Review: Free PDF to Word Converter doesn't make the cut

This freeware PDF-to-Word converter doesn't match the competition.

Free PDF to Word Converter's name describes the program: It takes your PDF files and converts them into Word-compatible DOC or Rich Text files. While it's fairly easy to use and does a fairly good job, some awkward controls and other issues dim its appeal. Better tools aren't in short supply, either.

Free PDF to Word Converter's user interface isn't elaborate, and the program explains each feature and each step, though it does make for a busy look. The main controls are listed under General Options, which is a bit confusing, though clicking Files and Folders didn't access any options or settings but the Add PDF Document and Output File Format controls. However, under Security, we could set Owner and User passwords as well as page range. The Character Position Options let us select Spaces, which keeps the Word document's text layout the same as the PDF's; or Text Box, which uses Word text boxes to retain the text and graphics format for printing brochures and similar graphics-oriented documents. Under Graphics Options, we could check boxes to delete all graphics or pictures.

There's some clunkiness to Free PDF to Word Converter. The Add Files tool only looks for PDFs and wouldn't let us browse to a desktop shortcut to access our archive folder; we had to take the long way. More than once, Free PDF to Word Converter crashed when we added files. In fact, it crashed every time we tried to select a different destination folder from the source folder for converted files. But we did manage to get it to load a multipage PDF file for conversion to the same folder. We could choose DOC or RTF; we selected DOC and pressed Start Convert. A pop-up nag asked us to buy the program and enter a to-be-provided serial number within minutes, but we clicked Ignore. The pop-up didn't prevent the tool from converting our file, which we could open, edit, and save in Word. It doesn't cost anything to try Free PDF to Word Converter, but other freeware does as good a job as it, or better. So keep looking.

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