Today's Tech Talk tip is in response to a recent reader question: "I have a PDF file that was originally an Excel file. Unfortunately, I no longer have the original Excel file, but I need to make some edits to the data". Fortunately, this reader is in luck!
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, there are plenty of tools available to convert a PDF to multiple file formats using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. Some are good, and others... not so good. Here's one that I use and recommend, and the best part is... it's FREE!
When you're ready to convert a PDF into Word, Excel, etc, go to www.pdftoword.com (the name is a little misleading since it will convert to and from multiple Office formats).
From here, select the format you want to convert to, choose the file, enter your email address and that's it!
As you can see, you can convert to and from any one of the following formats:
Depending on the size of the document, you should see the converted document in your email Inbox in less than 30 seconds (usually quicker than that). Now that you have a document in a format that's editable, you can make any changes that you need, save it, share it... whatever you want. There is one gotcha with this method, and that is the fact that it uses OCR. OCR does the best job it can (and usually it's pretty good), but if there is a lot of complex formatting, it can stumble a little.
This site is definitely a good one to bookmark for later use.