Icecream PDF Converter review


Updated: May 21, 2016

The answer is no. There is no software that actually converts icecream to PDF and vice versa. Does not work like that. Don't be daft. But there is a company called Icecream Apps, and they sell all manner of software, including a PDF Converter tool, which I was asked to review.

I wasn't given a pro key, so I'm winging it with a freeware edition, for better or worse. Either way, this could be an interesting exercise, as we've seen several programs of this kind in action before, and nailing it down perfectly is somewhat of a black magic skill. But maybe the pistacchio-flavored PDF Converter ought to do it. After me.

Two scoops please

The software comes with a simple interface, except the over-large window border that lets the surrounding desktop equity intrude into the frame. You have two main features, to either convert PDF files into a variety of formats, or to create PDF files from images, Word documents, HTML, EPUB, and more. Think of a popular format, it's covered in the list any which way you choose. Then, you can also tweak settings, but the luxury of most of the options is reserved for pro users.

Main view

PDF settings

I started with the PDF to something else conversion. The usage is trivial. However, to my dismay, I learned the free version will only render the first 10 pages of the document. In my case, this meant I only had a section of just the table of contents of my 182-page strong Linux kernel crash book converted, and I'm not sure that's good enough of an indicator to the quality and precision of the tool.

The output was a DOC file, which I then opened in LibreOffice. It's not a perfect match, but the results were less than encouraging, with the table overflowing left and right, and some of the sub-headers and such misaligned. Overall, I had a bad feeling that this wasn't quite what the tool could do, or as good as it should be, but that's a lesson that goes beyond purely technical. The conversion was fast though, about 2 sec/page.

Convert from PDF

Only first 10 pages

Wonky conversion

The other way around

I tried the other option next. This isn't something that should be a killer selling point, as there are tons of free PDF distillers about, and quite a few office suites will also do this without fretting. Anyhow, this one worked much better. For a change, you get a full conversion, so my entire document was done.

To PDF view

Testing to PDF conversion

Converting to PDF in process

This type of conversion was quite all right. Images are preserved with good quality, the pages are all aligned nice and dandy like. The only thing that I found lacking was the fact links weren't really clickable. They had only become blue text.

Decent conversion

Anything else?

Well, no, not really. I wanted to be able to test additional features, use cases and documents in their full size and might, but again, with the free version, you can't do that. So perhaps my evaluation is unfair, however, companies release limited free editions in order to entice users. Therefore, from that perspective, the test is as valid as any. The first impression is what counts, and this demonstrator is what stands between you and a potential purchase. And so, in a way, it makes it even more useful and important than testing a full payware release. Indeed.

Conclusion

Being indecisive at the end of a review kind of defeats the whole purpose thereof, one might claim, but unfortunately, this is exactly the type of emotion running through my veins, running through my veins. The limited functionality of the free version of Icecream PDF Converter is not enough to let you actually know how useful the program is.

The conversion from PDF into something else was meh. I am not impressed or convinced, and I'd like to see additional output formats, and more data. At the moment, the free version is not working in its own favor. The more trivial case of converting other formats into PDF works as advertised, but then, there's no incentive to use this particular program for that, as there are literally dozens of freely available alternatives. And so, I believe that at the moment, Icecream PDF Converter is an okay program, but nothing more than that. The free version is not enough to convince me, and so no dessert for you! Try the program if you will, but my recommendation is one of calm, mild indifference. We're done here.

Cheers.

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