How To Convert PDF to Word on Mac? ( A Simple Guide)

By f@hsib

For many people, the ability to convert PDF files to Word documents on a Mac is a crucial necessity in today’s digital world.

Whether you are a student tackling a research paper, a professional in business compiling a report, or a writer fine-tuning a manuscript, the task of manipulating and reformatting content from a PDF file is a common requirement. 

Although PDFs excel at preserving a document’s layout and design, they have limitations when it comes to making edits. However, converting a PDF to a Word document enables a variety of editing and refinement options. 

This process proves particularly valuable in situations like catching last-minute typos in a proposal, standardizing manuscript formats for book publishers, or ensuring a document is accessible to those without a PDF reader.

It is crucial to recognize that the conversion process may not always be flawless and might necessitate some cleanup in the final Word document.

Despite these potential challenges, the advantages of converting PDF to Word on a Mac are considerable, establishing it as a valuable skill in our ever-evolving digital landscape. Now, let’s go over straightforward guidelines for converting PDF to Word on a Mac.

Using Google Docs for Conversion

Google Docs is a versatile and cost-free solution for transforming PDF files into Word documents, offering a simple process.

This proves particularly advantageous for individuals needing to edit PDF content, as Word documents provide a dynamic platform for textual modifications.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to a Word document using Google Docs:

1. Upload the PDF to Google Drive:

  • Log in to your Google Drive account or create one for free.
  • Click on the “+ New” button on the left-hand side and choose “File upload.”
  • Locate and select your PDF file.

2. Open the PDF in Google Docs:

  • Once the PDF is on Google Drive, right-click on the file.
  • Select “Open with > Google Docs” to convert the PDF into an editable Google Doc.

3. Edit the Document:

  • After opening the PDF in Google Docs, make any necessary edits as needed.
  • This step is optional and depends on whether content modifications are required before the conversion to a Word document.

4. Download as a Word Document:

  • Go to the “File” menu.
  • Hover over the “Download” option and choose “Microsoft Word (.docx).”
  • The document will be downloaded to your device as a Word document.

Using Mac’s Built-in Tools for Conversion

Mac’s built-in tools, such as Preview and Automator, provide convenient ways to convert PDF files to Word documents without the need for additional software downloads or online services. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use these built-in tools:

1. Using Preview

   a. Open the PDF in Preview:

  • Navigate to the Preview icon in the bottom navigation bar or access it through the Preview menu on your Mac.
  • Open the PDF file you want to convert.

   B. Export the PDF:

  • Click on “File” in the top menu, then select “Export”.

   C. Select Microsoft Word Format:

  • In the “Format” drop-down menu, choose “Microsoft Word”.

  D. Export the Document:

  • Click “Export” to convert the PDF to a Word document.

2. Using Automator

a. Launch Automator:

  • Open the Automator app on your Mac.

b. Create a New Workflow:

  • Choose “Workflow” and click the “Choose” button.

c. Add Actions:

  • Select “Files and Folders” from the left column, then double-click “Ask for Finder Items”.
  • Go back to the left pane, click “PDFs”, and either drag or double-click “Extract PDF Text”.

d. Set Output Format:

  • In the “Extract PDF Text” box, select “Rich Text”.

e. Save the Workflow as an App:

  • Click “File” in the top menu, then select “Save”.
  • Change the file format to “Application” and choose where to save the Automator app.

f. Use the App to Convert PDFs:

  • Open the newly created Automator app and use it to convert PDF files to Word documents.

Using Mac App Store Applications

Utilizing Mac App Store applications, such as PDF to Word Free, offers a straightforward and convenient avenue for converting PDF files to Word documents on your Mac.

These applications are specifically designed to retain the original formatting of the PDF, facilitating easy editing or reuse of content in a Word document.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to utilize PDF to Word Free from the Mac App Store:

1. Download and Install the App:

  • Head to the Mac App Store and download PDF to Word Free.
  • Install the application on your Mac.

2. Open the App:

  • Launch PDF to Word Free from either your Applications folder or the Launchpad.

3.  Import the PDF:

  • Click the “Add Files” button within the app to import the PDF file you wish to convert.
  •  Alternatively, you can directly drag and drop the PDF file into the app’s window.

4. Choose Output Settings:

  • Select the desired output format (Microsoft Word).
  • Specify the output folder where you want to save the converted Word document.

5. Convert the PDF:

  • Click the “Convert” button to initiate the conversion process.
  • The application will seamlessly convert the PDF to a Word document, saving it in the designated output folder.


Depending on your needs, you can convert PDF files to Word documents on a Mac in a few different ways.

Options include using Google Docs, Mac’s built-in tools like Preview and Automator, and dedicated PDF converters like Mac App Store applications such as PDF to Word Free. 

The optimal method depends on the nature of your PDF and the task at hand. Google Docs may be sufficient for straightforward text-based PDFs, while more complicated PDFs with images might benefit from a dedicated converter.

For those dealing with many PDFs, an automated workflow like Nanonets could prove highly efficient.

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