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How to Convert PDF to CSV in 3 Simple Steps

How to Convert PDF to CSV in 3 Simple Steps

Back in the days when database technologies were still in their outset, the CSV was the standard portable format. If you were in need to exchange tabular data between disparate devices, it’s the format you would be using.

Though some would highlight the disadvantages of CSV, this file format has stood the test of time. CSV remains a common data exchange format forty years after its release. With technology growing exponentially, it’s a pretty long lifespan, don’t you think?

What is CSV?

Before we show you how to convert tabular PDF data to CSV, we will try to give you a clearer understanding of a file format which paved the way for the standards that would follow it.

The .csv file extension stands for Comma Separated Value. It’s a file format which allows you to store data in a table structured format. In other words, a CSV file represents the data typically found in a spreadsheet or a database table.

The CSV file traditionally takes the form of a text file, but with one big difference – the information is organized with one record on each line, and each data entry is separated by a comma.

What are the biggest advantages of CSV?

  • It’s simple, compact and ubiquitous.
  • It can be used in any kind of spreadsheet program.
  • Easy transport from one program to another when the original output can’t be read.
  • It’s more human readable than similar standard file formats (e.g. XML, JSON).

When to use CSV?

CSV files are, as previously mentioned, supported by almost every spreadsheet or database management system. Taking that into account, CSV is probably the only file format, besides PDF, that can guarantee smooth movement of your data between systems. The CSVs biggest assets come to light in the following situations:

  • Data is organized in a strict tabular structure.
  • When transferring large database between different programs.
  • When importing data to another table-oriented application such as a relational database.

Converting PDF to CSV

If you work with data, sooner or later, you will need to move it from one database to another. You can try doing it manually, step-by-step, but the process is time-consuming, and the possibility of making mistakes is much bigger.

This is where a PDF conversion software like Able2Extract Professional comes into play. With it you can extract PDF data to CSV in just 3 steps. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1. Open the PDF file which you would like to convert to CSV.

After starting Able2Extract Professional, click on the Open icon on the main toolbar. After the Open dialog appears, select the PDF file that you want converted to CSV.

Converting PDF to CSV - select file

Step 2. Select All under the Select menu to convert the entire PDF file.

Converting PDF to CSV - select text to convert

Clicking on the All icon will select the entire PDF document.

If you don’t want to convert the whole document, you can convert a single or multiple parts of it using the Area option.

Step 3. Convert the document to CSV.

After you selected the document or part of the document that you want to convert, click on the CSV icon under the Convert To File Type menu.

Converting PDF to CSV 3 - convert document

After, the Convert to CSV dialog will appear prompting you to choose one of two conversion types.

Automatic conversion is the default conversion option for CSV. This type of conversion is recommended for most CSV file conversions. The conversion process is done within seconds or minutes, depending on the file size.

However, if a misalignment happens within a CSV, the Custom conversion allows you to rearrange columns prior to conversion, so you can use this conversion type to fine-tune the conversion output if you get bad results with the automatic conversion.

As you can see, 3 steps is all it takes to transfer your PDF data into CSV using Able2Extract Professional. If you want to try it out yourself, head over to the developers website and download a free trial.

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