Tom's Guide to Online PDF File Creation

Free PDF Convert

Free PDF Convert

When you conduct a Google search for free PDF conversion services, you get many results. Among them is http://www.freepdfconvert.com/, which as it turns out, is indeed free, though it is somewhat limited.

PDF-to-Word conversion is limited to only three pages with the free version. But if you’re willing to pay $9 a month then you can convert as much as you want. On the other hand, Word-to-PDF conversion doesn’t seem to have a page limit, and in our test case, we were able to convert the 24-page Magna Carta Word document quickly and without incident. There is, however, a 2-MB file upload limit for the conversion.

You can receive your converted files via email and directly through the browser, though Free PDF does use ZIP files for both types of delivery – so you’ll have to unzip the files first before you can actually read them.

free pdf convert

During the Magna-Carta-Word-file-to-PDF conversion, we ended up with broken graphs that were not broken in the original word file. That’s a bad thing, which likely should cause users to consider using a different service. Our test was a basic one, as was the file, and there was no good reason why the PDF should end up with formatting different than the original Word file (especially since none of the other PDF converters tested had a problem with this same file).

free pdf convert

For Website-to-PDF conversion, we tested the main index page of Tom’s Guide to see the result. As you can see below, the file was converted without issue.

free pdf convert

The service failed our XLS test.

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11 comments
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  • jitpublisher
    Good Article. Micosoft Word and Excel are horrible programs for desktop publishing. Converting to PDF from these programs without reflow and pagination errors when passing the file from one PC to another is tough. The only way to guarentee 100% success is to generate the PDF on the PC the document was created on.
    I have been in the print on demand and publishing business with a large firm for 18 years. Anytime someone sends native files in Word or Excel, we absolutely cringe. It can be very time consuming to convert the documents and have them turn out the exact way the creator sees the documents on their end. So, I guess you could say that in the end, you get what you pay for. Free service.....I wouldn't expect miracles with Word and Excel.
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  • Anonymous
    May also want to take a look at PDFescape (an online PDF editor):
    http://www.pdfescape.com

    Good article for those looking to create PDF files though
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  • Anonymous
    I'm very happy with having pdf "printers" installed on my computers. Saves me from all the troubles and hassles on services you just listed. Plus they are more secure and flexible when concerning private data like web purchase receipts and such. Sourceforge.net has several on it that are free and easy to install. I think it would be more natural from a users point of view too.
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  • randomizer
    Ah how I love OpenOffice, I have yet to have any problems with it's PDF converter.
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  • randomizer
    Ah how I love OpenOffice, I have yet to have any problems with it's odt/doc to PDF converter. Admittedly I have only ever converted text and tables with it.
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  • Regulas
    You could always use a Mac and you can convert about anything from any program to a .pdf file. Built into OS X through the print function.
    When you tell a program to print something a print box appears. You can then tell OS X to save the document to a .pdf file.
    I do love my Mac.
    Glenn
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  • justjc
    Good article. I hope I can get you to consider making a simular one on making the new Words docx documents into the old doc format, so I can read them using OpenOffice.
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  • Anonymous
    I have to mention that from an Adobe perspective, even though the PDF spec is public and open for anyone to use, Adobe does not guarantee the stability and accurateness of PDF files created from third party applications (meaning, programs other than Adobe Acrobat). That's not a sales pitch - that's just a fact of using an open specification that any programmer can interpret and potentially mess up. So what is my point? Be very careful of the programs you use if storing stable PDF files is critical for you.
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  • Anonymous
    Another great product for creation / conversion into PDF format are any of the products from www.cutepdf.com

    We use at my work and I love it. Very inexpensive too.
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  • Anonymous
    Nice !
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  • Anonymous
    Nice review indeed.
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