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How to Copy Text From PDF

Nov 10 2023

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Easily copy text from a PDF manually using keyboard shortcuts, or use Xodo's online PDF editor to copy text and extract it into MS Word.

Struggling to get your PDF text into another document?

Can't copy text from PDF files?

Then this is the guide for you.

We’ll show you how to copy text from PDF files using different methods. From manually using keyboard shortcuts and doing it online for free to copying text from scanned PDFs and even extracting images.

Read on to discover multiple ways to instantly and effortlessly copy text from your PDFs.

Can text be copied from PDF?

The answer? Yes – text can be copied from PDF documents.

It can be difficult, though, when the PDF is secured with usage restrictions, content is locked against editing, or if you have a scanned PDF of a paper document. 

Fortunately, there are quick and free ways to work around those issues. We cover a few ways on how to copy and paste from a PDF below.

How to manually copy text from PDF

To manually copy text from a PDF, you can use quick keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Highlight the text with your mouse to select it.
  2. Use CTRL + C (on Windows) or Command + C (on Mac) to copy text.
  3. Press CTRL + V (on Windows) or Command + V (on Mac) to paste the text where you want it.
Copy text from PDF manually

Note that this method is a quick workaround if you need to copy a few words or small sections of text.

However, it isn’t an ideal solution for extracting and copying large blocks of text scattered across multiple pages.

A free PDF editor like Xodo allows you to do it more efficiently and provides access to a variety of tools for working with your files, whether you're extracting PDF text or dealing with scanned documents.

How to copy text from PDF online for free

Here's how to copy text from PDF online with Xodo's free PDF Editor:

  1. Go to Xodo's free online PDF Editor.
  2. Upload your PDF.
  3. Select your text.
  4. Click on Copy Text in the context menu.
  5. Press CTRL + V (on Windows) or Command + V (on Mac) to paste the text where you want it.
Copy text from PDF online for free

This method works on all native PDF files.

If you have a scanned PDF, you'll need a different approach that involves using OCR (Optical Character Recognition).

How to copy text from scanned PDF and images

To copy text from a scanned PDF or an image, first use Xodo’s free online OCR converter to turn your scanned PDF or image into selectable text you can easily copy.

Upload your PDF to the OCR converter and turn your scanned PDF into a searchable PDF. You can then copy text from the PDF file instantly.

You’ll also have the option to convert the scanned PDF to a text file directly and you can then copy the text from the file as needed.

How to copy text from PDF to Word

Here's how to effectively copy text from a PDF into Word using a free online PDF to Word converter:

  1. Go to Xodo's free online PDF to Word converter.
  2. Upload your PDF.
  3. Click on Convert.
  4. Click on Download to save the Word document to your device or save it to Xodo Drive or Google Drive.
Copy text from PDF to Word

This method ideal for performing in-depth text-related tasks, such as spell-checking content or editing for grammar. 

An advantage of using Xodo is that once you convert your PDF to Word, you can immediately utilize our free online DOCX Editor to update and edit the text directly in your browser, if needed.

How to copy images from your PDF

To copy images from PDF using Xodo's free PDF editor, follow these steps:

  1. Open the free online PDF Editor.
  2. Upload your PD.
  3. Select Crop from the menu in the toolbar.
  4. Click on the Snipping Tool.
  5. Drag a rectangle around your image.
  6. Select Copy to Clipboard from the Snipping Tool options.
  7. Click on Apply.
  8. Press CTRL + V (on Windows) or Command + V (on Mac) to paste the image where you want it.
Copy image from PDF

Master PDF productivity with Xodo

Simply copying text from PDFs may seem impossible, but any of the above tips can instantly turn the task into a breeze.

Using the best free methods to copy text from PDF, no matter what your need or the PDF you have, you can use Xodo anywhere to work with your PDF text.

With the best free methods for copying text from PDFs, you can use Xodo anywhere to manage your PDFs.

Working online? No problem. 

Handling scanned PDFs? We got you.

On your mobile device? Just tap.

Xodo is the Swiss army knife for any PDF task. Try all 30+ Xodo tools today and give your PDF experience a boost!

Explore Xodo Tools
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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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