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How to Export Text via Save As in Adobe Acrobat CS6

Although editing text and graphics in Adobe Acrobat CS6 is helpful, you may need to take text or images from a PDF document and use them in another file. Fortunately, Acrobat also includes tools to make this a breeze. Of course, you should always make certain that you have the permission of the owner of a document before reusing content that isn’t your original work.

To export using Save As, use the File→Save As→Microsoft Word or File→Save As→Spreadsheet commands to export all the text in your PDF file. After choosing the location where you want the file saved, click Save to save the Microsoft word or Spreadsheet file.

You can also choose File→Save As→More Options to save the document with no formatting as a plain text document. The More Options choice includes several other formats you can use for exporting your PDF documents:

  • Encapsulated PostScript and PostScript: These formats are generally used by commercial printers or IT professionals who need PostScript output.

  • Various Adobe PDF option formats, such as PDF/E for engineering or PDF/A for archiving: These formats are used to switch to a specific subset of the PDF file format used for a particular industry or line of work.

  • HTML and XML: These are used to attempt to convert the PDF to another file format that can be used for viewing on the web without a PDF plug-in. PDF files do not always convert well to HTML, so be sure to test this option if you want to use it for any important documents.

  • Graphics: To save your PDF document as an image, use the File→Save As→Image command and choose from any of the various graphics formats, including JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, and TIFF. If you choose one of these options, your text will no longer be editable because all of the PDF pages will be converted to images, with each page in the PDF becoming a separate image file.

Text that’s copied from a PDF file is no longer linked to the original document. Edits made to the extracted text aren’t reflected within the PDF file, and it’s extremely difficult to have the extracted text reinserted into the PDF document, as the Add or Edit Text Box tool and Typewriter tool are rather limited in their ability to add any significant amount of text onto a page.

You can also export portions of text and tables so you can edit them later using a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel, or a word processing program such as Microsoft Word. Just follow these steps:

  1. Click the Select tool and click and drag to select the text in the table.

    Depending upon how the table was created, you may also be able to position your cursor just outside the edge of the table and then draw a box around a table. Remember you can Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac) and then drag around a table to select it.

    A border appears around the selected table.

  2. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) and choose Export Selection As from the contextual menu.

    Alternatively, you can save the table directly to a file or copy to the Clipboard to be pasted later: If Acrobat has trouble identifying the text in the table, it may be saved as an image file, which is not editable text.

    • Choose Export Selection As from the contextual menu to save the text directly to a file.

    • To copy the table to the Clipboard so that you can paste it into other documents, choose Copy with Formatting from the contextual menu.

    After opening Excel or whatever spreadsheet program you have installed on your computer, you can paste the table into the spreadsheet.

    And that’s it. You can now use that table in another program.

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