Frequently Asked Questions

Please enjoy the answers to the frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please contact us with your questions.

PDF2XL General FAQ

Do I need to have Microsoft Excel installed to use PDF2XL?

At the moment, you do need to have Microsoft Excel installed if you want to convert to Excel.

You can however convert to CSV or HTML without having any Microsoft Office product installed.

Do you work on a Mac?

Unfortunately, we don’t work natively on a Mac. We do however work great in virtualized environments like VMWare, Parallels, etc.. If you have Windows and Office installed in a virtual environment on your Mac, you can install PDF2XL and run it like you would normally.

Can I export into QuickBooks?

Yes! The simplest way would be for you to prepare your layout, make sure the columns match whatever you want them to match in QuickBooks, and then export to CSV. Once it’s in CSV format, you can simply import it into QuickBooks and select the fields you want to import.

Why can’t I extract data from Adobe PDF file using PDF2XL software?

Some PDF files are marked by the person who produced them so that their contents are not allowed to be copied or extracted. This means that you cannot extract any data from them.

Adobe Systems Inc®, the company that created and maintains the PDF format, requires all applications that use this format to honor this special limitation. When you open such a PDF file, PDF2XL will let you know this by displaying the following notification:
If you click on Yes, the file will be opened but you will not be able to extract any data from it. Neither by converting to Excel, Word and the clipboard, nor by selecting and copying text. More information about this feature of Adobe Acrobat and PDF files is available on the Adobe website

Why are all conversion options in the conversion menu disabled?

There are 4 possible explanations:
  1. There is no opened file – please use the open button to open a file.
  2. No data was selected – please select the data you want to convert.
  3. (Older versions) You are in text selection mode- change to layout selection mode (Edit→ Layout selection mode).
  4. You are in OCR validation mode – you need to close the data validation window in order to complete the conversion.

What are the system requirements for PDF2XL?

The PDF2XL product family is supported on the following operating systems:
Windows 2000 Pro/Server SP4+, Windows XP (all) SP2+, Windows Server 2003 (all), Windows Vista (all) SP1+, Windows Server 2008 (all), Windows Server 2012 (all) Windows 7 (all), Windows 8 (all), Windows 10 (all)
Note that x64 operating systems are fully supported, but printing into PDF2XL Enterprise’s Cogniview Printer in ia64 (Itanium) is not.
Following are the system requirements for operation:
Category Minimal Recommended
CPU 350MHz 1 GHz
Memory Windows 98 Windows Me 64MB 64MB
Windows 2000 Windows XP 128MB 256MB
Windows Server 2003 256MB 512MB
Windows Vista Windows Server 2008 Windows 7 512MB 1GB
Windows Server 2008 (all) 768MB 1GB
Windows Server 2012 (all) 768MB 1GB
Windows 7 (all) 768MB 1GB
Windows 8 (all) 768MB 1GB
Windows 10 (all) 768MB 1GB
Free Disk Space 25MB 35MB
Screen Resolution 800×600 1024×768
Microsoft Word™ and Excel™ 1 Office 97 Office 2000, XP, 2003, 2007 or 2010, 2013, 2016, 365
1 – If Microsoft Office is not installed, PDF2XL will still work, but the only conversion formats supported will be Clipboard, CSV and OpenDocument Spreasheet. No PDF display application (like Adobe Reader) is necessary for PDF2XL.

When I mark the table some of the text is not recognized correctly.

Native PDF (not scanned) – Most likely the font in the PDF file is embedded. Embedded fonts cannot be perfectly extracted. To verify the font is embedded, open the PDF with Acrobat Reader, copy some text and paste it into another application such as Word or Notepad. If the text is not recognized, the font is embedded. To work around this problem please select ‘OCR’ from the view menu to force the OCR recognition. Scanned PDF – The OCR Engine is sensitive to poor quality scans. In order to improve the OCR recognition quality you can either:
  • Rescan your document in higher resolution.
  • Try to remove any hand written text, watermarks, etc.
  • Try to change the OCR advanced settings to achieve better results by going to Start->Options->OCR. You can read more about it here: User Interface Dialogs Options OCR .
  • If any of the columns have a specific format (Number, date etc.) you can set the column format in advance by right clicking the columns and choosing the correct format from “Column Format in Output”. You can read more about it here: Concepts-Conversion Formats.

How do I convert a table that appears in more than one page into the same Excel sheet using PDF2XL software?

There are two ways to perform a multiple-page conversion in PDF2XL. Choosing either one depends on the location of the table inside the pages:
  1. If the table appears in the same location at every page, you can easily convert a range of pages into the same Excel sheet (or Word document).
    1. From the Edit Menu choose Settings to open the Settings dialog.
    2. In the ‘Pages to Convert’ area, Select ‘Page Range’
    3. Click OK to close the Settings dialog
    4. Now convert your data. The Select Conversion Range dialog will prompt you for the pages you want to extract the data from.
    If you always wish to convert data from all the pages in the document, then select the ‘All Pages’ option instead of ‘Page Range’. In this case, the Select Conversion Range dialog will not appear.
  2. If the table is not in the same location at every page, you can use the clipboard as a buffer between PDF2XL and Excel.
    1. Start by marking the table in the first page you want to extract data from, and convert the data into a new Excel sheet. Leave the sheet open for now.
    2. Move to the next page you want to extract data from, and mark the table there, making sure you use the same columns as in the original table.
    3. Use the Clipboard as Excel sheet option instead of the ‘Convert to Excel’ option. This way you get the data in the clipboard instead of in a new Excel sheet.
    4. In the Excel sheet that you opened earlier, scroll to the end of the existing data, select the left-most cell of the line after the data, and paste the data from the clipboard into Excel.
    5. You should now have the data from the two pages in the same Excel sheet. You can use the same technique to add data from more pages into the same sheet.

Can I perform OCR on data I send to the PDF2XL Enterprise Printer?

Currently you can only perform OCR on PDF files you open with PDF2XL Enterprise.

Why is data from the same row split to two or more rows in Excel using PDF2XL software?

When you mark a table, PDF2XL detects the location of rows automatically. Sometimes PDF2XL splits a single table row into more than one row; this usually happens when a table row has more than one text line.

If this happens, you can tell PDF2XL where the row lines are located instead of relying on the automatic detection, by enabling row and cell editing. In order to enable row and cell editing, you need to go to the View ribbon and check the Table Rows option.

When row and cell editing is enabled, you can change the row divider locations by dragging them, much the same as you would do with the column dividers. You can also combine several rows that PDF2XL has detected into one. For more information on how to modify a table’s rows click here.

What can I do if after I marked a table, no columns appear in it using PDF2XL?

This is probably caused by the file being a Scanned PDF Document. Starting from version 2.0, PDF2XL will ask you if you wish to change to the Scanned Document Mode and retrieve the text using OCR (Optical Character Recognition). If you have an earlier version of PDF2XL, and need to extract the data from a Scanned PDF, contact us for an upgrade at [email protected]

While trying to convert, PDF2XL shows the message ‘No text is available for conversion…’, what can I do?

This is probably caused by the file being a Scanned PDF Document. PDF2XL Version 1.2 or earlier would show the following message:
Starting from version 2.0, PDF2XL will ask you if you wish to change to the Scanned Document Mode and retrieve the text using OCR (Optical Character Recognition). If you have an earlier version of PDF2XL, and need to extract the data from a Scanned PDF, contact us for an upgrade at [email protected]

Purchase FAQ

Is PDF2XL a one-time purchase or a subscription?

Once you purchase PDF2XL, you own the version and edition you bought for life. No yearly fees.

PDF2XL has moved to a subscription model.
You can view our new plans and pricing here:

Any products found on this site (  are being discontinued. We can no longer support them and no updates will be provided for them.

I got the e-mail receipt but how do I install and activate the software?

A few minutes after your purchase is recorded, we send you a purchase notification message via e-mail. This message contains the instructions for downloading and installing the product, as well as your Payment Code.

Even if you have bought the CD version, which is sent to you by snail mail, you will still be able to download the application and start working right away.

If you did not receive the notification e-mail within the hour, there could have been a problem in either our automatic mail sending service, the e-mail address you provided, or the mail could have been marked as junk and discarded.

Check the junk folder in your e-mail application to see if it had mistakenly put the notification there.

If you cannot find the notification message, please contact us at [email protected] with the purchase information. If possible, provide us with a different e-mail address to use. We will get back to you with the download and activation instructions as soon as possible.

Can I order the product CD and still start working right away?

Yes. When you order a CD, you will be able to download and activate the Full version right away, and the CD will get to you by snail-mail.

More information about activating PDF2XL can be found here.

I am using two computers, one at work and one at home; can I use a single license for both of them?

Yes for our private users. You will need to contact us at [email protected], so we can enable this configuration.

Basically, each license enables you to install the product on one computer only. If you want to use it on two different computers, we will enable you to do so.

Note that if more than one person is to use the application, you should buy a separate license for each of them.

For our business customers, you will need a license per each computer the software is installed on.

What is your refund policy, and how do I get a refund?

Our refund policy is detailed here.

Basically, we give a 30-days money-back guaranty. If after purchasing, you are dissatisfied with the application, just let us know at [email protected] and you will get a full refund.

Where can I purchase a product CD?

You can do so right from the store. Follow the link to the relevant product (PDF2XL Basic, OCR, Enterprise or CLI), select the quantity of licenses you need, and click “Add to Cart”. When viewing your cart, click the “Backup CD” option to add a CD.

Product activation FAQ

What is with this activation anyway?

The activation process is performed after the Full version of the product is installed, and before you can use it. Its purpose is to make sure that no one else uses the license you have purchased.

The activation process uses the Payment Code you have received in your purchase notification e-mail (or along with the product CD, if you have purchased a CD). It will also require you to type in the e-mail you have given when purchasing the product.

The activation is a one-time process; that is, after activating once, you will not be required to do so again unless you upgrade the product or uninstall and then install it again.

There are some system environment changes that require reactivation as well such as upgrading Windows.

Further details about the PDF2XL activation procedure can be found here.

How do I activate the product?

When you run the application for the first time (for example, right after the installation), you will be prompted to activate the product using the Activation Wizard.

The instructions on screen will guide you through this process. More information about PDF2XL’s Activation Wizard  is available by clicking the link.

How do I activate the product if my computer is not connected to the Internet?

It is possible to activate the product using e-mail or fax. If your computer is not connected directly to the Internet, but you are able to send an e-mail, you can use the e-mail activation option to activate the product.

If you cannot send us an e-mail, you can print out the Fax Activation Form and send it to us. Please note that the manual activation key is machine specific so the form details need to be copied from the designated computer. If you can’t send them from the designated computer you should copy them and send them from another computer. In order to complete the e-mail or fax activation, you will receive a return e-mail or fax from us, containing the Activation Key. You can then use the Activation Key in the Activation Wizard to activate the product. More information about PDF2XL’s Manual Activation or Website Activation,  can be found by clicking the links.

How do I get the activation key?

If the online activations fails for any reason or when choosing manual activation, you will be asked to enter the activation key: If you do not have an Activation Key yet, you can chose the “other method of activation” option, which allows you to select the method (Email,Fax or Website) in which to obtain the Activation Key from CogniView. Simply choose your preferred option and follow the instructions. During the process you will be asked to provide us with some details. Please note that the manual activation key is machine specific so these details need to be copied from the designated computer. If you can’t send them from the designated computer you should copy them and send it from another computer.

I got an error message (Error: 1028) during the online activation process

This page will be displayed when the Online Activation has encountered an error. Note that an error in the Activation Process can occur due to the following reasons:
  • The computer is not connected to the internet – You can either check your internet connection or use our manual activation method as explained in the How do I activate the product if my computer is not connected to the Internet?
  • The computer’s or network’s firewall doesn’t allow the Activation Wizard to connect to CogniView’s activation server – You can use one of our manual activation method as explained here: Manual Activation Process
  • The user is not logged to Windows as a local system administrator – you must be logged in as administrator in order to activate PDF2XL software.
  • Some background processes such as antivirus may interfere with the activation process – Please try to disable any background process such as antivirus and try to activate again.

What can I do if I keep receiving error messages when trying to activate the product online?

There may be a problem with our automatic activation server, or there can be a problem connecting to it from your computer (this can be due to a firewall blocking the communication, for example).

If this occurs more than twice when trying to activate on-line, you can try the e-mail or fax activation as detailed here.

My computer has been formatted. Do I need to activate the software?

After formatting the computer, you will have to activate the product again.

If you encounter a problem while doing so, please contact us at [email protected] and provide us with your payment code and the email you used to purchase the software with.

Will I have to re-activate your software after upgrading it?

If you install a patched version (for example, from version 1.2.4 to 1.2.6), you do not have to re-activate the product.

If you perform a minor or major version upgrade, (for example from version 1.0 to 1.2 or to 2.0), you will need to re-activate the product.

Note that you do not need to uninstall the old product; just install the new one over it. If a re-activation is required, you will be prompted to do so via the Activation Wizard after the installation. The Payment Code will be copied over from your old installation if you have not uninstalled it.

More information about the PDF2XL Activation Process  can be found by clicking the link.