Back in the day (which I’m targeting at between 2003 and 2014), I remember using a number of programs and services to create PDFs from Microsoft Office (back when I USED to use it) files – from Word, Excel and PowerPoint – to creating Office files in those formats FROM a PDF file (which was a nightmare in many cases). Since I’ve moved to Google Drive exclusively as my office suite, I’ve had no issues translating Drive files to PDFs, but back in my days of using Office on an everyday basis, it can be best described as a coin toss in terms of PDF conversions working well. I was recently contacted by a representative from a company that offers a free, web-based PDF converter called, well, PDFConverter.com; which not only converts Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files to PDFs, but ALSO converts from PDFs to those Microsoft Office files. After some quick testing with some older Office files I have and a work computer that was running Office 2007, I was left very impressed.
The free, web-based PDFConverter.com is a really good converter in it’s own right, as it does an excellent job at handling text and images in various files. The compatible files include .DOC, .XLS and PPT — all native to Microsoft’s Office suite. The instructions to follow are extremely simple:
- Simply select the type of conversion (by clicking either the “PDF to DOC”, “PDF to XLS”, “PDF to PPT”, or “Create PDF” buttons on the site),
- Upload the file,
- Enter your email address,
- Receive an email in you inbox with a link to your converter file (you’ll have 24 hours to click the link and download the file).
There are a few minor downsides to the PDFConverter.com (which are easy to overlook as it is a free tool) is that while it excels with handling text and images, it struggles with tables in Word documents. The converter actually “recreates” tables by either simulating or drawing them, but I must say that the silver lining is that it does a very good job at doing that. The web-based PDFConverter.com also limits PDF file sizes to 2 MB, and it does not support optical character recognition (OCR), which is normal as most existing free converters do not. The only other major issue I personally had with the free edition of the converter was viewing the PDFs converted to DOC, XLS or PPT in OpenOffice. While that could be based on the service’s intention to be used with Microsoft Office, however based on other short reviews I’ve seen, your results may vary with either OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
At the end of the day, while there are so many excellent online PDF to Word converters that are either ‘as-good’ or ‘slightly’ better in various ways, the free PDFConverter.com online tool makes a strong case as a viable option for simple file conversion.