PDFs are an essential component to our digital world. The Portable Document Format is the standard for sharing documents online. Microsoft Word is just as important to the digital business world. The list compiled is made up of top 8 best PDF to Word converters free online or for PC.
Although the ones listed are free, they will still prove to be feature rich and help you not only convert your PDFs to Word documents but also help you manipulate your documents in other useful ways. Let’s move onto the most popular and widely available PDF convertors for Word documents.
- #1. Google Drive (Online)
- #2. IceCream PDF Converter (for Windows)
- #3. PDFescape (for PC/Online)
- #4. ABBYY FineReader's Free Version (for PC)
- #5. Adobe Acrobat Pro's Trial Version (for PC)
- #6. ILovePDF (Online)
- #7. Online2PDF (Online)
- #8. Smallpdf (Online)
- Tips. PDF to Word Converter on PC vs. PDF to Word Converter Online
#1. Google Drive (Online)
Few other companies have done as much as Google has to make our lives easier, whether it is for pleasure or business. That’s why Google Drive is on this list because of its easy-to-use file system and connection with its neighboring apps, specifically Google Docs.
Word documents saved in your Google Drive will be opened with Google Docs and will be edited in that program. From there, you can export the file to PDF. However, once converted you can no longer edit the PDF the same as you would with the other programs on this list. Other than the inability to edit the PDF, the only other con is you need an active internet connection to use Google Drive.
- Backed by Google.
- Easy to convert PDF to Word.
- Connects with other apps.
- Not as full-featured as other PDF editors.
- Requires internet access.
- Free for the 15GB of storage. You need to pay for more storage.
“Third-party options are available for Chrome as extensions to edit PDFs, but I can edit the form as I need before converting the format. I am already using the entire Google Suite so no need for additional software to be downloaded.”
#2. IceCream PDF Converter (for Windows)
You can find all the essential functions you would need from a PDF converter in IceCream PDF Converter developed by IceCream Apps. The software company also boasts a wide range of other products, but let’s focus on this one in particular.
One of the major pros of this PDF converter is how easy it is to convert multiple file types at once to PDF form using a simple drag-and-drop menu from different sources. For example, you can convert a JPG and Word document simultaneously into one PDF file. After conversion, you can place a password on the file for added protection. Its key features include:
- Edit text and objects.
- Manage pages.
- Productivity booster.
- Protect PDF.
- Annotate PDF.
- Add stamps or watermark.
- Cute UI design.
- Simple drag-and-drop menu for multiple documents.
- Password encryption.
- Conversions may not retain layout.
- It’s only for Windows
- It’s free for trial version, while the full version costs $19.95/one-time/user.
- No PDF to EPUB support.
“I enjoy the ease of use, but the inability to export PDFs to other formats is my only complaint.”
#3. PDFescape (for PC/Online)
PDFescape is a powerful online and PC-based editor, which is capable of doing everything you typically need to do with an editor. You can convert, view, edit, annotate, create basic PDFs with encryption, and share your documents.
Best of all, it can be free. All major web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari can use this program. But, for additional features and for a cost as low as $2.99 a month currently, such as converting PDFs to Word documents, you have to download the desktop version.
- Free for its basic online version.
- Easy to use.
- Offers essential tools with free version.
- More features require a monthly subscription.
- Need the desktop subscription for Word conversion.
- Image to image conversion missing.
“This is a perfect alternative to Adobe Acrobat that is easier to navigate in my experience.”
#4. ABBYY FineReader's Free Version (for PC)
According to the software developer of ABBYY FineReader, “The intelligent detection of text-layer quality for digitally-created PDFs allows for more accurate results when converting into editable form.” The proprietary technology ABBYY FineReader takes advantage of makes this one the most powerful PDF converter on this list.
Scanning documents using optical character recognition (OCR) makes creating PDFs out of any of document easier. Then, editing them as a PDF to convert to word documents is much simpler with this program because of its easy to navigate user interface. After you complete your edits, you can then put them in PDF/A format for long-term archiving and easy retrieval. The only major con is the steep price point for even a single user.
- Takes advantage of OCR technology.
- One of the most feature-rich PDF editors.
- Allows subscription bundling for large businesses.
- Expensive. $199.99 for the standard version, $399.99 for the corporate version.
- Only 15 day free trial.
- No feature that allows users to review the history of changes to a document.
“Scanning documents and editing them in one program has streamlined my workflow tremendously.”
#5. Adobe Acrobat Pro's Trial Version (for PC)
Adobe has been a major player when it comes to PDFs for a long time. Especially considering the PDF format was created by Adobe 25 years ago. Adobe’s decision to move to a cloud-based subscription service has not scared away all of its fan base just yet. Although the company's decision to move to the cloud has come with some criticism, it has also come with some benefits that modern users can take advantage of.
As with most of the PDF to Word converters on this list, Adobe Acrobat is able to view, edit, and share documents. But the inclusion of mobile app capabilities allows users to do what they need to do on the go. Adobe offers a 7-day trial and is perfect if you are considering a mobile friendly PDF to Word converter for free to try out.
- Ability to edit PDF documents directly and the number of tools available.
- Adobe support online.
- Mobile app capabilities.
- Cloud support.
- Only 7-day trial and the free version lacks some features.
- Subscription based. It costs $14.99 per month.
- The rich feature set can be overwhelming for new users.
“All of the Adobe Suite has everything I need to be productive under one umbrella.”
#6. ILovePDF (Online)
Everything you could possibly want to do with a PDF including converting a Word document for free can be done with ILovePDF. There are four functions that make this one of the more unique converters on this list. Its features include:
- HTML to PDF
- Unlock PDF
- Split/Merge PDF
- Repair PDF
You can manipulate your documents in different configurations and convert from most of Microsoft’s Office Suites programs. For example, you can create a PDF from an Excel spreadsheet, then split that into multiple pages individually. The free version severely limits the number of documents you can manipulate at once, however paid versions are no more than $10 a month.
- Multiple features.
- Easy to use.
- Limited on number of documents converted at once.
- Requires internet connection.
- Free only for trial. Subscription based.
“My only complaint is the limited document amount for the free version. It has plenty of functions that you will definitely use, but you’ll need the paid version to truly get the most out of this program.”
#7. Online2PDF (Online)
This online only program is as basic as it gets. Which is great if you only need to convert from PDF to word for free. Other than that, this program is severely limited on capabilities and even on how many documents it can convert at once. They set the limit to five files at once.
Other than its lack of features, such as the extremely useful edit feature, the program is reliable and fast. No setup is needed on the user’s end other than uploading the files and choosing what to format to convert to. Files can be merged or split and have passwords removed from PDFs. But again, without the ability to edit or annotate the files, you are limited to what you can do as opposed to others on this list.
- It is completely free.
- Easy to use.
- Basic online converter that can edit PDF to Word.
- Limited features and limited file size uploaded.
- Some fonts are missing in the converted PDF.
- Requires internet connection.
“Fast and simple. The interface was easy to navigate. All I did was uploaded my files and it took two minutes to have them converted to Excel format.”
#8. Smallpdf (Online)
Smallpdf is another online only program designed to help you convert your PDFs to Word for free. However, there are limitations to the number of files you can convert at once. Also, a big con for the program is ads. As if the digital world is not already full enough with them, you’ll also find them here.
You’ll find all the features you would with other online converters with Smallpdf as you would with the others listed. The paid version offers no ads, no limitations, and 20% faster uploads. Additionally, you’ll get stronger compression so you’ll have smaller files which will save up on precious space. Give the 14-day trial a try if you have large batches of documents you need converted. The 20% faster upload makes it worth the try.
- Fast upload speeds.
- Makes it easier to do batchwork.
- Free version offers plenty of features.
- Free only for 14-day trial. Subscription based.
- Too much ads on the online plataform.
- When you go to convert PDF to word, it may convert the font style into another type in some places.
“Faster than most PDF editors? Yes. But I don’t think the $12 monthly cost is worth it to me. Other users might find it more useful than I did.”
Tips. PDF to Word Converter on PC vs. PDF to Word Converter Online
When comparing PDF converters for Word documents on the PC or an online converter you have to ask which features are essential to you. Every individual will have different needs and considering the power of some of the apps on this list, not every user will need as many functions.
The major pros for PC PDF converters for Word documents include:
- More features for the PDF to word converter on PC. The desktop version is full-featured while the online converters are mainly used to make some minor changes on files.
- They don’t require an internet connection. Online connections can cut out and leave a user unable to access or share a PDF.
- For better privacy, it is recommended to use PDF to word converter on PC. You never know who can see the file when you are doing it on a website.
- PDF to word converter on PC has fewer mistakes. Users who require stability will want to stick with desktop versions.
Most of the free versions of these apps will be best suited for those who do not handle PDFs that often. On the other hand, businesses may want to consider apps that use OCR technology such as ABBYY FineReader. Scanning large amounts of documents frequently becomes a massive task if you have to go back to edit each scan individually to format. Even for personal use, desktop versions are still a better option than most online converters.