If you need help turning a PDF into a word document without losing your original formatting, consider one of these free PDF to word converters to get the job done.
You’re probably not new to PDFs, aka Portable Document Format files, as they are everywhere in the business world. This format was developed by Adobe for easier sharing between operating systems and computers with limited editing and modification. Of course, they may be simpler to share or print, but they’re much harder to edit without special software.
It’s because of this restriction that PDF to word converters have such a useful place in the workplace. While it’s easy to turn a word document into a PDF, it’s usually not possible to go the other way. While this has been a growing frustration as PDFs have become more mainstream over the years, a number of converters have cropped up to fill the void. To help you, we’ve tested and collected our top picks, all of which are free, in this guide.
We’ve highlighted the strengths and key features of each converter so you can go with the one that fits your needs the best. Though, if you need to edit your PDFs while sticking to the file format, take a look through our best free PDF editors guide.
The best PDF to Word converter overall is: Adobe Acrobat DC
If you want to make the most of PDFs, Adobe Acrobat DC is unquestionably the best tool for the job. It allows you to create PDFs from scratch, edit them natively, convert them to just about any format. You can do this on any desktop or mobile device, and easily collaborate with others through the Adobe Document Cloud. It's not free like the options below, but it's more affordable than you might expect with various plans available.
WPS PDF to Word Converter is great for quickly converting from PDF to Word, even if you have batches of documents and want to retain your original formatting. It works on Windows, has an Android app, and has an online converter as well. In our test on Windows 10, images, tables, colors, and even non-standard fonts were preserved in documents created using this product, as was the layout and spacing.
One pain point that people often face is splitting and then merging different sections of a PDF document into one file. With the WPS PDF converter, you can choose the pages you want to convert, order them however you wish, and export a new document in a number of different formats, all with your original formatting and layout intact.
With this free PDF to Word converter, you can create, convert, edit, and even sign PDF documents. It works on Windows and Mac and has a full-feature word processor much like MS Word that gives you a great deal of control over the documents, text, and images you want to manipulate. You can insert comments anywhere in your file, have someone else review and sign the document once it is ready, and easily share it with collaborators.
There were a few interesting advanced features with this product as well. For example, you can protect specific sections of your document so that only recipients who have the required permissions can see that information, and you can even download an app for iOS and Android to work on your PDF conversions on the go.
With Nitro PDF converter, you can upload batches of files, but your converted files are emailed to you so you need to provide an email address to receive your documents. Also, it is only available as a 14-day trial, and you are restricted to five conversions per month. This is a pretty tight limit that seriously restricts the usefulness of the product, in addition to the fact that it only works on Windows.
This free PDF converter converts text accurately but images are sometimes distorted in the output file. Other potential problems include random spaces or unexpected line breaks appearing in your final document. However, these issues are pretty minor and can be corrected manually unless you have large batches of files to convert at a time.
This free PDF to Word converter was designed for Windows and saves you from issues related to long upload or download times that are commonly seen with various online tools. Since the application works right from your personal terminal, you do not have to trust your documents or information with a third party, which is important if you work with sensitive data.
UniPDF’s conversion accuracy leaves much to be desired, though. In some cases, the converted text can be dramatically different in size compared to the original, and columns sometimes run into each other. Accordingly, UniPDF is best for users who have only the simplest of documents to convert to Word.
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