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[Review] Simpo PDF to Word

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

Simpo PDF to Word [1]

Version reviewed:

2.1.1.0

Software description as per the developer:

Simpo PDF to Word is designed to convert read-only PDF to editable Word files, even the encrypted pdf could be converted easily. It could convert PDF to Word with good quality, preserves graphs, chats and text layouts. What’s more, this application is standalone, you don’t need to install extra Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat.

Download size:

4.4 MB

Supported OS:

Windows XP/Vista/Win7

Price:

$29.95 (USD)

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{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Does PDF -> DOC and PDF – > TXT conversions.
  • Supports batch processing.
  • Allows users to convert whole PDFs or select pages.
  • Can convert encrypted PDFs.
  • Converts at a good pace.
  • Does not require Microsoft Office/Word installed to use.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

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{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Extremely easy to use. The only two problems are there is no ability to add a context menu entry, and doesn’t support drag + drop.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”5″}Converts fairly quickly, but the output/conversion quality needs work; it isn’t the worst I have seen so I won’t term it as being “poor”, but it definitely needs improvement. Also, there is a bug with the output file links which are listed under “Status” after conversions have finished.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”8″}PDF to Word converters are generally found to be useful by many people, especially the ones that don’t require you to have Microsoft Office/Word installed.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”7″}In of itself, $29.95 is a fair price (it is either the same or cheaper than its rivals), although $20 would be a lot more attractive. However, as it stands, I would not pay $29.95 for this software until the conversion/output quality is improved.
{/for}
{for=”Final Score” value=”6″}
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[to]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Simpo PDF to Word is an easy-to-use converter that converts PDFs to Word documents (DOC only – DOCX not supported) and text files (TXT).

This is what Simpo PDF to Word’s main program window looks like:

[2]

(Although the interface of Simpo PDF to Word resembles that of AnyBizSoft PDF to Word [3], the two programs are no way the same; they are not the same product rebranded. I know this because the output/conversion quality of both products differs highly.)

Using SPtW (Simpo PDF to Word) is very easy. You simply click on “Add PDF(s)” and add the PDFs you want to convert (you cannot drag + drop the PDFs – drag + drop is not supported). SPtW supports batch processing, so feel free to add as many PDFs as you want.

Once you have added a PDF, you can select to convert only specific pages…

[4]

[5]

…or if you would rather just convert the whole PDF you can leave it at “All Pages”. After that, simply hit “Convert” to begin converting the PDFs. When the conversions are done, you should be able to click on the hyperlink under “Status” to access the output files directly:

[6]

Conversions are done at a pretty good speed, although not “blazing fast” either and computer resource usage is not too bad either, although if you plan on converting an extremely large PDF (say, 3000 pages) you may want to let SPtW finish converting before you use the computer for other activities.

Unfortunately, the output/conversion quality is nothing to brag about; it needs improvement. See for yourself:

  1. Example (PDF) [7] | Example (DOC) [8] | Example (TXT) [9]
  2. Example (PDF) [10] | Example (DOC) [11] | Example (TXT) [12]
  3. Example (PDF) [13] | Example (DOC) [14] | Example (TXT) [15]
  4. Example (PDF) [16] | Example (DOC) [17] | Example (TXT) [18]

Note: I do not claim any ownership to any of the example PDFs… they are used for testing and demonstration purposes only. They were found via a Google query here [19] and here [20] and here [21] and here [22].

As you can see, for PDF – > DOC, SPtW totally failed to convert the tables in example 2 and 3, example 1’s the first page content is misaligned, and example 4’s second page text is messed up. For PDF -> TXT, SPtW actually performed fairly well for example 1 and 4, but was still unable to convert anything from example 2 and 3. So the quality isn’t “poor”, but it needs big improvements before this program is usable.

Just for kicks, I decided to compare SPtW to two other PDF -> Word converters I have. Here are the same exact PDF – > Word conversions, expect done by AnyBizSoft PDF to Word (available as a freebie [23]) and Nitro PDF Professional ($99 USD):

AnyBizSoft PDF to Word

  1. Example (PDF) [24] | Example (DOC) [25]
  2. Example (PDF) [26] | Example (DOC) [27]
  3. Example (PDF) [28] | Example (DOC) [29]
  4. Example (PDF) [30] | Example (DOC) [31]

Nitro PDF Professional

  1. Example (PDF) | Example (DOC)
  2. Example (PDF) [32] | Example (DOC) [33]
  3. Example (PDF) [34] | Example (DOC) [35]
  4. Example (PDF) [36] | Example (DOC) [37]

AnyBizSoft PDF to Word was also unable to convert examples 2 and 3 (the ones with just the tables), but it converted examples 1 and 4 beautifully. Nitro PDF Professional, on the other hand, converted examples 2, 3, and 4 perfectly but was literally unable to convert example 1 (hence there is no link to example 1).

From the comparison results, it is should be obvious that no PDF to Word converter is perfect. And that is just the nature of the beast; if converting PDFs to Word was an easy science, everybody would be doing it. Converting PDFs to Word is hard, although not as hard as converting PDF to Excel. You will never, ever find a *perfect* converter; all converters will have hiccups. Heck even the $99 Nitro PDF Professional isn’t perfect. When looking for a PDF to Word converter, the converter that provides “usable” results is the one to go with. In my opinion, both AnyBizSoft PDF to Word and Nitro PDF Professional generally provide “usable” results whereas SPtW does not.

Here are two other note worthy aspects of SPtW:

[38]

[39]

[40]

If the PDF is encrypted with an “owner” password, you need not do anything; just load it into SPtW and convert like normal – SPtW will do the rest for you.

Last but not the least, there are three features I would like to see added to SPtW…

…and one bug I found with the program:

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

AnyBizSoft PDF to Word [23]

AnyBizSoft PDF to Word is a good converter that used to be shareware, but is now available as a freebie.

eXPert PDF Pro 5 [41]

Among all its features, eXPert PDF Pro 5 has a PDF to Word converter. It doesn’t support batch processing though.

Zamzar.com [42]

Online PDF converter.

PDFtoWord.com [43]

Online PDF to Word converter. Has a file limit on the size the output Word file can be (I think it’s 2 MB).

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}Simpo PDF to Word is easy-to-use, but it lacks in the performance area: It needs to improve its output/conversion quality. The output/conversion quality isn’t bad enough to earn Simpo PDF to Word a thumbs down, but it is bad enough to make Simpo PDF to Word just an ordinary program. For all those that desire a PDF to Word converter, my recommendation is to go with AnyBizSoft PDF to Word (while it isn’t perfect either, it typically provides does excellent conversions).
{/rw_verdict2} –>