Insert data from picture should be implemented on desktop, and it should read PDF's
Surely you must be aware that this is easily in the top five annoying requests that competent excel users receive from.. other excel users. Why would you not implement this feature to read tables from PDF's in excel proper?!
Sorry, I wandered away a bit there.
The Acrobat 6 feature was dropped for some reason, presumably that it could not work given whatever changes were being made going forward and not just a too bad for you kind of thing.
That suggests that going forward from then taking an image, so to speak or almost literally, would not be possible. Which suggests it still can't be done since it has not returned as a feature.
One CAN actually output a PDF page as an image file, but that takes one further from being able to use it as a data source so it really doesn't fit your whole text here.
Muck, muck, and more bad muck.
If you read much of my other comments, you will see I do NOT give MS much of a pass for the casually lazy and stupid things the do and do not do.
This one though, is NOT Excel's fault.
PDF's are not simple data files, they are basically programs, literally. Their entire purpose is to display your work as it would print on page and Adobe does NOT force ANY particular approach on the programmers building the functions: just that condition, that it look like the printed version.
And programmers do it a million different ways. What looks like a table on screen can literally be Balkanized with thousands of byte of other muck between even digits in a number. It's the jack*ss PDF makers who do this. They don't take the steps they can to avoid the stupidest of these practices.
Additionally, Adobe dropped the ability to mark a literal block, rather than values after about Adobe Acrobat 6 (a block as seen on the screen, that it would then let you copy and paste in a way much like Excel's Paste | Special | Values.)
So unless the PDF writer programmer plans for you to have ready access to things, NO reader in the world has ready access. Not Excel, not even Adobes own Acrobat.
The horrid material you get when converting, done by ANY program available, paid for or free, REGARDLESS of their lying claims, is due to this fact. There are a million kinds of muck, graphical muck, formatting muck, human waste muck (maybe not... allegedly...), all kinds of muck interspersed with the data, even between letters and digits.
It's a matter of it just can't be done. MS gets a pass on this one.