Convert PDF to Excel: Tables are a beneficial way of presenting and storing data in a structured way. Spreadsheet programs are used in EDP for this purpose. There are various offers for this. Most companies use Microsoft Excel for this task. This program offers the possibility to perform many other calculations with the data.
Numerous steps can even be automated. You can also prepare the data graphically. Another alternative to presenting the data in tables and the associated graphics is the PDF format.
These two file types are only partially compatible with each other. Therefore, it is always necessary to convert a PDF document to an Excel document. The reverse process – i.e., converting an Excel document into a PDF document – is also often required. Here we will introduce what makes these two formats different and how to convert them.
What is Excel?
A lot of data is generated in every company. These relate, for example, to the employees, to the products, and to the sales figures. In most cases, it makes sense to save them as a table. Among the first commercial computer applications were programs that made it possible to create such tables.
They not only made it possible to record the values. In addition, users could use it to carry out further calculations. An example of this is automatically determining the sum or average of a row or a column. These applications are known as spreadsheet programs.
Excel was one of the first to offer this – and undoubtedly the most successful. The first version was released in 1985. Microsoft’s software has been the market leader in this area for several decades. Excel uses its own file format for these tables.
Traditionally, this had the extension .xls. However, versions from 2007 onwards use the .xlsx extension instead – and for some special applications .xlsm or .xlsb. Files with these extensions can only be opened with Excel or some other spreadsheet programs.
What is PDF?
PDF (Portable Document Format) refers to another file format. This is especially popular for sending content to other readers. It is not only used for tables but also for many other texts.
Now, however, the question arises as to why the use of PDF makes sense at all. To explain this, it is important to go a little further. If you make use of a spreadsheet program like Excel or a word processing program like Word, the corresponding files contain a wide range of information that goes beyond the actual content – for example, about font sizes, line spacing, and colors in texts or about the formulas used for calculations in tables. Now when you transfer these files to other users, not only do they take up a lot of disk space, which can make transfers difficult.
You also need an appropriate program to open it, which interprets this information. However, there may be some differences – for example, if the recipient is using a different manufacturer’s word processor or spreadsheet or even just a different version. As a result, the content is often not displayed correctly. PDF was developed to address this problem.
This format provides fixed forms for the presentation. This means that a PDF document always has exactly the same structure – no matter what device you access it with. This considerably simplifies the transmission of the data. Also, it is an immutable format.
Changing a PDF document is, therefore, only possible with considerable additional effort. This prevents accidental changes from being made while viewing.
Why is it necessary to convert Excel to PDF or PDF to Excel?
Based on the properties of Excel and PDF files just presented, it quickly becomes clear why converting the files from one format is often necessary. For example, if you have developed an Excel spreadsheet with the sales figures for a product and want to share it with your employees, creating a PDF for it makes sense. This ensures that the information is displayed exactly the same for all recipients and that there are no changes.
Occasionally the reverse case also occurs. For example, if you have received a table as a PDF and then want to process the data yourself, it is necessary to convert it into an Excel file. PDF files cannot be easily modified and are also unsuitable for data calculations. Therefore, if you need to edit the spreadsheet further, it is necessary to convert it to an Excel file.
Note, however, that the formulas used will be lost in the process. It can also happen that the row and column structure is not correctly adopted. Therefore, in this case, it might be better to ask the creator to send you the spreadsheet as an Excel document.
Convert Excel to PDF
First, we will introduce how to convert an Excel file to a PDF document. Not only is this task much easier. In addition, it occurs much more frequently.
All you need to do is open your spreadsheet program. If you created the table directly in Excel, use this program anyway. If you don’t use Excel, you can even use various free, open-source alternatives for this task – like Open Office or LibreOffice. The conversion is the same.
After opening the file, you need to click “File” on the menu bar. Here you can now select the “Export” option. You can choose from different formats. Select “PDF” and enter the desired information about the display. You can see that you can easily complete this task. Also, you can use excel to pdf converter to convert the excel to pdf.
Convert PDF to Excel
It’s a bit more challenging to convert a PDF to Excel. In fact, most users do not have the software required for this task. One possibility is to buy suitable software for this. Above all, the offers from Adobe – the company that also developed PDF – are ideal for this. However, these are chargeable. If you choose this alternative, you can transfer your documents to Excel format with just one click.
With the Right tool, conversion is no problem
If you often work with spreadsheets, you can use the spreadsheet program Excel. Files in .xlsx format are used. In some situations, however, it also makes sense to convert the content into a PDF document – especially if you want to send it to other people. Therefore, it is always necessary to convert Excel to PDF – or vice versa.
Converting an Excel document to PDF format is extremely easy. All spreadsheet programs have this feature. All you have to do is export the document correctly. However, the reverse route is a bit more difficult.
For one thing, there are only a few tools available for this purpose. Therefore, online conversion is usually the only option. On the other hand, important information is usually lost. If you want to continue working on a table, it is, therefore, advisable to always ask the creator first if he can send it to you as an Excel file.
That saves a lot of work. Only if this is not possible should you convert the PDF document into an Excel file.