A Guide to the Best PDF to Word Converters for Mac in 2021 (Free & Paid)

Utilities • March 17, 2021

pdf to word

You ever wondered how to convert your physical notes and documents to word files or convert a PDF file into a word document? Then this is the right place for you. Today, we will cover everything about converting your PDF files and images so that you can get a fully digital version on board. The process is simple and straightforward. However, it can quickly get complicated with automation and machine learning built-in.

The guide below will take you through the best free and paid options with selections built to cover both the stand-alone app space and the cloud or internet apps that provide faster conversions. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Google Docs – the best free option

Price: Free

Google Docs is the only option that works freely across all platforms. The PDF conversion works smoothly, and the transformation of letters and words works as smoothly as ever. However, formatting issues are prevalent all over, and this can sometimes spoil the user experience. Google’s online interface is impressive and easy to use, and tool list and editing features are just as useful as Word. However, OCR or optical character recognition is not directly supported, and the process requires scanning and then processing the images. The image can then be converted into documents that may face problems if the image is distorted. Hence, our experience led us to use it to convert PDF files to word documents.

google docs


  • Easy to use and readily available
  • It doesn’t require a powerful device as it works directly off of the cloud
  • It is accessible throughout all devices with a web browser


  • It is not directly compatible with OCR
  • Can have formatting issues

PDFpen Pro – The best for business use

Price: $130

PDFpen Pro comes equipped with many features, and our testing resulted in a significant number of successful projects. Many of the quality of life features we enjoyed using were adding in highlights, using comments for more information, and adding drawings using this powerful editor for Mac. Thie tool provides you with the power to edit read-only documents and files. Moreover, scanning file documents are a piece of cake, and the OCR is the cherry on the cake.



  • The various editing option and quality of life features
  • Impressive OCR for recognizing words in physical documents
  • Impressive for scanning pictures and images


  • The font may be wrong while scanning OCR documents

Prizmo – The best for scanning PDFs

Price: Free (However, houses in-app purchases)

Prizmo is a scanner app that can be used for anything. If you would like to have something documented, take a picture, and Prizmo completes the process by taking the right perspective, cropping the image, and enhancing the photo. Prizmo comes equipped with Optical Character Recognition support in 28 different languages with powerful editing capabilities, built-in text-to-speech recognition, iCloud support, and translation to 59 various languages. It works with your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to capture and scan physical documents and even support screenshots. The document scanning abilities are incredible, and the newly introduced machine learning capabilities make Prizmo one of the best on the market.



  • Excellent scanning capabilities with machine learning built-in
  • Support for various languages
  • Can work with any picture or screenshots


  • Expensive with the packages starting at 50 dollars and climbing up to 75 dollars
  • With a massive number of features, the app experiences longer boot or start-up times

What else did we consider

The above recommendations were something that we felt was the best in the slot for the performance and stable consistency they delivered. However, we tested some other applications which didn’t make the top list. They weren’t bad in any way and would suffice for the job but with some little issues here and there.


Price: $129

PDFelement is a simple and straightforward PDF converter that provides complete control for PDF files. It is affordable and easy to navigate and supports several different file types like “.ppt,.xlsx, and .docx”. You can also edit PDF files with features like watermark support, in-file edits, and a lot more. However, this PDF to word converter can be a bit of a hassle with issues in converting some PDFs as the resulting file can include incorrect or missing words.



  • Windows office-like interface
  • Supports multiple file types
  • It runs smoothly on all versions of Mac


  • Giant buttons which can lead to misclicks
  • Can provide some issues while converting the files


Price: Free (built-in app)

Automator is a default tool included with OS X that allows you to build custom scripts and workflows to perform tasks, such as batch deletion, making folders and naming them, combining documents, or for us, the process of converting PDF to word documents.



  • Can work with hundreds of files
  • Built-in with Mac and is free to use


  • Requires a lot of time understanding Automator and the script it uses
  • The process can go wrong as the steps are a little complicated for a regular user


  • Launch Automator and click on “New Document” for saving a new script.
  • On the next screen, select “Service” and continue to create a service document.
  • Now select “Files or Folders” in the drop-down menu, and drag the “Get Specified Finder Items” from the panel to the workflow.
  • Next, select PDFs, drag “Extract PDF Text” to the right column.
  • Save the text extracted from the PDFs as either plain text or rich text.
  • Now give your workflow a name, such as “PDF to DOCX”, and then select “Application” from the “File Format” menu.
  • Finally, save and launch the script, select a PDF file, and let Automator work and convert it to a document.

Adobe Acrobat

Price: Free

Adobe listing Acrobat as a free online tool is surprising, but it’s real, and it allows you to convert and download PDF files to Word documents online. Not only this, but it also supports reversing the process and creating PDF files from word documents. The user interface is beautiful and easy to use with just a single drag and drop interface. Most importantly, the formatting will be retained, and did I mention the whole process is free.



  • Easy to use
  • Fast conversion


  • Requires an active internet connection


Q: How to convert PDF to DOCX on Mac free online

With tools such as Google Docs, Adobe Acrobat, and SodaPDF, converting PDF to word online has never been easier, and all the programs have been covered above so that you are in the best situation for all your converting needs.

We used SodaPDF for this, an online PDF manager that helps convert and edit PDF files. The process is easy, simply drag and drop the PDF file, or click on Choose File to pick one from the computer, then download the converted Word file from PDF and easily share and edit it.

We tried various other online PDF to word converters. However, every one of them was slow, required an active internet connection, and provided some issues with formats and fonts. Regardless Google Docs and Adobe Acrobat Online were phenomenal and did the task brilliantly. We have already covered Google Docs, so this is to do justice to Adobe.

Q: How to convert a scanned document to word

Converting a scanned document to a word file is the same as using OCR, and the best tool that we found for the job is PDFpen Pro and Prizmo. We have covered the tools extensively above, and the process is straightforward with little to no hassle. In general, the steps are:

  • Get the picture or scanned document ready.
  • Drag the document in the app.
  • Wait for the process and conversion to finish.
  • Get your converted word file ready.

Note: The conversion will entirely depend upon the quality of the scanned picture or document, and formatting and font errors are common.

Final words

Converting PDF documents to a word file or .docx form is relatively easy with today’s technology. However, getting the right tool to do it can be a painstaking process, and hence, we have compiled a list and guide to provide you with all the details and information about it.

We hope that the blog helped provide you with a solution that would work for you. Meanwhile, here are some other articles that you might enjoy:

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