Convert To PDF: Guide To The Best Free Online PDF Conversion Tools
Do you need to convert your files to PDF? Are you looking for a free online solution to produce PDF documents wherever you are? Struggle no more. In this MasterNewMedia guide you can find the best free PDF conversion tools on the web.
Photo credit: brunoil edited by Daniele Bazzano
Online PDF conversion tools allow you to convert a wide range of files (text document, images, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, etc.) into a PDF document. All at no expense and without downloading any software or plug-ins to your computer.
Until a few years ago, the only way you could create a PDF file was by purchasing Adobe Acrobat Pro, but in recent times, several free solutions to create PDF have become available.
The characteristics that make PDF files great for creating and sharing your documents are renowned, but in case you are wondering what are these advantages, in the list below there are the major ones:
- Platform-independent: Font, text styles, images and the layout of your text look exactly the same no matter what operating system or software you are using to view a PDF document.
- High-quality: PDF quality is much higher compared to other similar formats. A PDF usually looks just as a printed sheet.
- Secure: A PDF can easily be password-protected to prevent unauthorized access, copy or print of your content.
- Virus-free: PDF files cannot be infected by viruses, trojans or malwares. You can spread your work safely.
- Open: PDF is an open format which means the PDF file format can be used and implemented by anyone, completely royalty-free.
As previously stated, these free online PDF conversion tools allow you to convert an existing file into PDF, but you cannot edit the converted PDF once the document has been generated. To really evaluate if these PDF conversion tools are what you are looking for, here are some of the things you cannot do:
- Edit page numbers,
- Re-arrange the layout of the text,
- Adjust the zoom factor to select exactly how the PDF will open on the screen,
- Create hyperlinks,
- Add images, videos, audio tracks or any other type of media content.
How do these PDF conversion tools work? Generally, all you have to do is upload a file from your computer and provide your e-mail address to receive the converted PDF. If permitted, you can also protect your PDF with a password, add a watermark, customize the output quality of your PDF, and more.
Let's look now into some of the key features and traits that characterize these online PDF conversion tools:
- Web-based: PDF documents are converted without the need to download or install any software. you can use any type of computer or operating system.
- Document Fidelity: Original formatting, fonts, text styles, hyperlinks and images included inside your original file are fully preserved during conversion to PDF.
- E-mail delivery: Converted PDF documents are delivered to an e-mail address of your choice in a matter of minutes.
I have also prepared a set of comparative tables and individual reviews to compare all of these PDF conversion tools. The comparative criteria I have selected include:
- Supported formats: File types supported by online PDF conversion tools.
- Conversion by URL: Conversion into PDF of an existing document published on the web.
- Watermarking: Inclusion of a text overlay with critical information like "Confidential" or "Important" inside your PDF.
- Maximum upload size: Largest file size allowed to upload a document for PDF conversion.
- Compression quality control: Settings to customize the output quality of your PDF document.
- Delivery method: Download of your converted PDF document right after the conversion or by having an e-mail message sent to your inbox.
- Registration-free: Unnecessary registration to utilize the online PDF conversion tool.
Free Online PDF Conversion Tools - Comparative Tables
Free Online PDF Conversion Tools
- Primo PDF
Primo PDF is a free service that allows you to convert your files into PDF, using only your web browser. Without even registering, the service you can upload a file in one of the over 300 file formats supported, which include DOC, RTF, ODF, PPT, JPG, GIF, BM. URL conversion is also accepted. Files must not be larger than 5MB each. No watermarking, nor compression quality control. To receive your converted PDF, you need to provide a valid e-mail address and wait for the converted PDF to hit your inbox.
- PDF Online
PDF Online is a PDF conversion service you can use for free and without registration. PDF Online supports the following file formats: DOC, RTF, TXT, XLS, PPT, HTML, BMP, JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG and PUB but is not possible to convert from a URL. Each submitted file must not be larger than 2MB. No compression quality control, nor watermarking are supported. Your converted PDF files are delivered via e-mail.
- Kinati 2 PDF
Kinati 2 PDF is a free service that allows you to convert your files into PDF on the web. With no registration required, Kinati 2 PDF converts from more than 30 file formats, including DOC, RTF, TXT, XLS, PPT, HTML, BMP, JPG, GIF, TIFF and PNG. URL conversion is not supported. Each submitted file has a size limit of 25MB. Before converting your file, you can customize the output of your PDF by selecting a password protection, a watermark and several compression quality options to help you get the best result. When the conversion is completed, you can either choose to download your PDF document right away or have your PDF delivered to an e-mail address of your choice.
- PDF Converter
PDF Converter is a free online service that converts your files into PDF without spending a dime. No registration is needed. PDF Converter supports more than 60 different file formats, including DOC, RTF, TXT, XLS, PPT, HTML, BMP, JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG and can also convert from URLs. Maximum file size you can upload is not clearly specified. You can customize the final output of your PDF document by selecting the correct image resolution, compression quality and color format settings to obtain the best results. You can also add a watermark to your converted PDF and protect it from unauthorized access, copy or republication with a password. The only delivery method available is e-mail.
- Express PDF ***DEAD
Express PDF is an online converter that generates PDF documents starting from Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX). Each file to convert must not exceed the 20MB size limit and it not necessary to register to utilize Express PDF. Conversion from URL is also accepted. The "PDF output quality option" allows you to optimize the rendering of your converted PDF either for print, e-book or screen reading. Watermarking is not supported. Converted PDFs are delivered using e-mail.
- Neevia PDF
Neevia PDF is a free online service that converts more than 70 file formats into PDF, without registration. Major file formats supported are: DOC, RTF, TXT, XLS, PPT, HTML, BMP, JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG and PUB. Each file to convert must not be larger than 1MB. Conversion from URL is not supported. Before converting, you can make your PDF fully compatible with previous version of Adobe Reader, select the compression quality, add a watermark and also protect your PDF with a password. To get your generated PDF you can either to choose to receive it via e-mail or download the PDF document right after the conversion process.
Online PDF Converter is a free web-based PDF conversion service. Without any registration, you can immediately convert more than 30 different file formats including DOC, RTF, TXT, XLS, PPT, HTML, BMP, JPG, GIF, TIFF and PNG into PDF files. URL conversion is not supported. Maximum size of files you can upload to the service is not clearly specified. No compression quality control, nor watermarking are available. To receive your converted PDF you must specify a valid e-mail address.
DOC2PDF is a web-based conversion service that allows you to convert Microsoft Word files (DOC and DOCX) into PDF documents, absolutely for free. Registration is not even needed to utilize the service. Maximum file size supported is not clearly specified. URL conversion is not available, nor you can add watermarks to your PDF files. Compression quality control is also not available. The only way to receive your converted PDF document is to provide a valid e-mail address.
- Print in PDF
Print in PDF is a free online service you can use to convert Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files into PDF documents. Supported file formats are: DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPS, PPTX and PPSX. Registration is not required. Maximum file size supported is not clearly specified. URL conversion, watermarking and compression quality control are not available. You will receive your converted PDF document to your e-mail address.
Convert.io is a free online service which allows you to convert a file to PDF just by sending it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Without even registering you can convert file up to 20MB. File formats supported are: DOC, RTF, TXT, XLS, PPT, BMP, JPG, GIF, TIF, PNG and others. Conversion by URL, compression quality control and watermarking are not supported.
- Google Docs
Using the web-based office suite from Google, you can convert any supported file into a PDF document at no expense. You just need a Google account. Then, open or import your file (text document, spreadsheet, presentation, etc.) and click on "File", "Download as". Select PDF as the output format. The file is converted instantly and you can download it on your computer right away. If you need to convert an image into PDF, just copy your picture to an empty text document and follow the steps above. With Google Docs you cannot convert from URLs. No watermarking, nor custom quality control are available either.
Zoho is a web-based office suite that allows you to convert any supported file into a PDF document. You need to go through a registration process before utilizing Zoho, or you can use your existing Google, Google Apps or Yahoo! credentials to utilize the service. To convert a file into PDF, open or import your selected file (text document, presentation, spreadsheet, database, etc), and click on a little icon close to the "Format" menu labeled "Export". Select PDF as the output format and you are done. The file is converted instantly and a download dialogue on your screen lets you save the new PDF file to your computer. If you need to convert an image into PDF, just copy your picture to an empty text document and follow the steps above. Using Zoho you cannot convert from URLs. No watermarking, nor custom quality control are available either.
Daniele Bazzano -
Originally prepared by Daniele Bazzano for MasterNewMedia, and first published on October 12th, 2009 as "Convert To PDF: Guide To The Best Free Online PDF Conversion Tools".