PDF to Word conversion tools

Subject: PDF to Word conversion tools
From: mandalynw -at- gmail -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 15:40:02 -0600

Today I've been researching software to convert PDF to Word/RTF. I'm
looking for the tool that that will provide the cleanest output. I've done
several trial runs today, and thought the list might be interested in my
findings. I'd also like to ask for opinions on your favorite tool. I was
unable to evaluate ScanSoft, so if anyone has feedback on its output, I'd
appreciate it. Please no comments on why it is a bad idea to convert from
PDF -- a Very Large Client is dictating the workflow on this project.

Here is what I've found so far, converting a PDF that was originally
created in FrameMaker to MS Word format...

LEADTOOLS ePrint from www.eprintdriver.com:
Free trial available. Retained formatting well, but put each line of text
in a separate text box. Inserted a page break for each new page. Seems to
treat tables as a concatenation of various graphical elements. Formats
text as Normal + formatting. It seems to have a lot of capability, but has
a somewhat convoluted interface--you have to use the Print option of
Internet Explorer to launch the ePrint interface. I didn't try, but it
claims it can also convert:
Text to PDF

PDF2Word from www.verypdf.com:
Free trial available. Put random blocks of text in separate text boxes.
Inserted a section break for each new page. Formatting is not as clean.
Formats text as Normal + formatting.

Solid Converter from www.solidpdf.com:
No free trial. A copy of a converted file sent to me by a colleague
retained the original formatting very well but each paragraph/text block
was placed in a separate text box. Inserted a section break for each new
page. Tables appear to be treated as background graphics, with table text
overlayed in a text box. Retains good graphic quality (screen shots).
Formats all text as Normal.

ScanSoft PDF Converter from www.scansoft.com:
No free trial, so I was unable to evaluate it.

ABBYY PDF Transformer from www.abbyy.com:
Free trial available. Retains formatting well, with clean-looking output.
Inserted section breaks for each new page. Formats most text as a
continuous text flow in separate paragrpahs. Formats text as Normal +
formatting. Graphics were preserved but quite fuzzy. Tables were

Able2Doc from www.investintech.com:
Free trial available. Output was similar to ABBYY, but not quite as clean.
Tables and graphic lines were treated as one big background graphic. Some
graphics turned a funky color. It also has options to save as text only or
with all text in "frames" (which places each paragraph in a text box).

Are there any other tools you would suggest?


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