Excel using Adobe Acrobat

Once Adobe Acrobat is up and running on your Mac, you can convert a PDF file to Excel format by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the PDF file you want to convert in Adobe Acrobat.
  • Step 2: Click on the "Export PDF" tool in the right pane.
  • Step 3: Select "Spreadsheet" as the export format.
  • Step 4: Choose "Microsoft Excel Workbook" as the export format.
  • Step 5: Click "Export" and choose a location to save the converted Excel file.
  • Step 6: Once the conversion is complete, open the Excel file to review and edit the data as needed.

By following these simple steps, you can efficiently convert PDF files to Excel format using Adobe Acrobat on your Mac.

Leveraging Third-Party Software

When it comes to converting PDF to Excel on a Mac, utilizing third-party software can often be the most efficient solution. Let's take a look at the options available and weigh the pros and cons.

A. Exploring third-party software options for Mac
  • Adobe Acrobat

    Adobe Acrobat is a popular choice for PDF manipulation and conversion. It offers a user-friendly interface and a range of features for converting PDFs to Excel format. However, it comes with a price tag and may not be suitable for those with limited budget.

  • PDFelement

    PDFelement is another versatile tool that allows users to convert PDF to Excel seamlessly. It offers a free trial and affordable pricing, making it a viable option for Mac users looking for a cost-effective solution.

  • Online converters

    There are numerous online converters available that claim to convert PDF to Excel quickly and easily. While they may be convenient, they often come with limitations such as file size restrictions and potential security concerns.

B. Pros and cons of using third-party software

While third-party software can offer efficient solutions for converting PDF to Excel on a Mac, it's important to consider the advantages and disadvantages.

  • Pros:
    • Efficiency: Third-party software often streamlines the conversion process, saving time and effort.
    • Advanced features: Many third-party tools offer advanced functionality for manipulating PDFs and exporting to Excel.
    • Reliability: Established software providers offer stability and support for their products.

  • Cons:
    • Cost: Some third-party software may come with a price tag, which may not be feasible for all users.
    • Learning curve: Getting acquainted with new software can require a learning curve and may not be suitable for users looking for a quick fix.
    • Security concerns: Online converters and less reputable software may pose security risks for sensitive data.

Best Practices for Conversion

When it comes to converting PDF to Excel in Mac, it's important to follow best practices to ensure accurate conversion and avoid common pitfalls. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

A. Tips for accurate conversion
  • Use a reliable PDF to Excel converter tool that is compatible with Mac operating system.
  • Ensure that the original PDF file is formatted properly with clear table structures and text.
  • Consider using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology for better accuracy when dealing with scanned PDF files.
  • Double-check the converted Excel file for any errors or inconsistencies, and make necessary adjustments.

B. Avoiding common pitfalls
  • Avoid converting complex PDF documents with a lot of graphics, images, or non-tabular data, as these elements may not convert accurately.
  • Be mindful of any special characters, symbols, or non-standard fonts in the PDF file, as these may not be recognized during the conversion process.
  • Always use the latest version of the PDF to Excel converter software to take advantage of any improvements and updates in the conversion algorithm.
  • Backup your original PDF file before conversion to avoid any potential data loss or corruption during the process.


In conclusion, converting PDF to Excel in Mac can be achieved through various methods such as using online converters, using Adobe Acrobat, or relying on third-party applications like PDFelement. For a quick and simple conversion, online converters may be the best option, while Adobe Acrobat provides more advanced features for complex PDF files. Exploring different methods will help you find the best fit for your specific needs.

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