How to Extract Database Information From PDF Files


Portable Document Format (PDF) files are created, edited and managed using Adobe Acrobat. The format is commonly used to distribute documents electronically. If you've received a document as a PDF, use Acrobat to view it and reuse the content as needed. You can extract portions of documents and convert them to other formats. For instance, Acrobat allows you to make a selection in a PDF document containing database information and convert it to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Open a PDF document in Adobe Acrobat.

  • Click the "Select" tool from the Select & Zoom Toolbar.

  • Press the "Alt" key while dragging your cursor over a table of information. Create a rectangle over the rows and columns you want to extract.

  • Right-click the selection. Click "Copy as Table" to preserve the table's formatting.

  • Open a new document in Microsoft Excel.

  • Right-click the spreadsheet and select "Paste Special."

  • Select "XML Spreadsheet" and click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't need to preserve the data formatting, select "Open Table in Spreadsheet" in step 4. This will open the table in a spreadsheet application that reads Comma Separated Values (CSV) files, such as Excel.
  • If you have database information that is more than one page, change the page view to make it easier to select the table. Under "View," select "Page Display, Single Page Continuous."

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