Posts Tagged ‘text’


Tech Tip 4/12/2011 – Convert from PDF to other Formats

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips, Home Office, Small Business

One common question I’ve run across a lot these days in the office is how to convert a PDF file to Microsoft Word format (doc), Excel format (xls), or JPG picture format. Usually, people want to know how to convert a file to PDF, but it’s also nice to be able to convert back the other way. Converting to Word is actually pretty simple and can be done directly using an online file conversion service called Zamzar. Going to Excel or JPG is a two step process, but nothing very difficult to follow.

Update: There’s a much easier way to convert a PDF to JPG image format than the method I have mentioned below. Here’s how you can do it using

Convert a PDF file to JPG – Easy Way

Go to, browse for your file and choose PNG format for the format to conver to under Step 2. PNG is another newer picture format that is slowly replacing the JPG format. Most programs that can open JPG files can open PNG. Zamzar automatically converts each page in the PDF document into it’s own PNG picture file. Now you can simply open Microsoft Paint (yes, all you need it Paint!) and choose File – Save As from the menu and choose JPEG from the drop down list of formats.

microsoft paint

That’s it! By the way, if youare interested in how to extract the text from a PDF document or how to convert Word files to PDF, etc, check out the links.

Convert PDF to JPG Format – Second Way

The first thing you’ll need to do is download a free software (the only one I could find) that converts PDF documents to JPEG image format automatically. Go to the Omniformat download page and download both Omniformat v8.3 and the PDF995 app. You will need to download and install PDF995 first before installing Omniformat. Once you have both programs installed, go to your Start Menu programs, find the program group Software995 and click on Omniformat.


The only annoying thing about this program is that it requires you to view some ads for about 30 seconds! However, it’s better than paying $20 or $40 for a program just to do a simple conversion! It does pop up another instance of your browser window for the web site of each of the sponsors, but it does not install any spyware onto your computer (no popup ads). Once the program is loaded, you’ll see it has a section called “Watch Folders” and then a button at the bottom titled “Start Monitoring” and “Single Pass“.


Basically the way it works is that you need to COPY the PDF files you want to convert to JPG format to the C:omniformatwatch folder and then press Single Pass. The program will look in that directory and convert each page of each PDF into a separate JPG file. If you click Start Monitoring, you can keep dropping PDFs into that folder and the program will automatically convert them into JPGs as long as the program is open. Note that the program DELETES the original PDF document that it uses, so that’s why you need to COPY the PDF document to the watch folder, not move it! You should now see your converted files like below:


Convert your PDF to a Word document

Go to and click the Browse button next to Step 1 and choose your file. By default, Step 2 will be set to DOC format, but you can choose to convert your PDF to other file types such as TXT, HMTL, RTF, etc. Type in your email address for Step 3 and click Convert.

file conversion

You should receive an email within a few minutes with a download link to your converted file. I have tried out this service on some pretty complex PDF documents with text in multiple columns, multiple images, etc and have been very impressed with it’s conversion accuracy.

Convert a PDF file to Excel format

We will again follow the steps above using Zamzar, but this time choose TXT as the format you want to convert to. Unfortunately, you can’t convert straight to Excel format, so we’ll have to go through the intermediary TXT format. Once you have downloaded the TXT file and saved it on your computer, open Microsoft Excel and go to File – Open and change the Files of Type combo box to All Files.

convert pdf to excel

Now you should see the converted text file in the list of files. Choose it and click Open. You’ll now be brought to the Text Import Wizard. You have to open the file in this manner because if you simply right-click and say Open With Excel, all of the text for each row will appear in the first column and not be separated.

For Step 1, choose Delimited from the two options listed.

convert pdf to word

Click Next and check off the Space checkbox as one of the delimiters. Each value should now be separated by a vertical line, indicating it’s going to be in a separate column.

convert pdf to jpg

Click Next and then click Finish. You can now save the file as an Excel file by going to File – Save As. There are a few drawbacks, however, as this conversion does not always work perfectly! For example, if the original Excel sheet had a column where there was text with spaces included, each word will be separated into it’s own column! Also, you won’t see any formulas or functions that may have been in the original Excel sheet, only the text.

It’s as easy as that! You can use many other image editing programs also such as Photoshop, Corel, etc, etc, but I chose Paint because that is universally available on just about every Windows computer.

Any questions, post a comment!

[tags]convert pdf to word, convert pdf to excel, convert pdf to jpg, how to convert pdf file[/tags]


Tech Tip 3/6/2011 – Windows Key Shortcuts

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips

A list of key combinations that can be used to perform special functions. By pressing or holding certain keyboard buttons together you can launch new windows, create shortcuts, and quickly copy and paste files.

  • Windows key – access Start menu
  • Windows key + Pause – open System Properties
  • Windows key + D – minimise/restore windows
  • Windows key + F – open Search window
  • Windows key + F1 – open Help and Support Center
  • Windows key + E – open Windows Explorer window
  • Windows key + M – minimise all windows
  • Windows key + TAB – move through open windows on Taskbar
  • Windows key + SHIFT + M – restore all windows
  • Hold CTRL while dragging – make a copy of selected item
  • Hold CTRL + SHIFT while dragging – make a shortcut to selected item
  • CTRL + ESC – open Start menu
  • CTRL + C – Copy
  • CTRL + X – Cut
  • CTRL + V – Paste
  • CTRL + A – Select All
  • CTRL + Z – Undo
  • CTRL + B – Bold highlighted text
  • CTRL + U – Underline highlighted text
  • CTRL + I – Italicise highlighted text
  • CTRL + Plus key – increase browser text size
  • CTRL + Minus key – decrease browser text size
  • CTRL + ALT + DELETE – open Task Manager
  • ALT + underlined letters in menus – open menu item
  • ALT + ENTER – show Properties of selected object
  • ALT + F4 – close current window or program
  • CTRL + F4 – close window within program
  • ALT + TAB – switch between open windows or programs
  • TAB – move forwards through control items or links in current window
  • SHIFT + TAB – move backwards through control items or links
  • ENTER – click selected control item or link
  • BACKSPACE – move up one folder level
  • HOME – go to start of current line or web page
  • END – go to end of current line or web page
  • CTRL + END – go to end of current document
  • PAGE UP – move up through current document or web page
  • PAGE DOWN – move down through current document or web page
  • PRINT SCREEN – take snapshot image of current screen
  • ALT + PRINT SCREEN – take snapshot image of current window
  • F2 – rename selected item
  • F5 – refresh current window or web page
  • F6 – move through window panes

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