Converting Scanned .pdf Documents to Excel

You may have run across times when you have a sheet of paper with lots of numbers that you need in a spreadsheet.

The long way- hand type the numbers into a new spreadsheet. yuck!

The better way- scan the document (.pdf) and use OCR (optical character recognition) to pull out the numbers.

In my example, I have a Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Position from an audit.  But, I only a paper copy.

Step 1- Scan the  document. I use a copier with scanning capabilities.

Ideally, you want a copy that’s clean and straight. This will be important for the next step.

Step 2- Use an OCR conversion website. I prefer (Free Online OCR – convert scanned PDF and images to Word, JPEG to Word).

Step 3- Download the results in Excel:

Almost perfect! There is a little clean-up at this point, but it’s in pretty good shape.  Look at row 19. There are two lines in one cell. That’s easy to fix and beats hand typing.

Note that I took a .pdf and converted to Excel. But there are many other combinations. Your original could be .jpeg (for ex.), and your output may be Word, Excel, or even .txt.


I’ve also had good success with this website as well:

Convert PDF to Excel Free Online – No email required