Adobe has just released a new product that allows users to convert PDF files into editable Word documents, while maintaining the original formatting. Even PDFs of scanned documents can be edited, since Adobe ExportPDF uses optical character recognition to turn the images into digital text.
Adobe ExportPDF converts PDF documents to DOCX, the native file format of documents authored in Microsoft Word. Content stored in PDF files can now be reused, instead of retyping the information. Adobe says this can help reduce errors and improve productivity.
ExportPDF is capable of maintaining the original formatting of the document, provided it is of acceptable quality. Adobe explains:
Adobe ExportPDF is capable of exporting high quality information, but the quality of your Word document depends on the quality of the PDF file you start with. For instance, if your PDF file was originally authored in Microsoft Word and converted to PDF using the PDF Maker functionality in Adobe Acrobat® software, your PDF file contains a rich set of information that can be captured by Adobe ExportPDF. This includes relative positioning of tables, images, and even multicolumn text, as well as page, paragraph, and font attributes. If your PDF file was originally authored using simpler PDF generation methods, such as “print to PDF” or “scan to PDF” options, Adobe ExportPDF will convert any recognizable text and then use sophisticated conversion intelligence to preserve as much of the page layout as possible.
The product costs $19.99 for a year’s subscription (more info here). Take note that there are a few formats that the product cannot convert: PDF Portfolios, PDF files that require a password to open, or PDF files that have permissions applied to prevent copying or altering the content.
Also take note that the dictionary used for character and word recognition is only available in English, however the program can convert in a variety of western languages including English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.