#11: OpenOffice with PDF import extension

This converter is ranked #11 in our comparison of free PDF to Word converter tools (i.e. out of 16 converters, it is #11).

OpenOffice is the world’s most well known free (and Open Source) office suite. It’s open architecture means that it is easily extendable via plugins, and in fact the ‘PDF Import Extension’ lets OpenOffice open PDF directly in OpenOffice Draw (the drawing module, not the Word Processor). This also means that you can edit and save PDF’s directly, just as if you were doing it in, say, Microsoft Word.

But you have to be aware of three things (a) you have to download and install the ‘PDF Import’ extension separately; (b) you can open, edit and save PDF’s, but you cannot convert them to any format readable in Word, and (c) for some reason I do not understand, it is very hard/impractical to load large PDF files, even on a very powerful machine.


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Overall Rating: C+. TIER 2. Be mindful that comparing this with tools that DO perform PDF to Word conversions is comparing oranges to apples.

Desktop vs. Online: Windows; Mac; Linux.

Converts to (file type): DOES NOT CONVERT TO WORD. However; will let you edit and save your PDF directly.

Handling of Text: C Handling of Images: B Handling of Tables: B

Reliability: C OCR Support: No Max File Size: Large files slow to load – or do not load at all

Is it Free?: Yes.

Where to download?: download on this page.  You also need to download the PDF import extension on this page. You can install the extension simply by double clicking on the downloaded file or via Tools/Extension Manager/Add.

Strengths: Great for quick ad-hoc edits or small edits in small documents. Text and special characters render very well. Multiplatform desktop app means that you do not have to upload your file(s) to the internet.

Weaknesses: Does not actually convert to a Word format. Text (and tables) can be very labor intensive to edit. Large files (say 4 or 5 MB plus or PDFs with more than a handful of pages) inexplicably cause the program to hang or take a very long time to open (and exhibit performance issues if it does). Image rendering is somewhat variable; with images sometimes distorted or sliced into little pieces. Requires that you install the PDF import extension separately.[/tabla]


See previous tool  Go back for #10: Pdfburger    |    Go forward for #12: LibreOffice  See Next tool

Or go back to Our comparison of FREE PDF to Word tools