Tech Tip - Better PDF to Word Conversions

Technology Tip

Most times, law firms convert documents (paper or digital) to PDF format for e-filing, discovery, or archiving reasons. However, it may be useful to convert a PDF document to an editable Word document. 

Most leading PDF software is capable of converting a PDF document to an editable Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) document. The software used for the PDF to Word conversion can make a significant difference in the accuracy of the resulting Word document. We have a few suggestions.

Your best bet for most PDF to Word conversions is Nuance/Kofax OmniPage Ultimate. However, at approximately $500, it is expensive. So let's consider two popular alternatives, Adobe Acrobat Pro and Nuance /Kofax Power PDF Advanced.

Many PDF files start life as Microsoft Word documents. From there, they become PDF files a variety of ways. From within Word, the document can be exported to PDF format using Word's built-in converter. Or it can be created using the "print to PDF" features of programs such as Adobe Acrobat Pro, OmniPage, or Nuance /Kofax Power PDF Advanced. In the properties of a PDF file, you can see which program was used to create the file.

If the document was converted to PDF from within Word (or WordPerfect), you should use Adobe Acrobat Pro to handle the conversion back to Word. Acrobat does a slightly better job than Power PDF Advanced with these files.

However, if the PDF was produced by scanning a paper document, Power PDF does a much better job than Acrobat of producing an accurate Word document.

If you have questions about how to select and use PDF software, contact us at 877-676-5492 or request a consultation. We are happy to help.  


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Barron Henley

Written by Barron Henley

Barron is an Affinity Partner and an attorney who has over 20 years of experience in legal technology and law firm consulting. Barron partners with our clients to make law firms and legal departments more efficient. His breadth of knowledge enables him to dive into the details of a firm’s operations. He is often the lead on Comprehensive Practice Analysis projects for clients that examine all aspects of making a firm more successful: technology, organizational design, process optimization and financial practices. In addition, Barron has been building complex legal document automation projects since he left his private law practice in 1997. He is also one of the most renowned experts on Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat and HotDocs and a frequent speaker, teaching CLE classes covering practice management, document management, case management, Word, Excel, Outlook, HotDocs document assembly, among many other topics.

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