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DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

Freebie PDF to Word converter recos?

I got a call from a small advocacy org I did some work for years ago. They're looking for a free PDF to DOC converter that can output to Word 2010 and that does a good job of recreating tables and columnar layouts without a lot of weird formatting or garbage. From what I gather, their server got hosed, they didn't listen to Papa Bear about religiously backing-up after I left, and they have to recreate a ton of important stuff that the PDFs on their website are their only hope. Any first-hand recommendations?
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."

tomdlgns
Premium
join:2003-03-21
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
why would they listen to you, now, when they didn't listen to you before?

and they want it to be free?

wow, good luck, hopefully someone can offer up some suggestions.

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1
reply to DC DSL
Tell them to buy Acrobat and be done with it. This is not worth your time, even if you're doing nothing else.


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2
reply to tomdlgns
said by tomdlgns:

why would they listen to you, now, when they didn't listen to you before?

and they want it to be free?

If you ran a business for 30+ years, you would understand the notion and value of goodwill and not burning bridges. If they were a big company, I would tell them to wank off. All I'm doing is helping them find something suitable...they're on their own using it.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."

tomdlgns
Premium
join:2003-03-21
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
said by DC DSL:

said by tomdlgns:

why would they listen to you, now, when they didn't listen to you before?

and they want it to be free?

If you ran a business for 30+ years, you would understand the notion and value of goodwill and not burning bridges. If they were a big company, I would tell them to wank off. All I'm doing is helping them find something suitable...they're on their own using it.

i agree and i would do the same thing in your position, but they are in no place to demand it be free when 1, they didnt take your advice to backup and 2, they seem to really need these documents.

that was my point.


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2
reply to Oedipus
said by Oedipus:

Tell them to buy Acrobat and be done with it. This is not worth your time, even if you're doing nothing else.

All I'm doing is helping them find something suitable...they're on their own using it. And, Acrobat does a rather crappy job of converting documents that aren't straight text...all sorts of formatting weirdness appears in tables and columns...takes a lot of work to clean up.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2
reply to tomdlgns
You probably aren't very familiar with small, non-profit advocacy groups. The reason they're in the bind they're in is they had to eliminate most of their support staff...including their admin. Non-tech people never take backup seriously unless it bites them hard...and even then they tend to lose the religion after just a few weeks.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."

tomdlgns
Premium
join:2003-03-21
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
i will keep my comments to myself because i dont want this thread to be a back and forth battle of who is right.

what i will say is that just because it is a non-profit group doesn't mean they shouldn't spend money. i am not saying that they need a 55k backup solution. i am sure they can afford a few hundred bucks for a NAS and some hard drives and backup the important stuff once a week or even once a month.


The WeaseL
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Minnesota
reply to DC DSL
Try this:

»www.pdftoword.com/

I haven't had much experience going PDF to DOC, usually the other way, but I did try this on a pretty well formatted up PDF and it brought it into Word 2010 very nicely.

Using the free web based option they will have to do one at a time, but there is a downloadable program option as well (no idea on the cost).
--
How lucky am I to have known someone who is so hard to say good-bye to.


angussf
Premium
join:2002-01-11
Tucson, AZ
kudos:4
reply to DC DSL
Try ZamZar.com


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to The WeaseL
said by The WeaseL:

Try this:

»www.pdftoword.com/

I've used the web-based version for a few DOCs here and there and the vast majority of the time it did NOT handle tables well AT ALL. It did no different than what copy-and-paste from the PDF into Word would have accomplished.


jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL
reply to DC DSL
said by DC DSL:

a free PDF to DOC converter that can output to Word 2010 and that does a good job of recreating tables and columnar layouts without a lot of weird formatting or garbage.

DC, I don't believe such an animal exists, for free or any price. In every instance, and there have been many over the years with many pieces of software, I've never once saved any time compared with just a copy/paste/reformat or have it re-typed into word.

If you find anything remotely decent, please let me know. I get this question a lot, and it's one of those times when my answer is an emphatic "no".


izy
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
endless loop
kudos:2
reply to DC DSL
If they are non profit, they may qualify for this.
»home.techsoup.org/Stock/Pages/Pr···idualWin

Acrobat XI Pro Win ESD

Admin Fee: $45.00
Donor partner:Adobe
Platform: Windows
Product ID: G-40959
Format: Download
Availability: Available
--
"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them." Einstein

wssddc

join:2001-08-21
Bedford, MA
reply to DC DSL
I suggest they download the Acrobat 11 trial and see how well it works with their documents. With older versions I've seen everything from near perfect conversion to a horrible mess. Maybe they can even finish the task before the trial times out. (I don't know what limits Adobe has on the trial.)


SychoSly
Scoot the World
Premium
join:2004-01-22
Mount Prospect, IL
kudos:1
reply to DC DSL
Any program or webpage that you use will be a best effort. I don't believe any one will give you consistent results. Some may come out OK and others not so. They will most likely have to do some cleaning up and format fixing on the result before an acceptable version is reached.
--
~Sly