How to convert PDF to text in Linux.

Want to edit a PDF from your Linux device? Learn how to convert PDFs to text using commands or an online PDF editor.

How to convert PDFs to text with the command line.

Linux users can use a command line utility called pdftotext — which is part of the poppler tools package — to convert PDFs to plain text format.

To begin, install poppler tools package the command “sudo apt install poppler-utils.” This command works for Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint distributions. Once the package is installed, run a second command to convert chosen files to plain text:

pdftotext -layout input.pdf output.txt

Replace the input.pdf with the file you want to convert and the output.txt with the name you want attached to the newly created text file. If you don’t choose a save location, your new file will automatically be saved in the same folder as the original PDF.

If you don’t need to edit and only want to copy or search text in a PDF, you can install an optical character recognition (OCR) tool instead. Linux OCR PDF tools read PDFs and add a searchable text file over the original PDF. That way, you can use functions like Ctrl+F and Ctrl+C to search and copy text in the PDF.

Use an online PDF editor.

If you’re not comfortable with command utilities, online PDF editors like Adobe Acrobat online services make it easy to convert PDFs into text formats like Microsoft Word.

You can easily convert a PDF to text on Linux without commands or downloads in three simple steps:

  1. Go to the Acrobat online PDF editor.
  2. Upload the PDF file you want to convert.
  3. Wait for the editor to transform your file.
  4. Download the newly created Microsoft Word DOCX file.

Once you download the DOCX file, you can open it using Microsoft Word and start editing right away.

Discover more about how Adobe Acrobat DC and Acrobat online services make it easy to convert PDFs to text online from your Linux device.