Which is better? Online PDF Converters vs PDF Converter Software

Which is better? Online PDF Converters vs PDF Converter Software

March 04, 2019

When it comes time to convert a PDF to Word and back again, should you opt for an online or offline PDF converter?

While both tools will get the job itself done, they don’t always have the same quality of results. The key is choosing the right one for your needs.

By comparing certain elements, it should be clear which type of PDF converter is the best for all types of PDF documents.

Conversion Speed

Offline tools tend to work much faster in this area. After all, the tool is on your device along with the PDF you want to convert. With online PDF converters, you have to first upload the PDF to the tool. For larger files, this can take longer than you might want to wait. In the end, an offline tool will convert your PDF and have it ready for editing before you can even upload your file to the online tool.

Availability

This one is a bit tricky when it comes to comparing PDF converters. Online PDF converters have an edge here simply because they’re available from any browser. As long as you have access to your PDF, an online tool is available anywhere with Internet access. The only downside is if you don’t have Internet access, you can’t convert your PDFs.

Offline tools are available as long as you have access to the device the tool is installed on. Of course, if you install the tool converter on your smartphone, then you’re in good shape. After all, the average person checks their phone 80 times a day, so it’s likely with you everywhere.

PDF Conversion Quality

This will vary greatly based on the tool you use. However, online PDF converters usually don’t have as high a quality level as offline PDF converters. The main reason is most online tools are designed for quick and simple conversions. If you have a lot of formatting, online converters might mess up certain areas, such as lists and spacing.

Offline PDF converters are designed to handle more complex PDF files. If you only have a simple PDF, an online converter will work well. For more advanced PDFs, an offline converter will yield more exact results.

Protecting Your Privacy

Did you know Americans are more concerned about data privacy than about healthcare?

With that in mind, you have to stop and consider your privacy when using online PDF converters. These tools have to at least temporarily store your files on their servers to do the conversion. There’s no way around that. However, you don’t know whether your files are deleted when the conversion is done. Some of these tools also require you to sign up to use them. This means giving up more of your information.
While not every online PDF converter is a privacy risk, you should carefully research any online tool before uploading your PDF.

Offline PDF converters just require you to install the software and you’re done. The files stay on your device along with your personal details.

Feature Limitations

This is likely one of the most important comparisons for most users. You’ll want to look for features, such as:

  • Splitting and/or merging pages
  • Converting to both DOC and DOCX formats
  • Bulk conversions
  • Number of pages
  • Any additional output formats, such as RTF and Native DOC

Many online PDF converters have major limitations, such as only converting single PDF files at a time. If you have a dozen files, you’ll have to convert each separately. You may also be limited to a set number of pages at a time without having to pay or watch an ad.

Offline PDF converters typically come as either a free or premium version. Free versions may have a few limitations, but paid versions remove these limitations. For instance, WPS PDF to Word Converter removes all limitations for a one time fee of $29.99, while the free version is limited to five pages at a time. Or you can also subscribe for WPS Premium, take advantage of all WPS VIP features and get the PDF to Word tool included!

The Winner

Overall, offline PDF converters are the winner. They’re more secure, offer more features and are usually more accurate. While online PDF converters may be more convenient at times, offline converters are the more reliable choice.

About Author

Marketing team in the WPS office located in Mountain View