Pin Me

Convert PDF Files to Word Documents

written by: •edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 2/6/2012

Have a PDF file that you want to open in Microsoft Word? We’ll show you how using a free online conversion tool.

  • slide 1 of 2

    PDF File Conversion

    In a previous article, we talked about how to convert a Microsoft Word document to a PDF file to allow for universal viewing, but what if you want to do the opposite? That is, what if you have a PDF file and you want to be able to open it in Microsoft Word?

    There are a couple of different ways to do this, but the easiest method is to use a free file conversion utility like Media-Convert. One of the nice things about Media-Convert is that it’s a web-based application so there’s no need to download any additional software or worry if it will work with your particular version of Windows. Plus, unlike some other tools out there, this utility is completely free – it’s not shareware and there’s no “trial” period. You can use it whenever and wherever you like, assuming you have an Internet connection.

  • slide 2 of 2

    Steps for Converting a PDF File to a Word Document

    Step 1: In your web browser, go to your favorite online conversion tool. As an example, we’ll be converting the 3.8 MB PDF file for the online edition of This Dynamic Earth.

    Note: If you are having trouble viewing this PDF file in your web browser, you may need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

    Step 2: Once at Media-Convert, make sure you are on the Local File Conversion tab if you are converting a file that is on your hard drive. Click on the Browse button and locate the PDF file. Once you’ve found it, click Open and the path for the file will be seen in the File field as shown in the screenshot below. (Click the image for a larger view.)

    Browse for PDF File 

    Note that the Input Format for the file will automatically be determined by Media-Convert as long as the file has a PDF extension.

    Step 3: Click on the arrow to the right of the drop down box next to Output format. Select the option Rich Text Format/MS Word (.rtf).

    Output Format for PDF File 

    Step 4: Click the OK button located next to the text, “I accept these terms”.

    Accept Terms 

    This will begin the upload process for your PDF file. Depending on the size of the file and the speed of your Internet connection, this could take a few moments.

    Step 5: Once the upload for the file is complete, you’ll be directed to a new screen with some basic information about the file. It’s a good idea to scan this data quickly to make sure that your file uploaded properly. After doing this, click Continue to move forward.

    PDF Information 

    You will be directed to another new screen to wait while the data conversion is taking place. Again, this may take a few moments depending on the size of the original PDF file.

    Step 6: After the conversion is processed, you’ll be presented with several choices for how to retrieve the file.

    File Download 

    You can either download the full file (the option with the .rtf extension) or a zipped version of the file. If you choose to download the .zip file, you’ll need some type of software on your computer to unzip the file before you’ll be able to use it.

    Step 7: Once you’ve downloaded the file to your PC (and unzipped it, if necessary), open Microsoft Word. Select the option to open an existing document. Make sure that you change the document type to All Files or Rich Text Format when browsing for the recently downloaded file.

    Step 8 (optional): You can either choose to leave the document in rich text format and skip this step, or you can save the document again as a Word document. Either way, the downloaded file can now be viewed and edited in Microsoft Word.