How To Convert PDF To TXT On Mac


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How To Convert PDF To TXT On Mac

Overview of Converting PDF to TXT on Mac

Converting PDF files to plain text (TXT) on a Mac can be necessary for a variety of reasons. Text files are smaller in size, compatible with a wide range of software, and easily editable, which makes them versatile for different applications. For instance, you may need to extract text from a PDF for data processing, to make the content more accessible, or to edit the text in a basic text editor. The conversion process is straightforward and can be done using built-in tools on your Mac, such as Preview and Automator, as well as third-party software and online services.

Benefits of Converting PDF to TXT

  • File Size: TXT files are significantly smaller than PDFs, which can save storage space and make file sharing easier.
  • Editability: Text files can be edited with simple text editors without needing specialized PDF editing software.
  • Accessibility: Plain text is easily accessible and can be read by screen readers and other assistive technologies.
  • Compatibility: TXT files can be opened on virtually any device without the need for specific applications.
  • Data Processing: Extracting text data from PDFs allows for easier manipulation and analysis in various programming languages and software.

Step-by-Step Guide to Convert PDF to TXT on Mac

Step 1: Open the PDF with Preview

  • Locate the PDF file you wish to convert.
  • Double-click the file to open it in Preview, the default PDF viewer on macOS.

Step 2: Select the Text

  • Use your mouse or trackpad to select the text you want to convert.
  • If you want to select all the text, press Command + A.

Step 3: Copy the Text

  • Right-click on the selected text and choose “Copy” or press Command + C.

Step 4: Open a Text Editor

  • Open a text editor such as TextEdit, which comes pre-installed on all Macs.
  • In TextEdit, create a new document by clicking “File” > “New” or pressing Command + N.

Step 5: Paste the Text into the Text Editor

  • Paste the copied text into the new document by right-clicking and selecting “Paste” or pressing Command + V.

Step 6: Save the File as TXT

  • In TextEdit, click “Format” > “Make Plain Text” to switch to plain text mode if necessary.
  • Save your document by clicking “File” > “Save” or pressing Command + S.
  • In the save dialog, select “Plain Text (.txt)” from the format dropdown menu.
  • Name your file and choose a location to save it.
  • Click “Save.”

Tips and Warnings

  • Tips:
    • To maintain formatting when copying from a PDF, ensure that you’re not in plain text mode before pasting into a rich text editor.
    • If you encounter any issues with copying text from a PDF, ensure that the document is not protected or encrypted.
    • Bulk conversions might require specialized software or scripts for efficiency.
  • Warnings:
    • The quality of the converted text may vary depending on the original PDF’s formatting and whether it contains images or scanned pages.
    • If your PDF contains images with text, you may need OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to convert these into editable text.

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