The Short Road from PDF to Word

very good
key review info
application features
  • Convert PDF documents to word formats, Fast, Accurate, Free;
  • (11 more, see all...)

The variety of digital formats we can use to store our information is continuously growing more abundant. Especially when it comes to dealing with text and visual data, either individually or at the same time, there are lots of documents we can opt for. Because many of them are specialized on a certain variety of input, we sometimes need to go back to the basics in order to fulfill a simple need like editing a certain passage or image.

One of the most often used and consequently widely spread file types that accommodates graphics and written content at the same time is the Portable Document Format, in short PDF. They can be generated rather easily, but editing the enclosed data poses a few difficulties, particularly when the two elements, image and text, are both involved. This specific task calls for a dedicated software that can excerpt the elements you need to work with from the original document, namely a converter or extractor.

The Free PDF to Word Converter is a tool that is designed for the above-mentioned purpose and its very name underlines the exact end-result it is meant to produce – a Word-compatible text file out of any PDF document. The fact that you don't have to pay a cent to get and use it adds to the value of an application that is also as easy to install as it is to operate. The interface is function-oriented and lacks any fancy menus, stunning graphics, or other visual enhancements of the sort. In spite of the austere appearance, the operational features of this utility are well within reach, easy to use and understand even for the novice user.

Usually, this kind of software is built on the simple principle of load and convert, and Free PDF to Word Converter can also be used just like that, but what differentiates it from the rest of the pack is the nice set of customizable options that are only a click away. First off, you'll meet the batch-processing capability that enables you to select and convert several files at once. If you want to take out one or more items before the actual conversion takes place, there is a ''Remove'' button at your disposal. Next, you can pick the desired output format that can be either RTF or DOC, readable by all text processors.

Things could simply be limited to these simple steps: adding the files, choosing the file type for the final document and then processing the input. This utility can yield very good results if you decide to stick to those paces, but should you want a bit more, it will gladly oblige.

Let's say that among the PDF files you want to convert, two or more are encrypted, protected with passwords, or have certain restrictions. This software is ready to cope with that situation. You can help by providing the needed passphrases in a special tab, so when the documents are processed, Free PDF to Word Converter can read and decipher the content. You don't even have to remember which password guards one file or another, all you need to do is write them in the order you consider more likely to be used, and the application will take care of the rest.

In case you need only a fragment of the original file, you can easily define a page range that best suits your needs. Almost the same applies to any embedded images, as there are two available options: one for leaving out all the graphics and another for deleting from the output document any pictures included in the PDF. This way, you can keep only the text content that can then be readily edited using a word processor.

This utility gives special attention to the character positioning and offers you a set of very useful customizations. Thusly, you can choose to process the word spacing to make sure that the layout of the written text in the resulting RTF or DOC is identical to that in the source file. The space between characters can be set manually or Free PDF to Word Converter will choose the optimal number of pixels on its own. If the documents you need to convert contain text boxes, they can be kept or stripped out by merging the text contents. Also, if you see line breaks as an impediment to easy editing, you can eliminate them too from text blocks.

Once all the variables are set, the actual process of converting the PDFs should be fast and smooth, without putting a heavy load on the system resources. However, if you use it like I did, on a PDF with over 1,200 pages, you may experience a processor load of 40 - 45 percent and an ever-increasing RAM usage that, in the end, went past 35 MB. The job was finished in a few minutes and, most importantly, error-free.

The Good

The strong points of this application reside in the diversified palette of customizable options and its ease of use. Free PDF to Word Converter offers very handy functions and performs fast while keeping a high standard of quality.

The Bad

The only visible drawbacks of the software are the non-attractive interface and the lack of an offline help system for those who can't access the Internet resources at all times.

The Truth

Altogether, Free PDF to Word Converter is a solid performer that will enable any user, either beginner or advanced, to turn Portable Document Format files into documents that can be easily edited using a word processor of their choice. This utility is definitely a keeper, especially if you plan to use it for text extraction, where it excels.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

 
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user interface 3
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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