How to convert PDF to Word and vice versa, for free
PDF (portable document format) and Word documents are the two common document types, for sharing text-based information (especially).
And most times, converting from one to another, is necessary, given their unique characteristics, areas of use, and deficiencies.
If preserving the layout of a document is a priority, PDFs are preferred. They preserve the original layout and formatting and are small in file size. But they are difficult — or most times impossible — to edit. Hence, they are often used to send resumes, contract agreements requiring signatures, and files to be read and printed.
On the other hand, a word document is the native file type for the Microsoft word editor. Most organizations use it to send text-based information and a few hiring managers prefer them for CVs and cover letters.
For this article, I’ll cover the well-known methods for converting documents, with steps that are easy to follow.
Converting from PDF to word and from Word to PDF using Microsoft word
Converting from PdF to word document using Microsoft word
Before I begin, it’s important to sound this warning: using Microsoft to convert Pdf documents, could affect the layout and formatting of the original document. Your new document, might not look like it’s original.
Hence, it’s best to use this method for PDFs with little or no content, or if you simply need to make some edits.
In your Microsoft word editor, click on “file”. It’s at the top left-hand corner of your screen
Step 2: On the backstage screen that opens, click on “open” and browse to the folder, where the PDF is stored on your PC.
Step 3: After locating the PDF you wish to convert, open it.
Step 4: On the next page, you’ll receive a warning of the possible distortion of the layout and formatting of the original PDF changing. However, there’s no need to fret: it’s only telling you that the new document, may not look like it’s original.
Click the “OK” button, and Voila! Your PDF is converted to an editable word document.
Converting from Word document to PDF, using Microsoft Word
With Microsoft Word, you can convert a document both ways: from PDF to word or word to PDF.
But unlike the former, converting from a word document to PDF has no effect on the original layout or formatting of the document. But your new document would be uneditable and the.
Step 1: To begin, click on the File button, located at the top-left-hand corner of your Microsoft Word editor.
Step 2: On the backstage screen, click on Save As on the dialogue box in the left-hand corner.
Step 3: Next, select where you’ll wish to save your document to: could be your PC, one drive, or a particular folder.
Stage 4: After you’ve selected the location you’ll love to store the PDF, click on the arrow-down button, below the text field for the file name (highlighted in pastel blue below) and select “PDF”.
You could also change the name of the document, to any of your choosing.
Converting a PDF to word and vice versa, using Google Docs.
If you don’t have a Microsoft word editor, you can still convert your documents with Google docs. But you must have a Google account.
Converting a PDF to Word document using Google docs
Using Google docs to convert a PDF to a word document, could distort the initial formatting and layout of the file, since it’s a double-hop process — from PDF to a Google Doc, and finally to a word document
However, it does the work perfectly, if you wish to simply make it editable or send it to someone.
Step 1: To upload the PDF to your google drive, log into your google drive account, and select the “New” button. On the dialogue box that pops up, click on “File upload”.
Step 2: Locate the PDF file you wish to convert in your PC. After you’ve located it, click on the “open” button, at the bottom right-hand corner of the pop-up box.
Selecting open would upload the file to your google cloud storage space. Now that the upload is complete, you can begin the next stage, which would convert the file into a word document.
Step 3: Click on the PDF file in your google drive, and click on the button “open with Google Docs” on the page that pos up. This leads you directly to your google doc word editor.
Step 4: Now, click on the file button which will lead to a drop-down menu. In the dropdown menu, select download and choose PDF as the file format
Selecting the “Word document” (.docx*) option, would automatically download your new word document to your PC.
Converting a word document to PDF, using Google docs.
Converting a word document to PDF using Google docs, is the same as converting a PDF to a word document.
But in this case, instead of selecting the “Microsoft Word (.docx) option in the last stage, you would click on PDF (.pdf*)
Converting with free online tools
There are many online file format converters out there. As a matter of fact, they’ve become ubiquitous in our daily and professional lives.
Each one has unique characteristics, that differentiates it from the others. You can pick any of them, depending on your preferences and priority.
Examples of them include: