I'm writing here following https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/402407/how-to-convert-pdf-containing-math-made-from-latex-to-word and http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/9715/reopening-thread-that-i-dont-think-is-off-topic.

1. My main goal is just to use MathType in Word and to edit with Word. Therefore, what is the best way to convert an Adobe PDF containing math (equations, symbols, tables, etc.) into a Word document?

2. Is there another way to make the PDF appear in Word? I was thinking that maybe the PDF doesn't need to be converted. Instead, each page of the PDF could be convertered/terated as a picture which could then be pasted onto a Word document. This process takes too long to do for each page. What program or recourse is available? Thank you very much!

Unfortunately, it would take too much time for me to retype the PDF, because it is essentially a free textbook containing maths on which I must annotate. Also, I do not have the LaTeX source file for the PDF, only the PDF itself.

I've spent at least 3 hours trying to research and resolve this question, including reading http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=507174 and http://forums.adobe.com/message/3906332.

I've tried the following PDF to Word converters, but ALL of them deform, disfigure, and distort the math, the fonts, and the formatting: Zamzar.com, Wondershare PDF to Word Converter 4.0.1, Able2Doc PDF to Word Converter v7.0.34, and UniPDF.

  • 6
    Why not just type the equations up yourself? You can see the equations so you can manual add them. However, I would never use Word for mathematics. In fact, I never use Word at all.
    – dustin
    May 26, 2013 at 15:45
  • Welcome to TeX.SX! You may have a look on our starter guide. May 26, 2013 at 15:59
  • @dustin: Unfortunately, it would take too much time for me to retype the PDF, because it is essentially a free textbook containing maths on which I must annotate. PeterJansson: Thank you for the welcome.
    – user31296
    May 26, 2013 at 16:01
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    If all you want to do is to annotate on top the the PDF, Word is probably not the way to go. I would recommend you use a PDF viewer (such as Preview on Mac) which allows you to annotate on the PDF directly. I use this to annoate notes on PDF user guides. Alternatively you could work with tikz and annotate on top of the image similar to Drawing on an image with TikZ. May 26, 2013 at 18:18
  • Try InftyReader tool. It can convert Mathml into word.
    – user34052
    Jul 23, 2013 at 14:00

3 Answers 3


It can not be done! PDF is a complex document format which is not intended for editing. Think of it as a crippled PostScript which is never meant to be open again. What can be done is uploading PDF in some kind a character recognition software which is going to extract the information. Short of that there are bunch of small command line text extract utilities which will get you text but formula no way. You can then use Pandoc to do the rest of the job.

  • 1
    The commercial InftyReader claims it can convert scanned formulas into LaTeX. There are samples of its output here.
    – marczellm
    Jun 24, 2013 at 13:40

There is no perfect solution. All converters do a pretty lousy job. But I found that Microsoft Word actually does pretty well. In the newer versions on Windows (not Mac) you can right-click the pdf and select "open with > Word".

A late answer that would have saved me some money :)


If you have the LaTeX source, you can try pandoc. It's not perfect, but it's a starting point.

  • I am not sure he has the source because on the physics forum link it mentions using the source and that is one of his references.
    – dustin
    May 26, 2013 at 15:48
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    @JosephR.: Thanks for your answer. However, I only have the PDF and not the Latex source file. i've updated my question with this info.
    – user31296
    May 26, 2013 at 16:01
  • Good. If you don't mind, I'll leave the answer up here all the same in case it can benefit someone else.
    – Joseph R.
    May 26, 2013 at 16:03
  • @JosephR. Thank you very much again for your answer. Sure! I don't mind at all.
    – user31296
    May 26, 2013 at 17:44

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