How to Convert PDF to Text on Mac OS X Using Automator

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In this podcast, Jonathan Simeone shares a tip for Mac users on how to convert PDF to text using Automator.

Podcast File



Submitted by Chris on Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hi John,

Could you do a podcast on using Automator? I've been curious as to how it works but the layout is confusing. If this site already has a podcast over Automator, can someone point me to it?

Submitted by Seanoevil on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for your interesting podcast, much food for thought.
I have no experience with Automater, but wonder whether it would be possible to create a Workflow that saves the contents of online PDF pages?
I often encounter many webpages which are in PDF format. Maybe I'm a dumbass or maybe it is a problem with OSX but I simply can't access them.
When encountered, these Tabs open, but I cannot find any way to interact with them. So, where possible, I save the file and try reading it with Preview.
If there was a way that I could simply run a Workflow and save the page as a Text file, well that would be about the next best thing to actually being able to read the page online.

Many thanks for your assistance.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

This is an excellent walkthrough. Long story short, I received a W-9 form a couple weeks ago which had to be filled out for work. The dang thing was an inaccessible pdf file, but at the time I hadn't listened to this yet. I just did so though before Xmas, and then saved it to one of my thumbdrives so that I could follow along on my Mac. But now my problem is finding a downloadable .pdf that I can use with this. For some odd reason the W-9 form had a lot of issues. I guess pdf's are slowly but surely going to the dogs these days? Finally perhaps?