How to translate a PDF document.

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Learn how to translate PDF documents so you can share them with anyone, anywhere — no matter what language they speak.

It’s not uncommon to work with people who speak different languages, which is why sometimes you might have to translate your PDFs before sharing them. However, PDF documents are final form files, making it a challenge to convert into another language due to the fixed format.

However, there is an easy solution — simply convert your PDF to an editable format, such as a Microsoft Word file. Learn how to translate a PDF with Adobe Acrobat below:

Image of Adobe Acrobat export format options.

How to convert your PDF.

Converting your PDF into another file format is straightforward once you know how. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat online services on your web browser.

The convert option in the Adobe Acrobat top bar

  1. Navigate to the Convert tab at the top bar. Select Convert PDF to Word to convert your PDF file into a Word document.
  2. Click Select a file or drag and drop your PDF directly into the drop zone area.
  3. Choose the file you wish to convert.
  4. After a moment, your file will be ready to download. You can also sign in to edit and share more files.

How to translate the document.

Now that you have an easily editable document, you can start translating it. You have a couple of options for how to do this.

Use a translator

It’s usually better to get a human being to translate your document — they will understand the nuances of the language and will be able to spot idiomatic expressions that might confuse a non-native speaker or a machine.

If you can’t translate it yourself, consider hiring a professional translator, especially if you’re working on detailed documents like business contracts. Getting it slightly wrong could be a very costly mistake.

However, hiring a translator might not always be the most affordable choice — especially if your document is very long and you don’t have the budget for it.

Online translation service

Online translation services may be more economical, but they’re not always reliable. You may have seen examples of particularly silly online translator mistakes.

However, online translators are improving all the time, and if your document is particularly long and too expensive to translate from scratch, you could use online services to translate automatically. Then, you could hire a native-speaking editor to proofread the document and tidy it up.

How to convert your document back to PDF.

Image of Adobe Acrobat online Convert PDF page

After translating your document, you can convert it back to PDF with Adobe Acrobat.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat online services on your web browser.
  2. Navigate to Tools at the top bar. Then, select Convert to PDF to begin the process. Or, navigate to the Convert tab and select Word to PDF.
  3. Click Select a file or drag and drop your document into the drop zone.
  4. Select the file you wish to convert.
  5. After a moment, Adobe Acrobat will convert your page to a PDF ready for you to download. Sign in to share your file and save it to your online account.

Discover all the ways Adobe Acrobat can help you work on your PDF documents and more.

Translating PDFs. What are the benefits?

It’s common for creatives — including editors, designers, photographers, and illustrators - to share PDFs for work on a project. Here are a few benefits of translating and using PDFs.


Which online translator is the most accurate?

There are various online translators available, many of them free. You may want to test out a few to discover which one works best for you. DeepL Translator bills itself as the most accurate online, supporting 24 languages. Google Translate is another popular choice, with more than 100 languages available. You can use both to translate up to 500,000 characters a month for free.

Image of DeepL Translator translating “How to translate a PDF” into Chinese.

Can you Google Translate a PDF?

In Google Translate, you can copy and paste text manually or upload an entire document, including PDFs. In the interface, select Documents and browse your computer to find your PDF. Upload the PDF and click Translate. Then click Download to save your new translated PDF. The greatest advantage of this method is that you don’t need to convert to an editable file as part of the process.

What are the limitations of translating documents?

Translating is a professional skill. Machine translation may not always comprehend idioms in other languages. As such, online translation services are not always accurate or reliable. For these reasons, getting a person to translate your documents is always better if you can’t translate them yourself.