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Convert PDF Files to Word Documents, HTML or Text Files

DI Reader Neeraj Acharya is looking for an open source or just a free software for converting pdf files into winword documents.

Neeraj, there are lot of free routes to convert pdf to text format which can later be imported into Microsoft Word or any other rich text editor. However, if you want to retain the layout of your PDF files including text formatting, pictures, column positions, etc - you will have to shell out a few bucks [no freeware exists]. Details follow:

To convert PDF to DOC indirectly via TXT
You can either use GMail to convert pdf files to text or open the pdf document in Acrobat reader and save it as a text file.

Another popular way of converting pdf to txt or html files is that you send the PDF file as an email attachment to Adobe and they'll handle the conversion for free.

* For conversion to plain text, e- mail the PDF file to
* For conversion to HTML, e-mail the file to

If the file is already on the web, pass the file URL to Adobe PDF conversion tool and the Adobe PDF document will be converted and returned to you in your browser application.

Now once you have the text version of your PDF file, just open it notepad, copy the text to clipboard and paste it inside a new MS Word document or an excel spreadsheet. You loose all the formatting but the entire text information can be extracted using this approach.

To Convert PDF to DOC directly
If you want to see an exact replica of your PDF file in the Word document, you may consider Abbyy PDF transformer, Solid PDF, Omni Page or Adobe Acrobat itself. Any of these pdf conversion software would convert the pdf document to rich text format thereby preserving the layout, embedded graphics, charts, etc.

My personal favorite is the ABBYY PDF Transformer that converts PDF files into fully editable Microsoft Word (DOC), Excel (XLS), HTML, or ASCII text. In addition, PDF Transformer retains the layout and formatting of the original document when converting into Word (DOC), Excel (XLS), and HTML formats. If you PDF document is password protected, Abbyy can handle that as well. Very simple interface and integrates with your MS Office programs.

Now while most of these software are expensive, they have a 30 day trial version and there are no watermarks in the output.

Related: Cheap Alternatives to Acrobat Writer Software