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How Do I Extract or Save Text from a PDF File?

Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader can extract text from a PDF file by choosing Save As Text from the File menu in Adobe Reader or by choosing Save As from the File menu in Foxit Reader and selecting TXT as the file type.

Adobe has tools online that will convert the text in a PDF file to HTML (web page format). The HTML option has the ability to retain some of the formatting of the text in the PDF file. Go to:

http ://

Use the address to email your PDF file. Once mailed, and probably within a few minutes, you will receive an email back with the converted file attached in a ZIP format. Save the ZIP attachment and double click the saved file to extract the file. Open Word and choose Open from the File menu. Locate the converted file - it will have the same name as your original file with .htm and the end of the name. Once open in Word, choose Save As from the File menu and save the file as a Word Document type.

If the text in the PDF file is a graphic or it was created as graphic text, then you may not be able to extract the text through Adobe or Foxit Reader or woth Adobe's online tools. Adobe Professional - which is installed on the computers in the Instructional Media Center (IMC) - may be able to extract graphic text. The documentation on how to use Adobe Professional for extracting text is in the IMC and it is also available on the IMC website:

Instructional Media Center (IMC)
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