Free PDF to Word Doc Converter is a small, free program that can convert PDF files into DOC files used by MS Word. It can handle all elements of a PDF document including text, shapes and images.
Note: after I first wrote this review in January of 2008, a learned a few things about it which were not initially apparent. At a certain point (or after performing a number of conversions, or this might have been added to a newer version than the one I initially looked at), the program will require that you enter a one-off code before performing a conversion.
This involves visiting a web page full of ads, solving a math problem, and getting your code. Once you input the code it will perform the PDF to DOC conversion; however, the next time you need to perform a conversion, you will have to go through the whole thing.
The net effect is (a) rather annoying, and (b) this prevents you from being able to use this program offline.
However, there are free PDF to DOC conversion options. See this posting entitled How to convert PDF to Word DOC for free: a comparative test
I tested this software by converting a 20-page PDF document that contained images, charts and text into DOC format. At the end of the conversion process (which took mere seconds) the DOC file was created and opened by MS Word. Here are some observations:
- Quality: the quality was generally very good. Overall the converted document looked very similar to the original.
- Program options: you can select all pages or a subset range of pages to convert; whether to retain images and shapes in the converted document; and whether or not to use “text boxes”. Choosing “text boxes” will create multiple text boxes placed all over the document rather than a single, contiguous text (see below for more on this).
- Images: Some of the images were degraded by they were all in the general vicinity of where they were supposed to be.
- Text: the text was generally handled well. In the ’create text boxes’ scenario the converted document contained dozens of text boxes placed all around the document, which more faithfully approximated the layout and structure of the original PDF (and was more manageable when loaded into Word). Converting while the ’text boxes’ option was unchecked, however, resulted in a single block of text that did not conform as well to where the text layout of the original document. (Note: if its just simple text extraction that you want, you might want to try Text Mining Tool).
- Note on filesizes: you are likely to get DOC files that are very large in size in relation to the small size of the original PDF. For the 2.5 meg PDF file I converted I got a 73 meg DOC file.
- Support: Adobe PDF 1-1.6 formats, which, the author asserts, comprises 95% of PDF files available on the internet.
- You do not need MS Word or Adobe Acrobat installed on your machine necessarily for this program to function.
The verdict: although it performs a marginally decent freeware PDF to DOC conversion, the registration key requirement, even when “free”, is rather annoying. Moreover, depending on the kind of output that you need, you might need to invest some time manually tweaking the resulting DOC file, but the output generated by this program right off the bat is surprisingly good in its own right. For more free PDF to DOC conversion options, go here.
Version Tested: 1.1
Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 1.07 megs).