Posted by : Amitha Amarasinghe Sunday, May 17, 2009

Few years ago, a friend of mine asked me if there’s a tool for converting PDF documents into Microsoft Word documents. I wasn’t aware of such a tool those days, and I Googled for a solution. Unfortunately I couldn’t come up with a single free service which allowed me to convert a PDF file into a Word document. There were lots of downloadable PDF converters available at that time, but they were all too expensive to afford. We want free stuff!


But the things have changed a lot today. Couple of days ago I found a PDF to Word Converter on a link I found on Stumbleupon. Then I Googled for the same keyword “Free PDF to Word Converter” and was surprised to see the amount of choices we are left with, in a matter of just one or two years.

I tested 4 of these tools and thought of documenting this on my blog.

PdftoWord.com

This is the site I first found on Stumbleupon. It’s completely a free service, which enables you to upload your PDF files and get it converted either to Word (doc) format or to RTF format. I tried both outputs, and realized Word format is much better in output quality than the RTF version. A key advantage in this tool is, you don’t have to wait until the entire file gets converted, to download it. You can upload a PDF file, select the output format you want it to be converted to, and give your email address. They will email you the converted document once the processing is finished. This will allow you to close your browser and work on something else, during the processing time for the document conversion. However the drawback is, you got to give your email; which might end up in getting more spam than you get at the moment!


ConvertPdftoWord.net

One of the serious problems I encountered with PdftoWord.com was the loss of color information during the conversion process. I converted two files, and in both occasions the colors was either missing after the conversion, or converted into a different color. This was bit disappointing to see, but ConvertPdftoWord.net worked just fine with the color information. I converted the same files as I converted with PdftoWord.com, and both files were converted with proper color information. As usual, every advantage comes with some trade-offs! The file size is too larger with ConvertPdftoWord.net, compared to the files being converted through PdftoWord.com. I converted a 900KB PDF on PdftoWord.com, to create a Word doc of 1.6MB. When the same PDF was converted with ConvertPdftoWord.net, the file size raised up to 2.4MB. Other than the file size issue, the output quality of ConvertPdftoWord.net was seemingly better than what it was produced by PdftoWord.com.


FreePdfConvert.com

This tool gives you the same service as the above two services, and the added advantage here is; you are able to convert PDF files hosted on web URL’s, directly into Word documents, without having to download them to your machine. Further added advantages are; it allows you to convert the file into Excel rich text format also. You can also extract the images in a PDF document, into JPEG, or PNG format. In other words, this performs as a PDF to Excel converter, as well as PDF image extractor software as well.


PdfOnline.com

This works exactly the same way as ConvertPdftoWord.net. You can upload the file and get the PDF converted into a Word document, and download it directly to your machine, without having to disclose your email address to an unknown party.

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