I'm using Microsoft Word from Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. I exported a 32 page document that has objects in it (files, images, as well as normal text) as a PDF. In the exported PDF the text is not selectable. I want to export it to a PDF and at least have the text be selectable (mostly for copy/paste purposes). If there would be any way for me to attach the files to it as well that would be awesome.

Note: I have a cover page, a table of contents and I am using styles throughout the document as well as Consolas and Calibri font.

3 Answers 3


By default Microsoft Word renders a document to PDF with selectable text. Make sure you are going Word Ribbion -> Save As -> PDF or XPS - > Publish.

I think what you are doing at the moment is printing to the Adobe PDF virtual printer which will render the document to PDF as an "image" which will not allow copy and paste of text.

  • If it's actually the Adobe PDF printer (and the Acrobat add-in probably has to be installed/enabled), then the PDF will have selectable text by default.
    – Bob
    Jul 4, 2012 at 11:11
  • @Bob, where do I get that plug-in? Adam, When I exported to XPS it had selectable text, but I'd really like it to work with a pdf. Currently, my PDF doesn't have selectable text.
    – kentcdodds
    Jul 4, 2012 at 12:46
  • @kentcdodds That add-in is installed with Adobe Acrobat, along with the virtual printer driver. However, the native "save as PDF" should also provide selectable text. Can you try on a new document (with some dummy text) and report back with the results?
    – Bob
    Jul 4, 2012 at 13:14
  • 1
    Just found out the problem. For some reason my Adobe Reader X doesn't support selectable text at all, but when I open the PDF in Chrome it's selectable. So it's a software problem, nothing more. Thanks for the help!
    – kentcdodds
    Jul 4, 2012 at 13:25
  • @kentcdodds, You're welcome. It's great it's working
    – Adam
    Jul 5, 2012 at 4:28

You can use PDFCreator to create your PDF. It naturally saves your PDF with selectable text. You can always change your selection preferences from the settings.


Solution: Reinstalling the incriminated font on my computer solved the issue.

Backup solution:

If the solution does not work, I also obstained selectable text with File > Print > Microsoft Print to PDF in MS Word 2016 to export file. Unfortunately this breaks hyperlinks and cross-references.


I had the same issue with Microsoft Word 2016: when using my company font, File > Export > Create PDF would convert all the text blocks to non-selectable images. The issue is well-described in the following Microsoft Community question : Saving Word file as PDF - text gets converted to images at random. Can't post my answer there as the post is now locked unfortunately.

I believe the issue was linked to OpenType Variable fonts in my case, as detailed in this blog post about Bahnschrift font. Maybe I could solve it by reinstalling the font as a static one.

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