Easily Convert a PDF to DOC File for Free

Jul 5, 2012 - 4 Comments

Converted PDF to DOC file, done free

PDF files are generally not intended to be edited, but what happens if you have a pdf document that you want to edit with something like Word or Pages? Or what if you need to convert a PDF to a Doc file so that you can make a few changes? The easiest thing to do is convert the PDF to a .doc file, and while there are plenty of paid apps that offer to do this for you, you can do it for free from any Mac, Windows, or Linux PC using nothing but your web browser and the free online conversion tool ZamZar. If you just need to convert a PDF or two while preserving text and images from the document, this is probably the best way to go since it’s free and is very easy to use, though there are a few limitations.

  1. Go to ZamZar.com and upload the PDF file
  2. Select “doc” as the file format to be converted to, enter your email address, and click “Convert”
  3. Converting a PDF to DOC for free using Zamzards online conversion tools

  4. Zamzar emails you a link to download the converted file

Conversion is best with PDF’s that are almost entirely text with minimal formatting, though pdf’s that contain images or complex formatting and layouts do work as well if not perfectly. Generally, the more complex the PDF layout and file is, the more likely you are to end up with a DOC file that has skewed formatting issues, this is particularly true of lpdf files. Does that mean you should look for a solution other than ZamZar? That will be up to you, but personally I haven’t seen any PDF to Word Doc conversion tool that is perfect, and formatting is almost always lost to some extent, and to me that means you’ll have to make some edits to layout yourself. Since they all seem to work the same and have the same quirks, I don’t think it’s worth paying for a conversion app but you may have a different experience.

It’s also worth considering converting the PDF to a JPG or other image format if you don’t need to print out the resulting document. This can be done for free with Preview in Mac OS X, and conversion to images tends to preserve the layout and appearance of the origin file completely. PDF docs can also be converted to ePub rather easily while maintaining layout and formatting.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks

4 Comments

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  1. Chris says:

    Google Docs does this for most PDFs, too. It will even OCR the text for you if it’s a PDF of a scanned image.

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