How To Convert PDF To Text On Mac


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How To Convert PDF To Text On Mac

Overview of Converting PDF to Text on Mac

Converting PDF files to text on a Mac is a common task for users who need to extract readable content from non-editable PDF documents. Whether you’re looking to repurpose the content of a PDF or simply want to make it easier to search and edit, converting your PDFs to text can be very beneficial. Mac users have several tools at their disposal to perform this conversion, ranging from built-in software like Preview and Automator to third-party applications and online services.

Benefits of Converting PDF to Text

  • Accessibility: Text files are more accessible than PDFs, as they can be opened and edited with a wide range of text editors without needing specialized software.
  • Editability: Once a PDF is converted to text, it’s easier to make changes to the content.
  • Searchability: Text files can be quickly searched using standard search functions on your Mac, helping you find information more efficiently.
  • Compatibility: Text files are universally compatible across different platforms and devices.
  • Smaller File Size: Text files generally take up less storage space compared to PDFs, especially if the PDF contains images or complex formatting.

How-to Guide: Convert PDF to Text on Mac

Using Preview for Basic Conversion

Open the PDF file with Preview by double-clicking on the file. If Preview is not your default PDF viewer, right-click on the file, choose ‘Open with,’ and select ‘Preview.’

Once the document is open in Preview, select the text you wish to convert by clicking and dragging your cursor over it.

Copy the selected text by pressing ‘Command + C’ or by choosing ‘Edit’ > ‘Copy’ from the menu bar.

Open a text editor like TextEdit and paste the copied text by pressing ‘Command + V’ or selecting ‘Edit’ > ‘Paste’ from the menu bar.

Save the new text file by going to ‘File’ > ‘Save,’ give it a name, choose the location, and click ‘Save.’

Using Automator for Batch Conversion

Open Automator from your Applications folder and select ‘Workflow’ when prompted to choose a type for your document.

In the library pane on the left side, search for ‘Extract PDF Text’ and drag it into the workflow area.

Choose your output settings, such as ‘Rich Text’ or ‘Plain Text,’ and where you want to save the converted files.

Add your PDFs to the workflow either by dragging them into Automator or using the ‘Add Files’ option within the action.

Click ‘Run’ in the upper right corner of Automator to execute the workflow and convert your PDFs to text files.

Additional Third-Party Tools and Online Services

If you require more advanced features such as batch conversion or handling scanned documents (OCR), you may consider using third-party applications like Adobe Acrobat DC or online services such as Zamzar or Smallpdf. These tools typically offer a straightforward process similar to:

  • Uploading your PDF file to the service.
  • Selecting ‘.txt’ as the output format.
  • Initiating the conversion process.
  • Downloading the converted text file once ready.

Note that some of these services may require a subscription for full access to their features, while others may offer free conversions with certain limitations.

With these steps, Mac users can efficiently convert their PDF files into editable text documents, making their workflows more flexible and productive. Always ensure that you have the necessary rights and permissions to convert and edit the contents of any PDF document you work with.

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