Need to convert your DOC file to PDF? Or maybe PDF to JPG file? There will always be times when you need to convert one file type to another, and you probably want to do it as quickly and cheaply as possible. Of course, if you work in an office and convert files on a daily basis, your company will probably buy a commercial converting application and this is definitely the best option.
However, if you only need to convert files a couple of times a year and don’t want to spend $ 50 on a program that simply converts Word documents to PDF files, then your only option is to use the free online conversion tools. These are mainly sites that allow you to convert between many different formats and are usually free for small conversion projects. They make money trying to get you to register if you need to convert more files or larger files, etc.
In this article, I’ll mention a couple of online conversion sites I’ve used that work pretty well, although not perfect. Even with expensive conversion software, you will always come across cases where the conversion result is incorrect, and in such cases, you just need to try another service or edit the file to make the conversion easier.
ZamZar has been around since 2006, and even though they insist that you sign up for their monthly plans, the service still works well and for free. Of course, when something downloads for them, all conversions for free users are pushed into the background for all paying users. Depending on the time and day you use the service, it can take from 2 minutes to 2 hours to receive the converted files.
When they first started, they only supported a few dozen types of file conversions, but now they can do over 1200 types of file conversions. This includes documents, audio, video, images, e-books, and more. However, as I mentioned earlier, this is only useful for a small number of relatively small files if you are using a free service. To use it, just start filling out the section at the top.
First, click “Select Files” and select the file you want to convert. The drop-down list in step 2 automatically displays the formats available for conversion. For a Word document, these were my conversion options:
Then just enter your email address and click “Convert”. When the conversion is complete, you will receive an email with a link to the converted files.
Another good online conversion tool is Online-Convert.com Unlike Zamzar, this site is completely free with no paid options. They mostly survive on donations and advertising revenue. Technically, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the number of files you can convert, but I’m sure there is some kind of limit.
Anyway, the main page is divided into sections like audio, video, image, document, etc. Go on, click the dropdown and select the format you want to convert the files to and click Go. Then click “Select Files” and select the files you want to convert. The nice thing about this site is that it allows you to also choose from your Dropbox account if you want, and it has some advanced settings for using OCR and even the ability to choose a different language for the original file, although your experience will vary greatly.
Another nice feature is that you don’t need to enter an email address or any personal information! Just click “Convert File” and it will instantly convert and download straight to your computer. Not to wait! The service then provides you with many other options in case you want to do something else with the file:
These are two sites that I have used and have had good results in terms of conversion speed and quality. You can also download conversion software, but it’s almost impossible to find a free program that can handle so many different types of conversions. If you need to convert video files, you have a lot more free options like the awesome HandBrake When it comes to converting documents, there are no such free options. If you know of a free program that is suitable for converting documents, let us know in the comments. Enjoy!