Free online document conversion tools

Updated: November 30, 2009

We've already learned how to convert multimedia files using online services. Today, we will learn how to work with other types of files, like images, Microsoft Office documents, PDF files using only online conversion tools.

While most of the conversions will revolve around Office-to-PDF conversions, we will also have several PDF-to-Word conversions, as these seem rather avidly sought after. Then, we will work with other file types, including text files, images, archives, and more.

So, if you're looking for online services that will convert PDF files to Word, images to PDF, extract images from PDF files, convert PDF to text and vice versa, convert ZIP files to RAR or TAR, delimit CSV files, extract tags from documents, and so much more, you have come to the right place. Let us begin then, in no particular order.


Legal & privacy

Like in the last article, please make sure you're not breaking any laws in your country by using these services. What more, do make sure you understand the privacy policies, since you may be uploading personal data. Read on.



webPDF logo

webPDF.portal is a highly useful site that allows you to convert your documents into PDF files. The portal works with a very wide range of file formats, including Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, StarOffice, Lotus, WordPerfect, and others.


The document size is limited to files no larger than 4MB. webPDF.portal is based on OpenOffice and the functions available through the traditional OpenOffice interface are also available at the site. The portal allows you to set many options before the conversion, including image compression, tags, transition effects, bookmarks, initial view, encryption password, printing permissions, and more. The portal offers a Google Gadget, which allows easy integration into iGoogle pages.



ZamZar logo

We have already mentioned ZamZar in the online multimedia conversion services article. ZamZar is really a Jack o' All Trades service. It works with a huge range of file formats, including OpenOffice, WordPerfect, Microsoft Office 2007 documents, .cab, .rar, many images, and others, in addition to multimedia various formats. For the very long list of available types, see the Conversion list.




cometdocs logo

Cometdocs offers a large number of conversions types, including some rather unique ones. For example, cometdocs can convert PDF to Word (the other way) with high fidelity, convert PDF files to text, convert CSV files to a delimited format, get tags embedded in MP3 files, get a difference (diff) between two files, ASCII to EBCDIC, iTunes XML to M3U, and others. Cometdocs sends the converted data to your email.





PDFtoWord is a quality product of the Nitro PDF software, which we have encountered in the first compilation of PDF software for Windows, with their PDF Download tool. Although this conversion tool focuses on a single file type only, it tries to do its job in the best fashion possible. The PDF to Word conversion seems to be one of the most demanded services, which the namesake tool provides, and provides quite well indeed.

Like cometdocs, PDFtoWord sends the output to an email address. Another useful utility is the same family is PDFtoExcel, which allows users to quickly and easily create highly editable XLS files, making it a cinch to re-use tables and spreadsheets from PDF files in Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice, Google Docs, and WordPerfect Office.


PDF Hammer


PDFHammer logo

Yet another great application from the Nitro PDF house! PDF Hammer allows you to edit PDF files online. You can use this utility to combine multiple files into a single document, rearrange, reorder and delete pages from existing PDF files, secure the files with passwords, edit the metadata, and more.


Convert PDF to


Converpdftoword logo

While the name of this site implies a singular conversion, like PDFtoWord, this online services offers additional conversions, including PDF to test, image and HTML, text to PDF, and can also help you remove passwords and printing restrictions from your PDF files.


More reading

If you wish to stick to conventional methods, you might want to read these few articles:

Free PDF software that will make your life easier

Free PDF software - Round two

Finally, you may also want to check the Multimedia section for a number of tutorials on multimedia manipulation on Windows and Linux, using a range of great programs.

Additional services

I'm less familiar with these few listed below, but I've heard good echoes and whispers so far. If you have personal experience with these websites, plus if you know of any other useful, versatile document conversion online services, feel free to email me.

Online conversion tools for Adobe PDF documents  - Adobe offers its own online conversion service, allowing you to convert PDF files to HTML or text. The offered HTML version for converted documents is only 3.2, though, so you should make sure the end result meets your expectations.

koolConverter - this tool can work with PDF, RTF and a small number of media files. It is rumored to provide high fidelity conversion for PDF files.


I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this article. It offers you with a large choice of websites that will do lots of hard word for you, converting files back and forth, without you breaking into a sweat or perchance soiling your hard disks with tons of conversion programs, some of which you may need only once, some of which will work only half-well, some of which may not even work at all, be restricted, time-limited, and so on.

The ability to work online is big bonus for people with weak machines, people constantly on the move or people who like to keep their systems pristine and simple, with as few programs installed as possible. Travelers, netbooks users or people running old computers might find the flexibility and comfort of online conversions quite useful. What more, there's quite a few of them, so you have the perks of being choosy and going for the best you like.

Many thanks to following people for their suggestions: LockBox, nijo3, Saraceno.