I am having a problem converting a pdf I received by e-mail to a word document. I open it with adobe reader then export the pdf to convert to word 2007 or newer. I do this online and when it comes back it is not any where close to correct. what am I doing wrong.
Probably nothing. Conversion back to word depends a lot on the structure of the e-mail and all. To do it with Reader is difficult, but apparently you are using the on-line service. Neither Reader or the on-line service are the focus of this forum, but my guess is that Acrobat may do only slightly better. AA XI has done the best of any version I have ever used, but it often still is not very good.
I would suggest you ask the author for an original WORD document. That would be a lot easier in the long run. However, it might be that it was produced by WORD Perfect, Open/Libre Office, LaTeX, or a host of other editors and layout programs. In that case, it may be no better.
Layout is often the first thing to go. If you have equations, expect them to look like garble. Those are issues that Acrobat can just not complete well.