FIX: We’re having trouble converting your PDF to Word

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • If PDF is not converting to Word correctly that can be a big problem, but there are few solutions that can help you fix that.
  • To avoid this issue, make sure that your formatting and fonts are in order.
  • Another way to fix this is to change your preferences in the file conversion window.
  • In case PDF to Word is not converting properly, you can always use a third-party tool for the best results.
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Ever since 2013, Microsoft has offered us the possibility to edit PDF’s in Word. With just by a simple press of a button in the File section, you can load any PDF and edit it as if it were a Word file.

But there a few mishaps that may happen when doing this, and one of the most known is Sorry we’re having trouble converting your PDF to a Word document error.

This can be a big problem, and it this guide we’ll answer why won’t your PDF convert to Word, and how to fix that issue.

What can I do if PDF is not converting to Word correctly?

  1. Download Latest Adobe Acrobat version
  2. Retain format
  3. Proof your PDF

1. Download the latest Adobe Acrobat version

Before going along with any of the actual troubleshooting steps, make sure that the problem isn’t actually just you having an old version of your PDF reader.

If PDF to Word is not converting properly, be sure to download the latest version of Adobe Reader Pro and check if that solves the problem.

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2. Retain format

  1. Open Acrobat, click on Edit and select Preferences.
  2. Go to Convert from PDF under categories and select Word document.
  3. Click on Edit settings and select Retain Page Layout.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Restart Acrobat.

Your document might look perfect in any desktop PDF reader, given the fact that the reader will automatically use the correct fonts available on your local machine.

However, your PDF reader may still need to substitute the missing fonts with different ones if you do not export the correct layout.

After doing that, check if Sorry we’re having trouble converting your PDF to a Word document error is gone.


3. Proof your PDF

  • Repair missing formatting.
  • Fix any line breaks.
  • Look for incorrect words.
  • Fix instances of multiple spaces.
  • Use common fonts.
  • Don’t use poor quality images or scans.

If PDF to Word is not converting properly, be sure to follow the guides from above in order to fix the problem.

Additional tips:

When using the Export PDF service by Adobe, make sure you use the supported type of browser.

For Microsoft Windows 10 you should be using Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, Chrome, or Firefox. Try saving the PDF file under the PDF/X standards, as this might fix your problem.

There you go, these are just a couple of solutions that might help you fix the Sorry we’re having trouble converting your PDF to a Word document error.


FAQ: Learn more about converting PDF to Word

  • How do I convert a PDF file to a Word document that I can edit?

Open the PDF file and click the Export PDF function. Then simply select Word as the format.

  • How do I convert PDF to Word for free?

Simply use Adobe Acrobat, and use the Export PDF tool to save it in a different format. In this case, choose Word. Additionally, you could also use these tools to convert PDFs to Word documents.

  • Can you edit a PDF?

As long as you have the right PDF editing tool, you can do whatever you want with this type of file.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2019 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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