Excel Tutorial: How To Copy A Table From Pdf To Excel


Being able to copy a table from a PDF to Excel is an essential skill for anyone who regularly works with data. It allows for seamless transfer of information from one format to another, saving time and reducing the likelihood of errors. In this tutorial, we will go over the step-by-step process of copying a table from a PDF to Excel, so you can master this important skill.

Key Takeaways

  • Being able to copy a table from a PDF to Excel is a crucial skill for working with data.
  • Converting the PDF to Excel accurately is important to ensure the table data is captured correctly.
  • Copying and pasting the table and removing blank rows are essential steps in the process.
  • Formatting the table in Excel improves readability and usability of the data.
  • Practicing the process will help improve proficiency in copying tables from PDF to Excel.

Step 1: Convert PDF to Excel

When you have a table in a PDF that you want to copy to Excel, the first step is to convert the PDF into an Excel format. There are a few ways to do this, but two commonly used methods include:

A. Use of online tools such as SmallPDF or Adobe Acrobat to convert PDF to Excel

Online tools like SmallPDF or Adobe Acrobat offer easy and efficient ways to convert your PDF file into an Excel format. These tools allow you to upload your PDF file and then download the converted Excel file. This is a straightforward process and does not require any technical skills.

B. Importance of making sure the conversion accurately captures the table data

It is crucial to ensure that the conversion accurately captures the table data. Sometimes, the formatting and layout of the original table in the PDF may not translate perfectly into the Excel format. Carefully review the converted Excel file to verify that all the data has been accurately captured. This may involve checking for any missing or misplaced data, as well as ensuring that the column and row structure are maintained.

Step 2: Copying the Table

Once you have successfully converted the PDF into an Excel document, the next step is to copy the table from the PDF into Excel.

A. Highlighting the table in the converted Excel document

When you open the converted Excel document, locate the table that you want to copy. Click and drag your mouse to highlight the entire table. Make sure that all the cells in the table are selected.

B. Using the copy function to select the table

With the table highlighted, right-click on the selected area and choose the "Copy" option from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut by pressing "Ctrl + C" on your keyboard.

Step 3: Pasting into a New Excel Sheet

Once you have successfully converted the PDF table into an Excel-friendly format, the next step is to paste it into a new Excel sheet.

A. Opening a new Excel sheet to paste the copied table

To begin, open a new Excel sheet where you want to transfer the table from the converted document. This can be a blank sheet or an existing one, depending on your preference.

B. Using the paste function to transfer the table from the converted document to the new sheet

After opening the new Excel sheet, navigate to the location where you want to paste the table. Then, use the paste function to transfer the table from the converted document to the new sheet. You can do this by right-clicking and selecting the "paste" option, or by using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + V for Windows or Command + V for Mac).

Step 4: Removing Blank Rows

After pasting the table from PDF to Excel, it is common to have blank rows that need to be removed for data clarity and accuracy. Here's how to identify and delete those blank rows:

A. Identifying and selecting the blank rows in the pasted table

1. Click on the first cell of the column where you suspect blank rows exist.

2. Hold down the Shift key and press the down arrow to select all the cells in the column. This should highlight the entire column.

B. Using the delete function to remove the blank rows

1. With the entire column selected, right-click and choose "Delete" from the context menu. A dialog box will appear.

2. In the dialog box, select "Entire Row" and click "OK". This will delete all the selected blank rows from the table.

3. Repeat the process for any other columns that may contain blank rows.

Step 5: Formatting the Table

Once you have successfully copied the table from the PDF to Excel, the next step is to format the table to ensure it is easy to read and understand.

A. Adjusting column widths to ensure all data is visible

One common issue when copying a table from a PDF to Excel is that the column widths may not adjust properly, causing some data to be cut off or hidden. To remedy this, you can manually adjust the column widths to ensure that all data is visible. Simply place your cursor on the line separating two columns, and then click and drag to expand or shrink the width as needed.

B. Applying any necessary formatting to improve readability

Depending on the original formatting of the table in the PDF, you may need to apply additional formatting in Excel to improve the readability of the table. This could include adjusting the font size or style, applying borders to the cells, or using shading to differentiate between rows or columns. Take the time to make the table visually appealing and easy to follow for anyone who may be reviewing the data.


Accurately copying a table from PDF to Excel is essential for maintaining data integrity and ensuring that the information is properly formatted for analysis and reporting. It is important to practice this process regularly to improve proficiency and reduce the time it takes to transfer tables from one platform to another. With dedication and practice, you can become more efficient at transferring data and better equipped to handle tasks that require this skill.

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