I’ve reviewed lots of programs that read or convert documents to
PDF, but never one specifically tailored to convert PDF files to
other common types such as Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.
Said program is Nuance’s PDF Converter 5 and in my hands on it
worked well, though not perfectly.
For instance, the header on a converted-to-Word document was
squashed inside a box and the white background wasn’t applied
evenly. On the other hand, Adobe Acrobat didn’t even try to
recreate those objects, so it’s hard to fault Nuance for that. PDF
Converter preserved the lion’s share of the formatting (as did
Acrobat), which could save you a ton of time over simply exporting
as text which some readers will do.
PDF Converter also saves PDFs to text, PowerPoint, MRC PDF,
WordPerfect, jpeg, png, tiff and xps files as well as rendering
PDFs searchable if they aren’t already. The program is easy enough
to learn and navigate so if you don’t want to pop for full-blown
Acrobat, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to convert PDFs while
retaining their formatting.
One caveat: The program gave me problems during uninstall,
balking at its own processes running in the background. If you
decide to remove this program, you’ll have to use Task Manager to
end these processes yourself and complete the uninstall.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor’s site, where you
can purchase and download the latest version of the software.
–Jon L. Jacobi