Software

Free online PDF to Word conversion service

Don't pay big bucks for a utility that converts PDF files to Microsoft Word text when you can convert for free!
There are a number of free or inexpensive utilities that print Office documents to a PDF file. Unfortunately, reversing the conversion isn't so easy. That's because a PDF file is really a collection of images, and not text. Utilities are available, but they're relatively expensive -- until now. PDF to Word, an online service, will convert your PDF documents to Word for free. Simply upload your PDF file, choose the format you want (DOC or RTF), and wait. The service will send you an e-mail with a link to the converted document. It couldn't be easier and the results are something you can put to use right away.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

23 comments
rogerrr88
rogerrr88

I would say even people don't use this kind of converters to remove the editing restriction, they also may find other methods to do so, say OCR program,~_~! Use a pdf converting program to convert pdf to editable word or other editable formats is a common issue and demand.

StephenMurphy18
StephenMurphy18

It is a cute tool to convert PDF expediently. However, sometimes it let me wait a long time to get the converted files and it does not support encrypted files conversion. As for me, when I come across pdf files, I always convert PDF files to editable word format with AnyBizSoft PDF to Word Converter and edit them if necessary. From my long time experience of searching and testing, this tool supports encrypted files and preserves text, layouts, images and hyperlinks well.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

using it can be opening themselves up for some every expensive litigation - mostly to do with copyright violations. Unless there's a local law allowing for a change of the format, changing the format of a document is a prima facea case of copyright violation, and it becomes a direct violation and an immediate offence if the document has a standard copyright statement like: All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form. ...... This makes it clear the change from pdf to anything else is a copyright violation, end of story, please start the funds transfer to my bank account now - the moment you do it. The user asking for the service is the culprit as they want the violation and the service is an accomplice of fact, making both liable. In copyright statements you also usually see something like: Copyright ? 2008 by Ernest Bywater ............ This is NOT needed to indicate a copyright in most jurisdictions, but it does help, the main purpose of this is to identify the copyright holder so you can contact them. Copyright is a legal aspect the moment the document is first published by the copyright owner; regardless of it having a statement on it or not. The statement is there just to make the court cases easier. To legally use the service being touted you need to be the copyright owner or have their written approval. ............ usually there's a reason people put things out in pdf, and most of them relate to legal concerns. .................... Edited to add, As an IT tech and an author, I'm well aware of both sides of this issue.

gwr
gwr

I am concerned about the Security status of the company offering such a service as commented by others. WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM ??

fklauber
fklauber

I agree with the last poster. And who knows what might be embedded in the converted file?

eshelton
eshelton

I am not a tech professional, so if I am totally off base here please don't laugh too loudly. However, I am a bit concerned that it appears that you browse your drive to locate the PDF you want to convert and identify it within your computer in order to "send" it to the company for conversion. In these days of cyber crime and hacking it seems that it is possible that you could be giving the company a direct pipeline into your computer/network. Why not have the ability to simply email the PDF to the compnay as an attached file?

rhuston
rhuston

I'd be interested in who retains intellectual property.

bkreamer
bkreamer

I my admittedly limited understanding of PDF files, what looks like text is usually text, not an image. OTOH, images (not of text) may be included...

flyliu
flyliu

I'm still afraid free converter cann't do well in the conversion procudure.

richardcrocker1
richardcrocker1

We don't currently convert secured PDF files. It's on our to-do list.

KMyers
KMyers

As a Technical Writer I love pdf because I can secure it and prevent customers from "doctoring" my verbiage and then accusing my employer of providing inaccurate documentation. This is not intentional. I understand the customer's desire to copy and customize documentation. Later, with employee turn-over customer organizations forget about the internal custom work and then blame the software provider for inaccuracies. From a corporate view, providing source files opens us to potential legal issues and, at the least, invites opportunity for arguments and bad word of mouth. Does this free service work for Secure pdf? I hope not.

fiona8912
fiona8912

if it is a freeware to try, I am woundy about this knid of prorgams.

BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

"usually there's a reason people put things out in pdf, and most of them relate to legal concerns. ~Deadly Earnest" Sorry but I have to respectfullt disagree on this point. This may be true in the industry you primarily work within but it's not true for all. In property management we have numerous legal documents and even some copyrighted items but the primary software used in this industry produces PDF files not because of a need for security but because of portability. PDF is seen as the best choice for a file format that the largest number of users will be able to view since the Adobe Reader is so prominent across multipe Operating Systems and the fact it's free doesn't hurt either. There are a number of PDF to applications but none that are free that I know of and so this kind of Free service will be a big draw to many.

eshelton
eshelton

With the plethora of PDF to word utilities out there already, I think it is pretty well established that the user is supposed to use the utility in a legal way, and respect copyrights, etc. My concern, and I am hoping someone with some technical knowledge can address this, is: The method that this program uses of having the user browse their hardrive (or worse, their network) to locate the PDF they want to convert, and then "send" that file to be converted. It seems that a pipe or pathway is at least for a moment being created between the user's computer/network and the company doing the conversion. It seems that if it is necessary to "send" it to the company for conversion, there should be a way to "send" it via email, so it is not utilizing an open path or connection to the user's computer/network to acomplish this conversion. If I am totally off base here, please do set me straight. As a secondary concern, there is certainly an issue of confidentiality when it comes to legal documents. Why do the documents have to be "sent" away to be converted? Is there more to this than mere computer action being taken to the document? Doe the conversion include some human interaction with the conversion and re-formatting process?

Prague
Prague

This is put out by Nitro PDF. This company has a suite of PDF products, and my guess is that they are giving casual users the ability to try out their product, hoping that they come back to Nitro PDF when they want to move up to a more robust offering - or more secure offering. (I guess the Summer of Love is long dead.)

draack
draack

EXACTLY! I agree ... who knows what might be embedded? How can you be certain the person on the other end won't do something with your work that they shouldn't? Are they scrupulous, or will they convert copyrighted material? I certainly hope they'd keep to copyright laws.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I don't know if it works for Secure pdf -- if you test it will you please report back? Thanks!

flylee
flylee

Now there is a free one AnyBizSoft PDF to Word Converter. For it supports converting encrypted PDF file. It is possible to edit PDF files with restriction to prevent other from editing and copying. http://www.anypdftools.com/pdf-to-word.html#153 Now you can convert some PDF files if it is really urgent. You are not for illegal use. Hope that helps!

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

only one that isn't totally free. I'm talking programs to read them and ones to make them. Either way when you get down to the crunch, the document is the property of it's creator and you aren't legally allowed to change it without their permission. That is, get copyright owner approval to alter the format. Most of the documents I send off now are PDFs because the publishers want print ready documents. I like it, despite hating PDFs in general, as I can set the format design I want and the book stays that way. It's more work for me to get the format right and the correct number of pages, add in all the other legal stuff too, but I know it will appear right to the end user who paid me for the book.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

they'll claim the person wanting the service should always worry about the copyright first, but few do. take a book to a printer to print and the first thing they check is if you got a clean copyright approval on it, and that's before they start calculating prices.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Well, this company could have malicious intent, but they've gone to a lot of trouble to at least appear like a legitimatecompany that's offering a free service as a means of advertising their own products. That's a very common online marketing tool now -- to offer a free service to get you to their site looking around. As for why you you must send the document to be converted. My best guess is that it's a complicated tool/process and to do it online, over the Internet, degrades performance. That's true of many processes.

Fred Mackie
Fred Mackie

It's all about customer loyalty. SolidDocuments.com does it too for the same reason, I'm sure.

Editor's Picks