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Free Online PDF Converters

24 Jul 2007 | | 9 Comments

The number of different ways to create PDFs is growing daily. A few years ago if you didn’t have Acrobat, your options for creating PDFs were quite limited, but today there are hundreds, if not thousands, of free and commercial PDF conversion utilities out there that will allow you to create all the PDFs that you could possibly desire. In this post I will list a number of different free online PDF converters.

  • PrimoPDF Online – Simply browse to the file to be converted on your machine and upload it for immediate conversion to PDF. Once converted, the resultant PDF file is made available via email.
  • LOOP for Firefox – Upload, convert and combine your files to PDF from a tidy toolbar, without the conversion getting in the way of your Web browsing. LOOP for Firefox allows you to convert and combine files to PDF with the click of a button.
  • PDF Online – Convert Microsoft Word documents to PDF, Excel XLS to PDF, Powerpoint PPT to PDF, Text TXT to PDF, HTML to PDF, most image formats (JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, etc) to PDF, and much more.
  • ExpressPDF – Convert your Microsoft Word and Excel documents and Web pages to PDF.
  • Media Convert – Create PDFs from pretty much any file format and convert PDFs to Text Files (.txt), Rich Text Format/MS Word (.rtf), Adobe Postscript (.ps) and Flash SWF (.swf).
  • RSS 2 PDF – Convert your RSS feeds into PDFs.

As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can create PDFs online for free. My personal favourite is the LOOP for Firefox that I’ve previous mentioned here, but all of these online services performed pretty well in general and I am sure that one of the services will be to your liking.

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  • Hope Leman said:

    Very useful post! Thank you. I tried PrimoPDF Online–it is excellent! Thanks for the tip! I use PDF Online early every day–it is excellent, too.

  • Row said:

    No problem, glad you liked the post. Yes, PrimoPDF Online and PDF Online are both quality services. It is really great that people can create PDFs smoothly and quickly, without having to install anything or pay a dime.

    Adobe have a similar service, but you only get 5 free conversions before you have to pay, so I excluded them from this list.

  • Cisco said:


    I’ve been searching the internet, but i can’t seem to find an answer to my question, and mybe someone here can help…

    I’ve not yet MADE a PDF yet, but am interested in doing so. If i scan printed documents with text on them, say a HMW assignment or study guide, and then want to convert it to PDF, will i be able to search for keywords or subjects on the page like i do in a regular PDF? If not, is there anything out there on the market that can?

    Thank You in advanced 🙂


  • Gerry said:

    Do you also know of FREE converters from PDF to XLS?

    Thank you

  • Rowan Hanna said:

    Hi Gerry,

    I don’t know of any free PDF to XLS desktop applications but I just found an online conversion service that might work.


    There is also a 7 day free trial of Able2Extract — obviously this option isn’t free after 7d ays, but if you only need to convert a few files, it could help.


  • Karl De Abrew said:

    Hi Gerry,

    As Rowan said, converting PDF -> XLS is usually something you have to pay for — mostly because it’s quite a bit more complex than a straight PDF -> TXT conversion.

    I’m figuring that you probably don’t have Adobe Acrobat, but if you did — you could follow the instructions here – http://it.cas.psu.edu/training/howto/util/pdf_extract_text.htm to convert.

    Alternatively, depending on the type of tables involved, you can try a more manual approach. Download Foxit Reader 2.3 from Foxit Software at http://www.foxitsoftware.com/.

    1. Fire it up and open the document.
    2. Activate the selection tool.
    3. Highlight the table that you want to convert.
    4. Copy it to the clipboard.
    5. Open Notepad and paste the text.
    6. Save the file and open in Excel.
    7. The Text Import Wizard should display.
    8. Use the Delimited option and follow the instructions to locate the cell boundaries.
    9. Click Finish and Voila!

    Now if you have to do this for more than 1 or 2 files (which hopefully have only a few tables), then you probably need to consider another method.

    Note: you need to you use Foxit Reader rather than Adobe Reader in order to recognize the cell boundaries. Adobe Reader will put your data in one long list…

    Cheers, -Karl

  • Tip for extracting content from PDFs into Excel files said:

    […] a useful tip from Karl in the comments section for the post Free Online PDF Converts on how to extract text from a PDF into an Excel file, for free. I thought I’d share it with […]

  • Karl De Abrew said:

    Cisco — apologies for the late response, I only just noticed your comment wedged in there — you can try the Create PDF Online service from Adobe. The first 5 docs are free – I wrote it up here -> http://www.pdfpdfpdfpdf.com/2008/10/use-create-adobe-pdf-online-to-save-as-pdf-and-view-with-hopefully-any-pdf-reader/

  • VanessaT said:

    Here’s another free one: http://kitpdf.com/. To me it did its job perfectly.