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Cannot Open PDF Files in Word 2013-16, How to do

Microsoft Office Word 2013/2016 offers a function called PDF Reflow, it allows to convert PDF to Word format. if you find cannot open a PDF file with Office Word, use methods below to make your PDF document readable in Word program.

This problem frequently comes up like this:

When you open a PDF file in Word, you'll get this warning: "Word cannot start the converter PDF file". You may click OK. In the File Conversion windows, select the text encoding in default mode, then click OK.

Word cannot start the converter PDF Files

Select the encoding that makes your document readable

When it opens, you will find the original file become gibberish, some files even become blank file.


In order to make your document readable, you can try these two methods:

Method 1: Disable Protected View for Office Word

Step 1: In Word 2013/2016, click the File > Options tab.

Step 2: In the Word Options dialog, select Trust Center on the left-side pane, and then click Trust Center Settings button on the right-side pane.

Click trust center settings

Step 3: After the Trust Center dialog opens, select Protected View. Protected View is enabled by default. To disable it, uncheck the boxes next to the corresponding items and then click OK.

Disable Protected View for PDF files

And then check whether it works in a normal way.

Method 2: Run Word Program as Administrator

When you cannot open PDF files in Word 2013/2016, close the Word program. Then use one of the following options to restart Word and run it as an administrator:

Opt 1: In Windows PC, go to Start, find Word program, right-click on it, then select Run as administrator.

Opt 2: Right-click on the Word program, then select Properties.

Open Word Properties

Step 1: In Word Properties dialog, click on the Compatibility tab. And then check the Run this program as an administrator box. then click Apply followed by OK.

Run Word program as an administrator

Step 2: In Word, go to File > Open, and then go to the location or folder where the document is stored.

Step 3: Click the document you want, and then click the arrow next to Open, and click Open and Repair.

Open and repair PDF file

If the PDF is OK and it can be opened in the PDF Reader, this PDF file should be opened in Word 2013/2016.