When I got back to my office after a recent vacation, there was an email from Una, about a PDF to Excel conversion service, that she asked me to try.
There was also a big pile of emails from family, friends and clients, with more urgent requests. So, Una’s email got dropped into the Follow Up folder, with little chance of being looked at again.
Until today. And I’m very glad that I read that email – it saved me a few hours of work, and that will save my client some money!
Avoiding Data Entry
Today I met with a client who needs an insurance quote calculator updated. In the new version, we need to add a long list of motorcycle makes and models.
They gave me a printed copy of the manual, and it has several pages of lists that we need to add in the update. I asked if they could get an Excel or Word version of the manual, so we could copy the data from there, into our calculator file.
Even a PDF file would be better than nothing, so I asked for that, as a third option. I figured that I could use Adobe Acrobat to extract the text somehow, if a PDF file was all that we could get.
And, of course, a PDF file was the only option available.
Convert a PDF File
When my client sent the PDF file, I remembered Una’s email, and dug it out of the Follow Up pile. Here’s what she said about the PDF to Excel conversion service that she is promoting.
It is a free online PDF to Excel conversion service – http://www.pdftoexcelconverter.net .
There are only few similar tools around and this tool has following advantages over them:
- It has no significant file size limitations (documents of up to 30MB can be converted)
- It’s web based and it requires no installation on the computer
- The table data in the PDF will be accurately represented
Hmmm…Free…and safe…and free.
So, I clicked the link to the website, and uploaded the motorcycle manual. For some reason, I had to click the Browse button twice, before it worked.
In Step 2, I entered my email address, and click the Send button.
The file was about 3 MB and uploaded in about one minute.
Less than a minute later, there was an email from the website, with a link where I could download my converted file.
Data Converted to Excel from a PDF File
The email told me to click on the link below, and I did.
However, I didn’t notice that the first link was within the "Advertisement" section, and it took me to a product page for Investintech. They showed some of their fine paid products, like Able2Extract Pro, which I have used in the past, to convert PDF files to Excel. I didn’t want to buy anything though – I wanted to download my file.
I went back to the email, and scrolled down a bit further. There was the download link, for my converted Excel file. Clicking that took me to a page with a download link.
The instructions say to click the link, but it should tell you to click the button – that link isn’t clickable.
The file downloaded quickly, and when it opened, I was very impressed with the results. The tables were in good shape, and the lists will be easy to copy and paste into our Motorcycle Calculator file. I won’t have to spend a few hours typing those lists in the Excel file, or trying to convince someone else to do it!
Desktop PDF to Excel Converter
The http://www.pdftoexcelconverter.net website states that your privacy will be protected, but if you’re trying to convert confidential documents, you can use a desktop PDF converter instead. You’ll sleep better at night, knowing that all your files are securely locked up, with no possibility of accidentally going astray.
As I mentioned, I’ve used Able2Extract Pro, and found it easy to use, with excellent conversion results. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a copy available today, but this file wasn’t confidential, so the online version was fine for this conversion.
Convert PDF to Word Failure
As a side note, I also tried converting the PDF file to Word, to see if the lists would be easier to copy and paste. I used the PDF to Word site, operated by Nitro, and the upload went well.
About 6 hours later, I got an email that said, "Sorry, an unexpected conversion failure occurred when converting your file." Good thing that I wasn’t depending on that site for a quick solution to my problem!