PDF-to-DOC: My How-to guide
- From: "Ward" <Ward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 08:29:05 -0700
The Best Solution for Converting PDF Documents to Microsoft Word
I have spent a few weeks studying a problem where I needed to do bulk
PDF-to-DOC conversions at work. That is, I have hundreds of PDF documents
dynamically generated daily which need to be converted to Microsoft Word.
>From my research, I want to share my thoughts and the solution I picked.
My first instinct was to look to Adobe for a fix. It’s their format and
they created it. Who else could help me more? Digging deeper, I discovered
Adobe’s dirty little secrets.
Adobe Acrobat (Standard and Professional) does not convert PDF files to DOC
- it converts PDF files to RTF files with a DOC extension. Unless you
uncheck the "Confirm conversion at Open" in Microsoft Word, you will be
prompted to convert every PDF into a pseudo Word document. Even with
Acrobat, Adobe still doesn’t give you real fix.
The limitations don’t stop. With Adobe Acrobat Standard edition, you will
have to open each PDF file one at a time and go through the “Save As” routine
to convert your PDF documents to Word. If you have hundreds of PDF
documents, clicking "File", "Save As" repeatedly is ridiculous.
Adobe Acrobat Professional has a batch processing component. But, if you
only need to convert PDF files to Word documents, the Professional edition is
a waste of money. Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0 costs about $450 per user!
I needed a solution where 6 to 10 people would be converting files daily -
$450 x 10 for converting documents is absurd.
My Solution: Microsoft Word + Scansoft’s PDF Converter
There are lots of PDF-to-DOC converters on the market, and I tested a lot of
1. ScanSoft PDF Converter @ www.scansoft.com
2. Solid Converter PDF @ http://www.solidpdf.com/
3. PDF Grabber @ www.pixelplanet.com
4. PDF2Word @ http://www.verypdf.com/pdf2word/
5. Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard and Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional @
After all my research and testing I chose Scansoft's PDF converter. It did
the best job converting PDF files. No exception. It costs $50 making Adobe
Acrobat's $450 price tag laughable.
But here's the part I like the best: it integrates with Microsoft Word. So
what does that mean? It means you can use the Word Batch Conversion Wizard
(the best kept secret – check it out!) to convert mounds of PDF documents to
the native Microsoft Word DOC format. Instead of getting RTF files with DOC
extensions, PDF Converter actually converts PDF documents to "real" Microsoft
Adding PDF Converter provided the best, cheapest answer to the PDF-to-DOC
mystery. Since everyone at my company has Microsoft Office already
installed, this solution beats all the other ideas I’ve seen or read so far.
Debunking Alternative Solutions
You don’t need to buy Adobe Acrobat. That’s right. Save the money.
Internet forums and well-intentioned souls will tell you otherwise. You only
need Microsoft Word and PDF Converter to get the job done and done
professionally. For viewing PDF documents in their native format, download
the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
My solution works for everyone. I needed to convert hundreds of PDF
documents, but if you only need to convert a few documents, this fix is still
your best answer. You can’t convert PDF documents to Microsoft Word for
free. You have to purchase software from someone to do it - that’s just the
nature of this beast. But for only $50, you won’t be disappointed in my
I don’t work for Scansoft, but I’m always ecstatic when I find something
that works. You can try PDF Converter at
Since I’ve been down the PDF-to-DOC road, I want to save you the heartache
and set you on the right path.
© Copyright. This article with my name are my intellectual property. If
asked, I will usually grant permission to redistribute unmodified copies of
my work for non-commercial purposes without restriction with appropriate
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