Review: Convert PDFs to Word files with fast and free PDF Shaper

Convert and extract PDFs and elements singly or in batches with this fast freeware.

Glorylogic's PDF Shaper 1.4 converts PDFs to MS Word documents one by one or in batches; extracts text, tables, and images from PDFs; converts tables and tabbed columns; and recognizes several types of font encoding. It supports password-protected PDFs, Unicode text, and Command Line operations. PDF Shaper is free for personal and commercial use in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows NT to 8.

PDF Shaper is a small app that installs quickly. The user interface is very basic but highly functional, with tabs for Single File, Multiple Files, and Options (Format with Tabs, Open After Conversion, and Custom Processes with numerous individual processing options). The default view, Single File, could hardly be clearer: Fields for Source PDF and Destination File, with an additional field for specific page ranges, and a "Convert" button. We loaded a file and pressed "Convert." The task finished so fast that PDF Shaper's counter stayed at 00:00. The app saved our converted PDF as DOC and RTF files, which opened normally in Word. We ran a batch of files and managed to crack the counter. Many users will find the Custom Process options especially useful. The Option tab breaks down elements individually, such as Page, Text Line, Horizontal Section, Table, Row, and so on. Each item has a drop-down menu offering three choices: Process, Leave Space, and Skip. With some effort, you can fine-tune PDF Shaper to process whole batches of documents in highly-specific ways, saving much more time and effort in the end.

PDF Shaper has an excellent Help file detailing all the program's operations, including the Command Line capability new to version 1.4. Deceptively easy, PDF Shaper hides some impressive capabilities. It's fast and robust enough for enterprise duty but friendly enough for the home user.

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