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Last post Author Topic: PDF to Word converter comparison  (Read 15806 times)

xtabber

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PDF to Word converter comparison
« on: May 11, 2011, 09:56:05 PM »
I had need today to convert a very complex document (a 20 page syndicated media questionnaire form with thousands of items in a wide variety of tables, multi-column lists and other difficult layouts) to a format that would allow me to extract text labels for use in statistical processing.

To do so, I tried two free online PDF to Word converters provided by major PDF conversion software vendors and using their software:

PDFtoWord.com is provided by Nitro.

PDFtoWordConverter.org is provided by Able2Extract

The original PDF file is 337 Kb and 20 pages long.

The Word document from Nitro is about 3 Mb and 36 pages long (some of them blank). The formatting was mostly good, except for a tendency to wrap some lines, or place the last column of a multi-column layout on an addititional page. Pagination was generally way off from the original.

The Word document from Able2Extract is about 1.4 Mb and 21 pages long.  Formatting was generally much closer to the original and pagination was preserved, except for one inserted page that contained an attempt to reproduce a set of navigation arrows (which Nitro completely ignored).

Interestingly, both programs converted the thousands of checkboxes used in the questionnaire to somtehing else: a dagger for Able2Extract and an ellipsis (3 dots) for Nitro.

Assuming that these results are representative of the respective desktop versions of the software, I would have to say that Able2Extract is clearly superior to Nitro for converting complex documents.

Renegade

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 11:22:24 PM »
Good to know. I've used Acrobat to try, but the output was so mangled that I gave up.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker


Stoic Joker

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 09:49:59 AM »
How well do these work on PDFs that have been security locked to prevent mics actions like coping text to the clipboard.

cmpm

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 10:30:11 AM »
I don't know, I'd expect you have to unlock the pdf first.

rjbull

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 05:05:12 PM »
I have a copy of the Able2Extract desktop software (about three years old).  Darwin has one of the Nuance versions, and kindly converted the front page of a patent for me for comparison.  There wasn't much difference, but Darwin's copy of Nuance did a slightly better job, mainly by getting some bold text correct, whereas AbleExtract left it plain.  But you wouldn't expect a huge difference, because Able2Extract actually says it uses licensed Nuance technology.

For online conversions, you might also try Zamzar, which worked quite well for me except on tables containing code numbers with hyphens in them.  There's also Convert PDF to Word.net and online-convert.com which I haven't tried.

Curt

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 05:32:01 PM »
http://www.123fileco...om/pdf-word-docs.asp
http://www.pdf-file....t-word-converter.asp

Per instinct I would expect these two add-ins from Microsoft Office Marketplace to perform a fine job, but I have never tested them. Edited: I should tell that in the end I expect the two companies to be one and the same.


2011-05-13_002813.gif

2011-05-13_002843.gif

« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 05:47:10 PM by Curt »

cmpm

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« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 05:25:36 AM by cmpm »

Curt

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2011, 03:30:58 AM »
of course today's Bit du Jour offer is also capable of converting from PDF to Word:

http://www.bitsdujou...m/software/pdftiger/

Sunday 15 May 2011:
2011-05-15_102643.gif
Quote
PDFTiger http://www.bitsdujou...m/software/pdftiger/
The Ultimate PDF Conversion App

PDFTiger makes it easy to convert text, image (BMP, JPG, TIF, and GIF), Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and in fact all printable documents into the PDF format.

But it works in reverse too!

When you need to utilize other formats, you can use PDFTiger to convert PDF files to Word, text, JPG, HTML, and even Flash formats.

Have a library of legacy documentation that you need to convert? With batch conversion capability, PDFTiger can convert 10,000,000 documents at once! That was no typo -- 10 MILLION FILES, CONVERTED IN BATCH!

The interface for PDFTiger is a joy to behold - use one side of the window to create a PDF file, and the other side to convert PDF to other formats.

It's that simple!

http://www.bitsdujou...m/software/pdftiger/

xtabber

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2011, 11:17:02 AM »
of course today's Bit du Jour offer is also capable of converting from PDF to Word:

http://www.bitsdujou...m/software/pdftiger/


So they claim, but not this document.  :down:

I downloaded PDFTiger from the BDJ site and tested it against the file I used for the tests above, and the result was a completely unreadable mess. It couldn't even get the plain text elements right, let alone the formatting.

That's not much of a bargain.

Curt

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 12:28:27 PM »
-I'm sorry I didn't check more thoroughly before posting about PdfTiger, but it is a brand of PdfZilla, so I assumed it was okay. Was PdfTiger ever updated? According to the homepage it is still at version 1.0  and not ready for Win7. Price was allegedly $50, then $40, $30, today $15 - and apparently still too expensive. Affiliates get 75% in commission!  

cmpm

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2011, 12:32:16 PM »
An on-line converter, the download can be used, but it's a trial.
Made by Simpo, which does good work I think.

http://convertpdftoword.net/Default.aspx

videorun

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2011, 04:01:36 AM »
From last year, i always to use AnyBizSoft PDF to Word Converter, works well for me, and have a good output quality.
It preserves the original text content, images, layouts and hyperlinks after conversion, efficient and accurate. You can also  batch convert up to 200 PDF files at a time.

http://www.anypdftoo...com/pdf-to-word.html
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 04:09:49 AM by videorun »

ppass

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 01:05:13 AM »
Any free software doing pdf to ppt / pdf to powerpoint?

Renegade

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 01:29:16 AM »
So, any verdict on what actually works? (For non-trivial documents.)
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TomD101

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2011, 12:44:44 AM »
Hello all,

When I was in need of a PDF->Office converter, I found after some testing the program SolidConverterPDF from www.soliddocuments.com.

 :-[(and yes, this is the text I posted to another thread in September 2010. But I still work with the program and I am very content with the output.)

I have no idea, how they do it, but the results are simply stunning. Of course, not everything is possible, but I converted manuals for devices like TV sets, DVD-recording machines, scientific books and whatnot. Just incredible.

The trial lets you convert 10 percent of the original document, max. 10 pages and adds a watermark.

I think, this is ok for testing. Prices start with $ 80 for a single user license.
The support is great, very personal and really able to solve problems.

Give it a try and no, I am not connected to them.

Thomas
Berlin, Germany
The more things stay, the more they change the sane.

Curt

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2011, 07:01:27 AM »
-seems not to work with Office 2010, or did they forget to update the text?

Quote
Scan to Word.
Scan directly from paper to well formatted, editable Word documents.
(Works with Microsoft Office 2003 or Office 2007 ONLY)

http://www.soliddocu...roduct=SolidPDFTools

TomD101

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2011, 09:04:22 AM »
Hell Curt,

you are referring to the OCR scan option of the PDF tools.

You are right, it doesn't work with Office 2010 anymore, as Microsoft removed something called MODI. This routine was used by SolidTools to create the OCR layer over PDF documents.

There is a workaround to install MODI from Office 2007 onto Office 2010. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982760
Solid confiremd that the tools would work with office 2010, too, if MODI was installed.

Don't take MY word for it, but installing MODI and then running a trial version should give you the needed confirmation.

The normal pdf tools work with Office 2010 without any problems.

Thomas
The more things stay, the more they change the sane.

Curt

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2011, 09:34:44 AM »
-apparently the user can keep this MODI feature, if remembering to click "keep previous versions", during the upgrade installation from Office 2003/2007 to 2010.

cmpm

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2011, 04:48:09 AM »
Simpo, free again..

http://www.techno360...word-converter-free/

till the 20th of June

Curt

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2011, 05:18:00 AM »
-it may do so, but it hasn't been updated for almost 2 years, and it doesn't claim to be working on Win 7. Furthermore, the site doesn't tell who the owners are, or who's license they are using.

Anyway, welcome at DC, velveteen. May your next post be even more informative ;-)

elnorastewart

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2013, 02:49:13 AM »
I heard the one you mention in the post but I prefer PDF burger one best pdf to word converter online

http://pdfburger.com

Curt

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2013, 05:20:22 AM »
I prefer PDF burger one best pdf to word converter online
http://pdfburger.com

http://pdfburger.com/pdf-to-word

^ tested; worth bookmarking!  :up:

IainB

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2013, 10:00:22 AM »
MS Word 2013 seems to be able to convert PDFs to a Word doc, and then lets you get on and edit it as such...
I haven't used it other than to see if it works. Seems to be pretty good - and fast. Tried it on a PDF with several images in. The Word doc file size seems to be a good deal bigger than its source PDF file size though.

x16wda

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Re: PDF to Word converter comparison
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2013, 11:46:24 AM »
That's good to know, but the whole Office 2013 suite is so geared to tablets & touchscreens that it has lost tons of usability and clarity in the interface. Pieces that disappear if your cursor isn't near them, window borders that extend past the window borders, no differentiation between window parts... anyway, I'm sure there's another thread about all that... I'm glad it has a good feature!  :P
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