The last Word on PDFs

Convert PDFs to Word and Rich Text files with this simple utility.

Business relies on PDFs, but the software can be complex and expensive, so there's a strong market for affordable, standalone PDF utilities that simplify specific tasks like document conversion. Peernet's ArcPDF is an example. It's a basic but easy-to-use tool that converts PDF files to Microsoft Word or Rich Text files, one at a time or in batches. You don't need Word or any Adobe software to use it, though.

The program opens with a PDF-based Quick Start Guide and a nag screen that tracks the free trial. ArcPDF's dialog interface has a styled border and highlighted buttons that give it a resemblance to a music player. However, it's actually a fairly conventional and efficient layout, with icons accessing menus for program status, FAQs and Technical Support, and a full User Guide, as well as options for conversions, saving files, and other basic functions. We especially like the way ArcPDF clearly explains the various Document Layout choices. Having recently tested some PDF converters, we opted to try ArcPDF on a newly created file. We were a little disappointed that the file browser doesn't search subfolders. Nevertheless, the program quickly converted the PDF, and Word opened and automatically displayed the newly created document.

ArcPDF's free trial version is limited to two-page conversions. It works in all recent versions of Windows, including Windows 7. It installs desktop icons without asking. For small businesses, organizations, or anyone who handles a lot of documents in different formats and needs a fast, cost-effective conversion solution, it's definitely worth a look.

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