I'm looking for a best & bulk PDF converter for Mac and Windows 11

Copper Contributor

Hello, I've recently been looking for a best and batch PDF converter that works smoothly on both Mac and Windows 11. I need to convert PDF files to Word or Excel frequently, but the few programs I've tried are either not full-featured or the formatting converted is messy.

 

Since I use both Mac and Windows 11 computers, I especially need a PDF converter for Mac and Windows 11 . So that no matter which computer I work on, I can easily work with PDF files without worrying about compatibility issues or differences in conversion quality. I wonder if anyone can recommend a PDF converter software that can maintain the original formatting and support both Mac and Windows?

15 Replies

@BillySanchez 

I have a few recommendations for you to consider when it comes to PDF converters for Mac and Windows 11.

 

1. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a very comprehensive solution, but it’s a bit pricey.

2. PDFGeeker is definitely worth considering.

 

Here is the tutorial of PDFGeeker:  https://www.keepvidz.com/pdfgeeker-for-mac

 

pdfgeeker_word-1.png

I have been using PDFGeeker myself and I am quite happy with its overall performance. It runs smoothly on my Mac. I mainly convert PDF files to Word and other formats, and I noticed that it does a pretty good job of maintaining the layout and formatting of the original file.

@BillySanchez

If you are quite familiar with the command line, there is actually a more "geeky" way to deal with PDF conversion, especially on Mac and Windows 11. You can try to use Pandoc, which is a super-powerful PDF converter for Mac and Windows 11, it can be run on the command line, support for a very large number of document formats, including conversion from PDF to Word or Markdown and so on.

 

Installing Pandoc is also very simple, you can directly use a package manager, such as brew install pandoc on Mac, and choco install pandoc on Windows (provided you have Chocolatey installed).

 

Suppose your PDF file is called example.pdf and you want to convert it to Word document output.docx, you can use the following command:

 
pandoc example.pdf -o output.docx

 On a Mac, you can use Homebrew to install Pandoc and TeX Live:

 

brew install pandoc
brew cask install mactex

On Windows, you can use Chocolatey to install Pandoc and download and install MiKTeX from the MiKTeX website:

 

choco install pandoc

If you are trying to convert PDF to word on Mac, then the Microsoft Word app is the best PDF Converter app on Mac for doing that.

Open Microsoft Word: Launch the Microsoft Word application on your Mac.

Open PDF File: Click on "File" in the menu bar and select "Open" to browse and open the PDF file you want to convert.

Convert PDF to Word: Once the PDF file is open in Word, click on "File" again, then select "Save As" or "Export". Choose the format as "Word Document (.docx)" or "Word 97-2003 Document (.doc)" depending on your preference.

Save: Specify the location where you want to save the converted Word document and click "Save".

Microsoft Word will convert the PDF file into a Word document format that you can then edit and work with on your Mac.

Pandoc is a not a dedicated PDF converter utility for Mac. Instead, it is text converter that only supports markdown, html, latex and Word. You can't use this app to convert PDF to Excel, PowerPoint, Image or other popular rich-text formats. Just be noted before trying this command-line tool!

@BillySanchez If you have enough budget and need some advanced features such as PDF sign, then Adobe Acrobat DC is a nice option out there. It is one of the most comprehensive PDF solutions available for Mac users. Beyond just converting PDFs to Word or other formats, it offers powerful editing capabilities, secure document handling, and collaboration features.

 

Acrobat DC  is a cross-platform PDF Converter for Mac and Windows. It allows you to convert PDFs with high accuracy while preserving formatting, images, and fonts. It's particularly useful for professionals who need precise document conversion and extensive PDF management tools. However, it comes with a subscription-based pricing model, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious users.

No one recommend the Preview app? Preview is a native macOS app that comes pre-installed on every Mac. While primarily known as a PDF viewer, Preview also includes basic PDF conversion capabilities. It allows you to export PDFs to formats like JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. For simple PDF to text or PDF to Word conversions, Preview is enough for casual users who don't need advanced features. It's lightweight, fast, and integrates seamlessly with macOS. So this Mac PDF Converter is a convenient option for basic document conversions without the need for additional software.

@BillySanchez 

There are many online PDF converter for Mac & Windows tools, have you tried them?

PDF2GO - This website provides a powerful online PDF conerter platform. You can convert PDF to a variety of formats, including text files and image files. With an intuitive interface and rich features, it is a good choice for users who need to convert files quickly.

 

Adobe Acrobat Online - An online service provided by Adobe, you can rely on its professionalism in PDF processing. It supports the conversion of PDF files to Word, Excel and other formats, and the processing results are of high quality. However, certain features may require a subscription to a paid plan.

 

Consideration should be given to the privacy and security of documents when using an online service to process them.

@DonaldSandoz 

Thanks for your reply, but this method is a bit complicated for me. I need a simple and easy-to-use PDF converter for Mac & Windows  with a user interface and batch conversion! Of course, a free tool would be best.

@Ambrosino 

Although online PDF converter tools like PDF2GO and Adobe Acrobat Online are very convenient and provide high-quality conversion results, I usually don't recommend using them when dealing with files containing sensitive information for data security and privacy protection reasons. There is a risk that files uploaded to the server will be leaked or misused, especially when it comes to private data or business secrets.

 

Therefore, I prefer to use local PDF converter for Mac & Windows software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro for PDF conversion. These desktop applications are not only more secure, as file processing does not rely on network transmission, but also offer more professional editing features. While this may mean the need for installation and possible purchase costs, it is worth it for protecting sensitive information.

@Ericoson 

I did try to use Microsoft Word document to convert PDF files to Word documents on Mac, and this method basically works, but I did encounter some problems.

 

First, although most of the time Word is able to successfully convert PDF content to Word format, when dealing with PDFs that contain complex layouts and multiple formats, the converted files often have formatting deviations. For example, sometimes the alignment of tables will be messed up, or the position of certain images and text boxes will change, which requires me to manually adjust, quite time-consuming.

 

Secondly, if the PDF file is generated from a scanned document, then the conversion is even less effective. Because this type of PDF is usually recognized as a picture, Word in the conversion process is difficult to convert the text in the picture into editable text format, the result is that the entire page becomes a large image placed in Word, can not be edited.

 

For PDFs with complex structure or rich elements, maybe I still need to find a specialized Mac PDF converter app to get more satisfying conversion results.

In fact, there are many online PDF converter Mac server out there, all of them required you to upload your PDF file their server, then convert your PDF file. I don't think this is a best way due to the potential risks for your PDF files.

@BillySanchez 

Some computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools are very good at converting PDF files to DOCX format. Trados, in particular, excels at creating DOCX files from PDF files, which is a big plus for translation work. While some CAT tools can only convert PDF to plain text, tools such as Trados can create DOCX files and translate from them, which greatly preserves the original formatting and layout.

 

As for Word 365, it is usually able to do a pretty good PDF to Word conversion, of course, this also depends on the original quality and complexity of the PDF.

 

Abbyy FineReader is also a recommended choice, and it usually provides good conversion results. If you are willing to adjust the settings and manually select specific areas in the document, you can sometimes get more accurate results.

 

Of course, there are also many online PDF converter Mac & Windows on the market, and I am sure you have probably tried some of them. However, choosing a professional software solution usually gives more stable and reliable conversion results.

@BillySanchez Please don't use Adobe Acrobat Pro on an old PC or Mac. Adobe Acrobat can be quite resource-intensive, which may slow down your Mac, especially if you are running other applications simultaneously. This can be a significant drawback for users with older or less powerful Mac models.

 

In addition, this PDF Converter Mac is relatively expensive compared to many other PDF converters available for Mac. The subscription-based pricing model can be a deterrent for users who are looking for a more cost-effective solution

 

 

@BillySanchez Poppler is an open-source PDF rendering library based on the Xpdf-3.0 code base. It is designed to help you work with PDF documents by providing tools and utilities for viewing, converting, and manipulating PDFs. Poppler is widely used PDF Converter Mac app in various applications and environments, especially on Unix-like operating systems such as Linux and macOS. It offers a range of command-line tools that make it easy to handle PDF files for different purposes.

 

For example, convert pdf to images in a single line:

 

pdfimages input.pdf output.jpg

 

 

Office on both macOS and Windows has print to PDF as an option, that should hold most formatting fine. However, both .docx and .xlsx need to be reencoded to translate the documents code to the .pdf encoding. Microsoft uses an opensource tool to perform this task, which is not perfect, and most freeware alternatives will also use opensource encoding tools with similar issue. If maintaining formatting is very important, you will unfortunately need to feed the beast and pay for Adobe Acrobat.