PDF export - text not selectable

Hi all, I created some designs that I exported as PDF. I have two problems with the result:

  1. The text is not selectable (I tried Mac’s Preview and Safari).

  2. The files are rather large (1MB for an A4 size design, no images or vectors, just a few text bozes.

Any ideas how to overcome this? (I would try to avoid bringing it back my design to Sketch.

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Yes, I have also run with similar problems for PDF. If you export only the frame, Figma apparently exports it in a way that it is not selectable + quite a large size.

Have you tried to use Export frames to PDF?
I’ll suggest to create a page and add the artboard which you want to export there and use
File > Export Frames to PDF.

This has solved both the issues for me in the past.

hi Shaunak, thanks for the idea. Tried - but didn’t work either :slightly_frowning_face:

Unfortuntally this is a known issue, but not fully true.

You can select text while using Acrobat, Chrome or Firefox, but not Apple preview, Safari or Edge. Not sure why but this has been flagged many times in the Friends of Figma Slack.

About the file sizes, that I feel is the real pain point. I tend to use PDF compressors all the time with Figma PDF files.


Text selection works fine for me in Apple Preview. That’s weird that it doesn’t work for you, but I heard other people having this issue too. Chrome seems to be working for everyone though.

Text selection works if it’s a single page PDF. As soon it becomes multi-page (even if combining single pages in Preview, not in Figma) it stops working.

What Figma essentially does, it converts the text to outlines/curves. I’m sure there’s a reasoning to it, but I’d certainly vote keeping is as a text. Wish there would be way preserving it.


I have several multi-page designs exported in PDF and Figma never converted my text in outlines.

Are you saying you open it up in Illustrator and the text is editable?

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For anyone watching this topic, and other PDF topics.
PDFs exported from Figma make it difficult or impossible to highlight and copy specific text in the resulting PDF file. Hopefully this will improve over time.

As a work around, I have been using the CopyDoc Text Kit plugin which creates a MS Word document that is much easier to work with.

Screenshots showing a few CopyDoc Text Kit options for Word docs:

The resulting Word doc is fully editable, formatted correctly, and can be saved/exported as a PDF.


The key issue is that fonts are not embedded, as mentioned by Marke the text is converted to vectors, although obviously with appropriate annotations such that it is possible to select/copy the text appropriately - although not as easily as with a proper embedded font - hence why people are having issues.

This needs resolving as using this method to embed text results in huge size pdfs (with 100,000s+ of vectors) as opposed to simply storing the font and text which reduces the size of the pdf by a factor of 10x/100x.


Hi All!
I found the answer here very useful and tried it myself and it worked. Hopefully this helps anyone still looking.


Posting the alternate solution here from @Jane_Kim, since Spectrum is not longer active.

Export to PDF, AND keep text selectable in 2 steps

There is a way I know to convert from Figma to PDF (keeping editability: ability to select, copy and paste the text in the new document)

STEP 1. Simply export your frames as SVG, but be sure to remove the check mark in the “outline text” option, within the options to export SVG (three points, see image).

STEP 2. Now go to CLOUD CONVERT web page, and select convert from SVG to PDF or simply click on this direct link: SVG to PDF | CloudConvert. Then select the SVG files to upload (there is an option to unify several SVG files as a single PDF document) and press the “Start Conversion” button.


This has been a huge problem for a very long time. I have tried so many ways to export my frames as PDF but every time the text are not selectable. Even when they were selected, copying and pasting it will turn out gibberish, no matter I use Apple Preview or Adobe Acrobat Reader.

I have also tried the saving as SVG method (making sure I uncheck the outline text box), then using CLOUD CONVERT web page to convert them into PDF. Yes it worked partially, because text can now be selected, but all my alignments were gone, fonts also changed after the conversion.

Does anyone else experience this? Is anyone using a plugin or workaround to help solve this?


Nothing works to get this ready to print with a service like Barnes and Noble Press. Unfortunately, the file sizes are huge, and the worse problem is fonts aren’t embedded. These are big issues Figma needs to fix.


Over a year now and still no response from the Figma team :confused:

Did anyone find a solution that makes the text selectable while keeping the original font? (Embedded font)


Hey all, I seriously hope the Figma team does something about this soon.

In the meantime, if you have Adobe Acrobat, a solution that worked for me:

  1. Click Scan & OCR on the right toolbar
  2. Click Recognize Text and select In this file

thank you so much!! :grin:

Great workaround! Exactly what I needed! Thank you @Chelsea_Hendra

this has not been fixed still? it’s been a problem for almost 5 years now, what gives?