How to Copy Text from PDF on iPhone with iOS 15

InternetHow to Copy Text from PDF on iPhone with iOS 15

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iOS 15 comes with a lot of new features from SharePlay, Focus Mode and so many more. One such feature is called LiveText. It has the ability to capture text from images directly and it has the capability to work pretty well if you ask me. This feature is very similar to that. It helps you extract text from PDF using iPhone.

Normally you would have to use a converter or a PDF reader to actually extract text from PDF Files. PDF Files are, in theory, not supposed to be edited. PDF stands for Portable Document Format which means the pdf file would appear and behave exactly irrespective of which device you open it in.

How to Copy Text from PDF on iPhone with iOS 15

Now, for this to work in your iPhone, you need iOS 15 which is in public beta now as of July 2021. So, if you don't have it, you might want to get a Public beta by signing up at If you don't want to sign up for the beta, you will have to wait till September for the public release alongside the new version of the iPhone.

Assuming you have iOS 15 installed, now you need the Files app on your iPhone. So, make sure it's installed and updated to the latest version.

Also, there are two ways to get a text from pdf. One way is to copy the text from the PDF file and the other way is to create a text file with the text copied from the PDF file.

#1 Copy text from PDF File

  1. First things first, open the Files app. This is where all the magic of PDF text copying magic happens.

  2. Once you are in the Files app, you need a PDF file for this experiement. Obviously, to get this tutorial work perfectly we need a PDF fie. I have downloaded a sample PDF File from the internet as you can see.

  3. Open the PDF File and look for the set of text you need to actually copy and paste from the PDF file. Just for the purpose of the tutorial I have highlighted the text in the image shown below.

  4. Next step to do is to actually highlight the chunk of the website as you can see here. Press and hold over the beginning of the text you need to copy and then as soon as the highlighter appears, tap and drag the end of the text until where you want the selected text to end. Once you are happy with the selection, do this.

  5. Once the text is highlighted or selected, tap over the text to display the menu with options that you can actually see in the screenshot below. We are looking for the Copy option. Tap on that.

  6. Once you have copied, the text from the PDF file is actually place in the clipboard. The next step would be to copy the text that you have copied to wherever you want. For the purpose of the tutorial, I have opened Notes app to paste the text. Press and hold over the typing are to reveal the menu you see in the screenshot below. Once the menu appears, tap on the Paste Option highlighted below.

  7. Now you can see the text copied from the PDF file pasted in the Notes app. Yo ucould obviously paste it anywhere you would like maybe in a instant messaging app or any text field in the phone.

This is one way of copying text from the PDF file in your iPhone or even the same steps work in the iPadOS as well. Now, let's move on to the second way you could get a text from a PDF File.

Other PDF posts you may like:

1. How to Rotate PDF file and Save Permanently 
2. Save a Google Doc as a PDF on PC and Mobile
3. How to Corrupt Word, Excel and PDF Files Online
4. How to Edit A PDF File? (In 5 different ways)
5. Convert PDF to Word and Word to PDF
6. PDF Unlocker Tools for Free

#2 Copy PDF text and create TXT File

This method involves serious drag and drops from one section of the PDF to the Files app. Basically what happens is that we extract text from a PDF File and create a TXT file.

  1. First things, first, follow the steps 1 to 5 from the section above. Once you have done, instead of tapping over the selected text, Press and Hold until the selected text becomes this rectangular box as you can see in the image below. Once its becomes that, don't stop holding it. Keep it up and Tap on the Done button.

  2. As you can see, now you are in the Files app with the selected text as an entity that could be dropped anywhere in the Files app in any folder you would like to keep the txt file or even via Handoff.

  3. I'm keeping the file inside the Documents folder just to show you that it could be done. Once you are in the place where you would want the TXT file to be, lift your finger in the folder.

  4. This would generate a TXT file as you can see in the Folder you chose. Just wait a couple of seconds for it be uploaded in case if you have selected a huge chunk of text from the PDF file.

  5. You could tap open the file and will see the text you copied inside that folder as you can see in the image below. Now you have successfully copied text from the PDF file.

I really enjoy the fact that Apple took time to actually set up a feature that extracts text and creates TXT files from the Files App. In the future, I'm hoping to see many updates like the ability to choose what type of file you want the output file to be instead of directly saving it as a .txt file.

Ready to Copy paste Texts from PDF on iPhone?

These are the two ways in which you could copy and extract text from a PDF File using the Files app in iOS or even iPadOS. Obviously, there are other ways by installing third-party apps but this is built into the iOS so you wouldn't have to bother downloading apps from the App Store.

So, that's about you need to know about extracting text from PDF file in iOS.


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Lynn Joseph
Im Lynn. I work as a Software Engineer and my other interests include Food Photography, Graphic Design,Blogging, Philosophy, Baking and many more. I am an avid reader and I enjoy being productive.