PDF files are designed to display documents in a fixed layout – great for viewing and printing but not good for editing, unless you have Adobe Acrobat which is very expensive.
An alternative way to edit a PDF document is to convert the PDF to Word or another format where you can edit it freely. This can also be a good way to make a PDF file easier to view on an ebook reader – some struggle to read PDF files.
One program that can do this is PDFZilla which is currently a free giveaway (usual price is $49.95) – it is a PDF converter which supports conversion to Word and many other formats. Note: the free offer ends on 14th March 2012 so be quick if you want it.
- Convert PDF to Word – Convert PDF to Word with all text and Graphical data. You can edit with Microsoft Word
- Convert PDF to RTF – Convert PDF to Rich Text Files. You can edit all text and graphic with Windows Wordpad
- Convert PDF to TXT – Convert PDF to plain text files. You can edit text with Notepad
- Convert PDF to Images – Convert PDF to a series of BMP, JPG, GIF or TIF image files
- Convert PDF to HTML – Convert PDF to HTML files and automatically generate the Index file
- Convert PDF to SWF – Convert PDF to Shockwave Flash Animation files which can be published on websites
- Page Selection – Convert all the pages of the PDF file, or a partial selection of pages
- Convert Multiple PDF Files – convert more than one PDF file at once (using the same Output file format)
How To Use PDFZilla
1. Open PDFZilla and select one of the 5 PDF Converter options:
2. Click the Plus (+) icon to browse for and add a single PDF file to convert OR click the Folder/Plus icon to add a number of PDF files from a specific folder – you can also drag and drop PDF files into the source file list:
3. OPTIONAL. Change the Output Format, if required – the default format corresponds to the selection you made in Step 1 e.g. if you chose ‘PDF To Word’ then the format will be pre-set to ‘Word Files (*.doc)’ but you can change it if you like
4. OPTIONAL. Change the Options, if required – these include the first and last page to convert. By default all pages in the PDF will be converted
5. OPTIONAL. Change the Output folder where the converted file will be saved to, if required – by default it will be saved in C:\Output
6. Press the ‘Start Converting Now’ button to begin conversion – when complete, the progress bar will indicate ‘Done’ and a beep will sound
You should find the converted file(s) in the Output folder.
Download the free giceaway of PDFZilla here. I am not a fan of Cnet downloads but this one does not appear to be ‘wrapped’ in any adware that Cnet sometimes force on unwary users – I didn’t encounter any issues with the download and installation process.
After installation you need to register the program with the free Registration Code given on the download page (it is AQ1W6F0ZN7Q9D85 at time of writing)
Note: Activating with the code worked fine for me but some people have reported issues – follow the advice from PDFZilla below if you encounter issues activating in Vista/W7: “If you are not the Administrator User, please run the program as Administrator: click on the program icon with the right mouse button, select “Run As Administrator” to open the program, and then use the giveaway key to activate”.
PDFZilla is incredibly easy to use and does a good job converting PDF files to a number of editable formats including Word.
The free giveaway version is not licensed for commercial usage and will not receive free upgrades but the program worked fine for me as it is and I can’t envisage any changes to the PDF or Doc formats that would necessitate an upgrade in the near future.