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Monday, August 18, 2014

Making PDFs Usable

It seems like the ability to take a PDF and make it into something useable is something I always get asked how to do. The reality of PDFs is that they are made that way so you're not supposed to change them. But that's not going to stop us!

Although you can pay for some services that will convert them for you I'm always looking for a freebie. Google Docs has a very basic PDF to Google Docs format converter when you upload a PDF but it pales in comparison to this one. Cycle PDF to Word Converter is not quite free but it does work well. It does what the title says, converts a PDF to a Word document. The demo version allows you to convert the first three pages of a document whereas the paid version, $29.99 (yikes), allows you to convert many more. I tried it with some simple and more complex PDFs and it worked great. This service is a bit different from something like Crocodocwhich simply allows you to write on top of a PDF (wrote about that here).

Note: They also have versions that allow you to convert Excel, and PowerPoint and one version that does everything, including PDF to jpg, but costs $39.99. I can only think if you did this a ton then it would be worth buying but even if you had a document that was more than 3 pages you could just break it up into chunks and convert them that way.

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