The best PDF to Excel converters 2018

Best PDF to Excel converter
Best PDF to Excel converter

The PDF was developed by Adobe in the 1990s, and it’s one of the oldest file types out there. But while it may be something of a veteran, that’s not to say the PDF document is outdated. Over the past two decades, it has remained one of the best ways to share media-rich documents with users across a plethora of platforms.

One of the biggest benefits of the trusty PDF is that it offers both text and image formatting, regardless of application software, technology or operating system. However, the caveat here is the fact that it’s somewhat tricky and time-consuming to edit information in PDF documents.

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Lots of businesses send data in the form of PDFs, although the difficult part is making sense of this information. For example, you may want to transfer financial records from a PDF document to an Excel spreadsheet, but there isn’t an obvious or quick way to do this off-the-bat. That’s where a third-party PDF to Excel converter app comes in handy, and we’ve picked out the best offerings right here.

1. iSkysoft PDF Editor 6 Professional

An affordable and user-friendly converter

Multi-platform support
Annotation features

If you’re looking for an affordable PDF to Excel converter app that works on both Windows and Mac devices, look no further than PDF Editor 6 Professional from iSkysoft. The company developed the software with the aim of giving businesses full control over the PDF documents they send and receive.

With this app, you’re able to manage multiple PDF files from one easy-to-use platform. It gives you the tools to turn PDF documents into Excel, HTML and Word file formats with ease. There’s also documentation and tools that allow you to transfer PDF document data into new Excel spreadsheets.

PDF Editor 6 has a function that lets you combine or split PDF files, and you can also generate PDF forms to send out. On the flipside, you can use the software to fill in any forms you receive. You can stamp, mark-up, annotate and draw on your documents as well, and add code numbers to the files to ensure they don’t get muddled up.

Security is another strong point of this particular app. When creating and sending documents, you can add passwords, watermarks and signatures, all of which help to make sure that people can’t abuse important business documents. In terms of price, the standard edition costs $59.95 (£41), with the professional version weighing in at $89.99 (£63).

2. Nitro Pro

A seamless solution that works across all your devices

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

Nitro Pro is a simple and streamlined application 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 previous iSkysoft 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.

Nitro Pro starts from £134 ($187) per single-user licence, but there are discounts for bulk purchases, and you can sign up for a 14-day free trial to see if the software works for you.

3. PDFZilla

A multilingual PDF to Excel app

Supports 20+ languages
Batch conversion mode
Only available on Windows

The majority of 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. You can buy the software for $29.95 (£21), although note that it only works with Windows.

4. PDFelement

A solid offering with decent platform support

Editing and annotation features
OCR support
Mobile app for iOS

The majority of 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. PDFelement retails at $59.95 (£43).

5. SmallPDF

A versatile tool on a palatable monthly subscription

Supports multiple file types

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.

SmallPDF is priced at $6 (£4.30) on a monthly subscription, or $4 (£2.80) per month if you sign up annually.