If you are looking for speed and convenience, online PDF to Excel tools are the way to go - they are free and only require an internet connection. They can be accessed through any browser on all operating systems, whether you are using desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Before you choose your go-to online converter, make sure it doesn’t ask for any personal information, doesn’t leave watermarks on converted spreadsheets, has OCR for scanned files, delivers the output as soon as the file is converted, and has a proper security set up if you are concerned about your sensitive data.
On the other hand, if you need a more powerful, feature-rich solution for extracting tables with the best accuracy possible, you should consider a desktop software application. Able2Extract Professional works offline, it’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and delivers what is arguably the most advanced PDF to Excel extraction technology.
It offers features such as extracting only tables (without the surrounding content) in just a few clicks, templates for similarly formatted files, batch converter for converting multiple files in one go, manually setting columns, rows, headers and footers, choosing between Microsoft Office and open source spreadsheet file formats, and gives a preview of the Excel file before the conversion takes place.
In order to convert PDF to Excel without an internet connection you need to download a software application to your computer. But before you do, make sure that your machine meets system requirements of the program and that the program has support for the operating system you’re using.
Once you have downloaded and installed the application, launch it by double-clicking an icon placed on your desktop.
The usual process of converting PDF to Excel through a desktop application consists of a couple of steps: open a PDF document, choose a desired file format, page range, or other advanced options for a custom-tailored conversion, and then launch the conversion to get an output Excel file.
Besides offering a plethora of advanced options for the most demanding users, Able2Extract Professional also makes it possible for users who are in a rush to accomplish PDF to Excel conversion literally in seconds - just open a PDF, click on the Excel icon in the main toolbar and you’re done.
If you have a digital PDF copy of a scanned paper document and want to extract tabular data for further editing, you need advanced technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Depending on the quality of the scan (sharpness, tilt, colors) and power behind the OCR engine you’re using, results can vary significantly. The OCR technology is very demanding in terms of computing resources and quite expensive for a server implementation, so most online, free tools can’t match the quality of a dedicated OCR engine baked into a desktop application.
One additional thing to consider is multi-language support if you need to extract some special characters out of your scanned PDFs. Able2Extract Professional supports English, Spanish, French, and German.
Some online tools advertise the possibility of converting multiple PDF files to Excel in one go. Most of the time, users need to sign-up or provide some kind of personal information to proceed with the batch PDF to Excel conversion.
As this an advanced feature, it’s usually reserved for full-fledged desktop applications. Batch Converter tool in Able2Extract lets users add files and even whole directories (if a folder contains multiple file formats, only PDFs will be imported) to the conversion queue.
Files can be converted to Excel, open office, or CSV file formats and users can apply templates for similarly formatted documents. Output file can be placed in the source directory, users can specify the location, or they can opt for merging results into a single file which is a huge time saver when tabular data from a large number of PDFs needs to be analyzed in one spreadsheet.
This feature is rare. You’ll find it in desktop applications more often then in browser-based tools. In most cases, algorithms will do the job for you and all you have to do is choose the feature in conversion options. As you would expect, all you need is a couple of clicks to achieve this with Able2Extract Professional.
Unfortunately, PDFs don’t store formatting in metadata unless they are tagged. This issue can hamper your productivity as you’ll have to manually clean up the resulting spreadsheet.
However, even if you are dealing with a non-tagged PDF, Able2Extract can help you custom tailor your PDF to Excel output in such a way that no work is needed post conversion.
Custom PDF to Excel feature lets you set column and row lines precisely, edit splitting settings, and preview the resulting table to make adjustments with accuracy and ease.
When it comes to our free PDF to Excel online tool, it doesn’t matter which operating system or browser you use. The simple 2-step process will give you the ability to extract tabular data from PDF into editable Excel files instantly.
If you need an offline solution, just download Able2Extract for Mac and enjoy quick and precise conversions, as well as advanced features to get just the data you need.