The most commonly-used format used for electronic document storage and transfer is the Portable Document Format, better known as PDF. Besides storing graphics, text, charts, hyperlinks, and images, one of the most useful features of PDF is the ability to allow the conversion of a PDF into other file formats. Many PDF convertor tools can be found all across the internet — but, which ones are useful? Which ones are a waste of time? This review of PDF converter tools is an attempt to note those PDF converters worth your time. Always try the free trial of any tool first, whether it’s free or charges you a few dollars.
Laux-it (PDF and PowerPoint)
Laux-it converts a PDF file to a PowerPoint slide-show. The graphical interface makes the application simple to use; the command line interface allows you to make full use of the tool. The application itself produces very nice PowerPoint slides. The primary conversion is from PDF format to PPT format; other possible output formats are TIF, PCX, PS, EPS, BMP (Bitmap), and PNG. No other commercial software is needed; GhostScript (a free download from the developer) is needed.
PDF2Word (PDF and MS Word)
PDF2Word converts a PDF document to a MS Word document. The useful conversion preserves text format, page layout, and attached images. PDF2Word is standalone, not requiring Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Acrobat Reader, or Microsoft Word. The convertor supports all Windows platforms, and allows batch file input. The interface is command-line, which does take away points for ease-of-use.
PDFAPPS (PDF and HTML)
PDFAPPS converts a PDF into HTML format. A PDF on a website is considered user-UNfriendly, so an application like this one is very useful. PDFAPPS is accurate, quick, and easy to use. PDF formatting and styles carry over to the output. Large batch conversions are possible. HTML META tags can be added during the conversion, which can be targeted to the HTML version you’d like as output.
Aceconvert (PDF and TXT/XML)
Aceconvert converts a PDF document into a TXT or an XML files. TXT (or text files) are, of course, the simplest document format, with nothing other than characters preserved. With XML conversions, all character encoding, including character sets and fonts, is preserved. Aceconvert is standalone, and doesn’t require either Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.
PDFtoExcelonline (PDF and Excel)
PDFtoExcelonline creates XLS files, the format for tables and spreadsheets — the output files can be used in MS Excel, Google Docs, OpenOffice, and WordPerfect Office applications. Batch conversion is a feature, and the application is fast, accurate, and free.
Frameworkteam (PDF and Image Files)
Frameworkteam converts PDF documents to just about any image format you might want: TIF, JPG, PNG, PCX, and BMP. Batch processing is possible, and output can be customized in many ways: vector graphics conversion options, levels of greyscale, compression according to many different standards, and options for the resolution of the final image. The application doesn’t require either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
Automatoractions (PDF and MP3)
Automatoractions is unique — it converts a readable PDF file into a text file, which is then converted into MP3 audio, which can be played back on any MP3 player or application (such as iTunes). In fact, the application will even handle the import into iTunes! The interface is user-friendly, and the application runs quickly and accurately — and the application cleans up after itself, asking you if you want to delete the intermediate text file, or save it.
Aidecad (PDF and DXF)
Aidecad converts PDF files to DXF files, the drawing file format used by AutoCAD and other computer-aided drawing applications. The application runs accurately, easily and quickly. Raster images can be extracted from the PDF files, and large batch file conversions are possible, where thousands of PDF files can be converted in one step. Overall, this application is high-performing and highly useful.