How to Save a PDF File As a Text File

by Bill Mann
Flayer Scrolls and Text. image by Alexandr Zinchevici from

The Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) lets you create documents that are self-contained, with text, images, fonts, and the page layout preserved exactly the way the document's creator designed them. However, sometimes all you need is the text that is in the document, without retaining anything else. Current versions of Adobe Reader (also known as Acrobat or Acrobat Reader), a program for displaying PDF files, make it fast and simple to save a PDF file as a text file.

Step 1

Visit the Adobe Reader section of the Adobe website and follow the instructions on the screen to download and install the current version of Adobe Reader, if it's not already on your computer.

Step 2

Navigate to the folder on your computer that contains the PDF file you wish to convert.

Step 3

Double-click the file in Windows Explorer to open the PDF in Adobe Reader.

Step 4

Cick "File," then "Save As Text." This opens the "Save As" dialog box.

Navigate to the folder where you wish to store the text file. Enter a name for the file in the "File Name" box, then click "Save." This saves the file with a .txt file extension.


  • If your goal in saving a PDF file as a text file is simply to extract a section of the text, you may find it easier to use the Adobe Reader Select Tool. To use the tool, click "Tools," then "Select & Zoom," then "Select Tool." You can drag the tool over a section of the PDF document to copy the text in that section.


Photo Credits

  • Flayer Scrolls and Text. image by Alexandr Zinchevici from

About the Author

Based in Morris County, N.J., Bill Mann has written more than 12 technical books since 1993. His titles include "I Want My MP3" and "How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007." Mann holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester.

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