Best PDF to Excel converter of 2024

Best PDF to Excel converter of 2024: quick menu

When looking for the best PDF to Excel converter, many seek tools that can seamlessly and accurately transform tables and data from PDFs into Excel-readable formats. 

Today, the vast majority of the best PDF editors, including some of the best free PDF editors, offer this capability, enabling users to convert PDFs to Excel online, on desktops, and even on mobile devices. This means you can effortlessly extract data and transition a PDF to an Excel format, bypassing tedious tasks like manual data entry or copy-pasting. 

It's also worth noting that converters typically support a variety of file types, particularly those within the Microsoft 365 suite, and there are a host of other tools available, like the best PDF to PowerPoint converter apps that can turn your documents into presentations. They can even help export your results to some of the best cloud storage solutions available for easy collaboration and access from anywhere.

To help you find the best PDF to Excel converter for your needs and budget, we've put together an in-depth analysis of the top conversion tools by evaluating key factors like platform compatibility, batch processing capabilities, security measures, and the overall quality of the resulting XLS file. For users prioritizing data security and adhering to compliance regulations, we've also delved into the security protocols these services have in place.

The best PDF to Excel converter of 2024 in full:

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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best PDF to Excel converter apps in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The Best PDF to Excel converter overall

(Image credit: Adobe)
Best PDF to Excel converter overall

Reasons to buy

Comprehensive features
Versatile and easy to use

Reasons to avoid

May be overkill for casual users

Adobe are the original developer of the PDF format, so their Adobe Acrobat software should be the best PDF to Excel converter. It's certainly packed with features, which includes the ability to convert PDF files into XLSX files for use in Excel spreadsheets.

The process should be quick and painless, with the data preserved without need for reformatting. In Adobe Acrobat, you simply open the PDF file you want to export, click on the Export PDF tool, choose your format such as Excel Workbook or .xlsx, then export. You can do this on any device, including your cell phone. 

Once completed, you can then edit the spreadsheet tables using whichever device you're already using. This is also supposed to apply to scanned OCR data, and in each instance you can select the data you actually want to convert, instead of having to export the whole table from .pdf to .xlxs.

Acrobat is more than just about exporting files, of course, and you can create, edit, export, sign, and review the documents being worked on collaboratively. This of course includes any spreadsheets that you export from PDF format.

Prices start at around $13 per month when billed annually.

Read our full Adobe Acrobat DC review.

The Best PDF to Excel converter with MS Office integration

(Image credit: Nitro)
Best PDF to Excel converter with MS Office integration

Reasons to buy

Supports all Microsoft Office file formats
Cloud-based platform 
14-day free trial

Reasons to avoid

Requires you to register

Nitro offers a full-featured and streamlined software platform that allows you to turn PDF files into Excel documents with a minimum of fuss. Indeed, Nitro claims that its tool allows people to convert PDFs into any Microsoft Office format within a matter of seconds.

Using the application, you can edit all images, text and pages stored in a PDF document and transfer them into an Excel spreadsheet. Just like the Adobe offering, you’re able to add and request digital signatures on PDF documents.

Another great thing about this product is that it’s cloud-based, so you can access documents and edit them from any smartphone, tablet or desktop PC. You can even turn multiple PDFs into a single, searchable document, and there are tools that let you share and view files easily. After testing the software, we felt it was feature-rich with its conversion tools and delightfully easy to use.

There is a one-off payment for this software of around $144, but there also subscription services available.

Read our full Nitro PDF Pro review.

The Best PDF to Excel converter with OCR support

(Image credit: Wondershare)
Best PDF to Excel converter with OCR support

Reasons to buy

Easy to use
Editing and annotation features
OCR support
Mobile app for iOS

Reasons to avoid

Not a budget option
Occasionally slow

The best PDF to Excel converters are fairly broad in terms of their features, and PDFelement is by no means different. It’s been designed predominantly for professional users who need a tool for editing, converting, creating and annotating PDF documents.

What’s more, it boasts decent platform support, being available on Windows and Mac, with an iOS app too, allowing you to convert and edit documents while on-the-go. If you’re about to head into a meeting, having access to documents from your smartphone could be extremely useful.

PDFelement comes with a built-in optical character recognition (OCR) tool, which means you can annotate and add signatures to PDF documents. In a similar way to UniPDF, it tries to keep important elements of a document intact during the conversion process. 

For instance, if you have embedded tables in a PDF document, these will be converted into an Excel spreadsheet (hopefully) without issues. 

Read our full PDFelement review.

The Best PDF to Excel converter for linguists

(Image credit: PDFZilla)
Best PDF to Excel converter for linguists

Reasons to buy

Supports 20+ languages
Batch conversion mode

Reasons to avoid

Only available on Windows

The majority of the best PDF to Excel conversion apps out there are only available in English, which isn’t useful if you run or work at a company with a global reach. Need a solution on the language front? Enter PDFZilla.

Not only is it an incredibly powerful converter in its own right, but this app supports more than 20 languages, including German, French, Italian and Spanish. The software is also fast and easy to get to grips with, letting you convert PDFs with just three clicks.

You’re able to turn PDF documents into Excel, Word, Plain Text, Rich Text, JPG, GIF, PNG and more file formats within one platform. There’s also a handy batch conversion mode for dealing with multiple documents – up to 1,000 files – at the same time. The software only works with Windows.

Read our full PDFZilla review.

The Best PDF to Excel converter online

(Image credit: SmallPDF)
Best PDF to Excel converter online

Reasons to buy

Affordable cloud-based solution
Supports multiple file types
Converting to and from PDF

Reasons to avoid

Offline mode is an extra $2/month
No text editing
Tools are difficult to navigate between

SmallPDF is another good example of a versatile PDF management tool. With it, you’re able to convert PDF documents into a range of different file types, including Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

It’s very easy-to-use, and indeed cloud-based for maximum convenience, allowing you to access PDF conversion via the website from wherever you may be (providing you’re online). There’s also a downloadable app for those who want to work offline (for Windows and Mac PCs).

SmallPDF allows you to compress, merge and split documents, as well as add e-signatures. And when it comes to security, this solution will delete your files an hour after they’ve been processed, so you don’t have to worry about any important business data potentially ending up in the hands of third-parties.

The one negative is that SmallPDF isn't transparent on its pricing, pushing users to try the software first. However, the cost is fairly reasonable.

Read our full SmallPDF review.

Best PDF to Excel converter: FAQs

What is a PDF to Excel converter?

The best PDF to Excel converters extract data from PDF files and save it to an XLSX file for easy editing in Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet package.

The PDF file format is highly flexible and a great way to present data across multiple platforms and devices. However, PDF editors lack the number-crunching functionality offered in Excel.

When you're done editing, Excel to PDF converters can reverse the process and turn the data back into a PDF file.

How to choose the best PDF to Excel converter for you

When deciding which PDF to Excel converter is best for you, the answer really lies on your other PDF editing software needs. If you only need to convert PDF data into an Excel-friendly format, one of the more affordable options in this guide could be all you'll ever need.

However, if you work with PDF files more frequently and need to edit them, a free PDF reader with Excel conversion tools would be more appropriate. If you want to make significant edits to your PDF files, a complete PDF editor is your best option.

To help you narrow down your choices, we've also tested, reviewed, and rated the best PDF readers for Windowsbest PDF readers for Mac, and best PDF readers for Android and iOS if you simply need to view PDFs without making changes. 

Pricing will play a factor, too - some, like Adobe, only offer subscription-based plans, rather than giving you full ownership of the software. So, it's important to assess what budget you're working to, and how well the tool delivers at that price. 

You'll also want to consider which device you'll be using your PDF to Excel converter. Some provide full cross-platform compatibility on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices, while others are limited to particular operating systems. Others are online PDF to Excel converters only, which means you'll need a reliable internet connection to convert from PDF to Excel. 

How we test the best PDF to Excel converters

We've tested, reviewed, and rated a wide range of PDF editing tools, include the best PDF merger and best PDF compressor tools as well as the best alternatives to Adobe Acrobat

When testing the best PDF to Excel converter picks on this list, we're compare each app's user interface and experience, pricing, platform availability, and overall performance of the conversions. 

We also look to see what other converter tools are offered - particularly across the Microsoft Office suite - and any additional features included as part of any free tier or subscription plan.

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Steve Clark
B2B Editor - Creative & Hardware

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.

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