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Best and cheapest way convert PDF to MS Word

Posted on 2013-12-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
I have a customer who wants to convert PDF files to MS Word.

Just a few files , its a once off and they don't have a budget to purchase anything unless its really inexpensive.

Thanks fur any help.
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Question by:IP4IT Staff
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:John-Charles-Herzberg
John-Charles-Herzberg earned 100 total points
ID: 39695286
This might help.

A list of the free PDF-to-Word conversion tools

http://www.freewaregenius.com/how-to-convert-pdf-to-word-doc-for-free-a-comparative-test-2/

Thanks
JC
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LVL 18

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by:Steven Harris
Steven Harris earned 100 total points
ID: 39695316
Not sure what 'really inexpensive' is for you, but I use Wondershare's PDF to Word Converter regularly with great results.  Start with a free trial, move on to the full purchase at $29.99.

Also, I use this in a professional capacity.  Most of the conversions I do are for publications where the original file has been damaged and/or lost.  Wondershare's tool has been the best as far as keeping original formatting, images, tables, links and has great special character recognition.
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Accepted Solution

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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 250 total points
ID: 39695659
Hi Robbie,

For PDF to Word, I've had good (not perfect) results with this free online tool:
http://www.pdftoword.com/

If you prefer a local install, I've also had good (also not perfect) results with this free tool:
http://www.boxoft.com/pdf-to-word/

You may get better results with non-free products. I've gotten better (but still not perfect) results with Nuance's PDF Converter Professional (current version is 8):
http://www.nuance.com/products/pdf-converter-professional/index.htm

Although the list price is $100, the street price is significantly lower:
http://www.amazon.com/Nuance-Communications-Inc-M109A-G00-8-0-Professional/dp/B0084PK8CS/

The first link in this post is to the (free) Nitro cloud. Nitro is a well-known name in PDF tools and their Nitro Pro (current version is 8) has a PDF to Word feature:
http://www.nitropdf.com/pro/features/convert-export

It has a free trial, but at $120 is not cheap to buy. I've never used it, so can't vouch for its performance. However, it uses the same engine as the online tool, which I have used and is very good, so I would expect the same of Nitro Pro.

One more non-free (but reasonably priced at $39) product is CAD-KAS's PDF to Word:
http://www.cadkas.com/downengpdf9.php

I haven't used this product, but I have used their PDF Editor Objects, which is excellent. Based on the quality of PDF Editor Objects, I think that their PDF to Word is worth a try...and there's a free trial:
http://www.cadkas.com/pdf2word!.exe

I've been on previous threads here at EE where other experts have recommended these two products:
http://www.convertpdftoword.org/
http://www.pdfonline.com/pdf-to-word-converter/

I can't personally vouch for these, but based on the positive comments from other experts, I'm simply passing them along for your consideration.

No matter which way you go, keep in mind that PDF-to-Word is tricky business – maintaining the formatting/layout is tough stuff! I haven't found anything that is perfect, and results vary from one document to the next. So my suggestion is put some, or all, of these products on your short list for evaluation. Normally, I recommend defining a few test docs – your docs! But in this case, since your customer has just a few files and it's a once-off, you'll be able to compare easily the resulting Word files to see which of the tools produces Word files that your customer is happy with (if any). Regards, Joe
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39697912
If it is just plain text you can use copy and paste... that's kinda inexpensive :)
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LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Henson
Rob Henson earned 50 total points
ID: 39700796
Also I believe it depends on how the PDF was created in the first place.

We have a number of PDF docs that were originally printed Word Docs which have then been scanned but it sees the whole document as a scanned image so can't copy and paste text.

Whereas, I assume there is an element of reverse conversion if the document is created as a PDF directly from Word and/or other packages.

Thanks
Rob H
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