Easy PDF

How easy is Easy?

Screenshot of Easy PDF interface
(Image: © Easy PDF)

TechRadar Verdict

Easy PDF sounds great on paper - a service you can use from any device to convert between formats. Sadly, we encountered far too many glitches, and more often than not, the service failed to deliver.


  • +


  • +


  • +

    Good results (when it works)

  • +

    Good automatic OCR


  • -


  • -

    The process failed for us too many times

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Easy PDF is a very interesting online PDF tool, which means you can access it from any device, even a phone or tablet.

Its purpose is to help you convert files to and from the PDF format. There are also tools for merging PDFs together, and even converting scanned PDFs to searchable text via Optical Character Recognition.

That’s quite a lot of functionality, and perhaps best of all, this is a free service - although you do have to wonder how they make their money.

Easy PDF: Interface

The Easy PDF interface - sparse and simple to navigate

The interface is sparse, offering you large icons to choose from (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Easy web access
  • Simple navigation through clean interface

Whichever device you have, you access the service via a web browser. Once there, you’ll find the interface is as sparse as they come. You’re graced with 15 icons organised into rows and columns (this gets resized depending on your screen’s dimensions).

How this works is easy: start by selecting the tool you wish to use.

You can convert documents to various other file formats, such as PDF to Word, PDF to Powerpoint, PDF to Excel, and PDF to AutoCAD. It’s also possible to change file types to Text, JPG, PNG or GIF. Each has their respective icon to click on, so it’s simple to get started. 

Doing the reverse is also available, by turning a Word document to PDF, or JPG to PDF. However, your options are much more limited in that direction.

You also have an enticing ‘PDF Creation’ tool, have the ability to split a PDF, or merge PDFs into a single document, there’s a PDF compressor tool, and finally ‘OCR Online’.

So, let’s take a look at some of these tools.

  • Interface score: 5/5

Easy PDF: PDF conversion

Conversion options in Easy PDF

Choose the right tool, upload a document, and Easy PDF will convert it for you - easy (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Quick to upload, slow to download
  • Excellent automatic OCR

Select the appropriate icon and you’re asked to provide the service with a file. You can do so by dragging one from your computer straight onto the page. Importing can also be done through Dropbox or Google Drive.

The upload is very fast, but it will take some time for the conversion to take place. Obviously the more complex the document, the longer it will take, although there is a noticeable delay even for simple files, containing just a few pages of plain text. Have one with a photo, or a complex layout, and it takes even longer.

Once completed, you can download the results, and that’s painfully slow too. It’s also possible to download the finished product back to the two cloud storage services.

One thing we particularly liked was when converting a scanned PDF to Word. Our scanner simply converts the page to an image, but during the conversion process, Easy PDF automatically runs an OCR through the page, turning that photo into selectable and editable text. It’s not perfect (no OCR is in our experience), but it’s more than good enough.

But it’s not perfect: we’ve come across instances where the conversion failed, but we were able to re-upload the original and it would work the second time around. Even very simple documents failed sometimes, with no explanation as to why.

  • PDF conversion score: 4/5

Easy PDF: Convert to PDF

More failures in converting Word to PDF in Easy PDF

Sometimes, simple Word documents couldn’t even be converted to PDF on the first run (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Can convert JPG and Word to PDF
  • Frequent failures

Using the JPG to PDF tool worked as expected. The principle is exactly the same as when you try to convert a PDF into another format, with every step of the way being similar - you just need to select a different icon at the start.

The service came a cropper when we tried to use Word to PDF. We tried various files. Complex files, files with columns, files with images, files with just plain text. They all failed. Every single one of them.

Could the service have been having a bad day? Possibly, so we tried it on another day, and this time it did work. Which tells us the service is not reliable. You can’t really wait a few hours or even a day, if you need a file converted now.

Maybe you won’t experience this yourself when you try out the service, but knowing Easy PDF can fail so easily - and frequently when we tried it - makes it hard to recommend.

  • Convert to PDF score: 2/5

Easy PDF: PDF manipulation

Long load times in Easy PDF

Tools aren't always reliable - here Easy PDF won't display any thumbnails to select (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Disappointing PDF 'creation' tool
  • Other tools regularly failed

We now come to what look like useful tools: ‘PDF Creation’, ‘PDF Split’ and ‘PDF Merge’.

We were eager to explore those, but we were disappointed pretty fast. 

Take ‘PDF Creation’ (please, as the old joke goes). We expected to be able to create a PDF, i.e. edit them in some way, so as to differentiate that tool from the other ‘XX to PDF’ icons available. 

Instead this is just a tool to transform any file format (more than 100 file formats according to the service), into a PDF. Upload it, click ‘Create PDF’, and it’s (eventually) converted. You can’t even add multiple files to convert them all at once, so essentially it’s just a simplification of the individual tools we already explored above. Certainly feels like duplication. It probably would be easier to remove those other icons and just bring this one front and centre to clean up the interface.

‘PDF Split’ sounds interesting: you upload a PDF and split it into separate pages… but it just wouldn’t work for us. The files we tried uploaded fine, but then we waited for the service as it told us it was ‘Loading PDF Preview…’ 

We waited. And waited. Even a basic 3-page PDF composed of plain text made us wait forever. We went back to it the next day and it was still ‘Loading PDF Preview…’ So, we gave up.

Failure notification in Easy PDF

Even really simple text-only PDFs failed to merge when we tested the service (Image credit: Easy PDF)

What about ‘PDF Merge’? That’s another cool sounding idea, letting you combine multiple PDFs into a single document. Uploading numerous files was easy. But it just didn’t work. Even very simple plain PDFs wouldn’t merge. We even tried merging two copies of the same plain document. No dice. Every time, we got ‘Merging file failed!’

Let’s finish on a high note: ‘OCR Online’. This allows you to convert data from an image to a Text, Word or Excel document. Everything is automatic. Once the conversion process is done, your image has been turned into editable text. And that particular service worked for us.

  • PDF manipulation score: 1/5

Easy PDF: Terms

  • Opaque terms and conditions
  • Instals cookies on your machine

So, reliability isn’t that great, and if you can’t trust a service, would you even use it regularly?

Then we come to the terms and conditions. We are assured that Easy PDF is anonymous, that your connection is secure, that your files are deleted after 6 hours - similar to Sejda, which features a secure 2-hour automatic data-wipe functionality.

Easy PDF instals cookies on your device in order to make it work, they claim. But, in recent years, we’ve become extremely wary of ‘free’ services. Personally, we wouldn’t hand over our cloud storage usernames and passwords, but maybe you would be more trusting souls.

  • Terms score: 2/5

Easy PDF: Final verdict

Mobile interface for Easy PDF

Easy PDF's mobile interface is just as easy to navigate  (Image credit: Easy PDF)

Easy PDF might be ‘easy’ for uploading files to it, but everything else feels haphazard. Sometimes, the service worked, other times it didn’t. It claims to offer unlimited PDF conversions, which would be fantastic, if you didn’t have to wait and wait and wait for the process to fail more often than not - in our experience at least. As is often the case, ‘your mileage may vary’.

There’s also the trust aspect. Can you trust a free online PDF convertor service to keep your anonymity? They do state that “the data your [sic] give to us will only be used for document conversion and website analytics”. But precisely what those website analytics are remains a mystery. 

If the service worked reliably, it would be easy to recommend despite this. 

But sadly, it didn’t. If you own a Mac, you don’t actually need this service as you can convert any file to a PDF straight from the Print command, and PDF manipulation is a synch using the Apple Preview PDF reader and editor app. 

We know it’s not that simple on Windows or Linux, but you can find plenty of the best PDF editors and best free PDF editors that do measure up. 

Easy PDF scorecard

Swipe to scroll horizontally
InterfaceClean and simple5
PDF conversionQuick to upload, slow to download4
Convert to PDFOnly converts Word and JPG, and not very well2
PDF manipulationMisleading tools, unreliable1
TermsOpaque Ts & Cs2
Steve Paris

Steve has been writing about technology since 2003. Starting with Digital Creative Arts, he's since added his tech expertise at titles such as iCreate, MacFormat, MacWorld, MacLife, and TechRadar. His focus is on the creative arts, like website builders, image manipulation, and filmmaking software, but he hasn’t shied away from more business-oriented software either. He uses many of the apps he writes about in his personal and professional life. Steve loves how computers have enabled everyone to delve into creative possibilities, and is always delighted to share his knowledge, expertise, and experience with readers.