Genealogists seem to use a lot of different documents in their computers and sometimes need to convert from one format to another. For instance, one newsletter reader recently mentioned a need to convert an e-book in PDF format to JPG files. With the right software, this is easy to do.
Any number of programs are available that will convert files from one format to another. In this case, the newsletter reader wanted to convert an entire book that was in PDF format to individual JPG files, one file for each page in the book. I suggested using SmallPDF, a FREE online service.
Since SmallPDF is a cloud-based service, there is no need to install software in your computer. Simply open a web browser and go to SmallPDF.com to use it. Like most other cloud-based applications, the service works equally well on Macintosh, Windows, Chromebook, and Linux computers. Since the conversion happens in the cloud, the service works well even on low-powered computers, such as very cheap Chromebooks or on older Windows computers.
In your web browser, you simply drag and drop your PDF to the web page at https://smallpdf.com/pdf-to-jpg and SmallPDF will convert the files for you. After the conversion the images are presented to you as downloadable single picture files. If you convert multi-page PDF files, you can also download all the images in one bundle as a ZIP file. The process is quick and easy.
The converted files are only stored on SmallPDF’s servers for one hour so there should be little concern about any hackers or spies gaining access to your files. Still, I wouldn’t use it for anything super secret.
However, the SmallPDF free service is somewhat limited. For instance, the user can only convert two PDF files per hour. If you want to convert more than two files, you need to wait for an hour after converting the first two. The owners of the cloud-based service obviously would like you to upgrade to “SmallPDF Pro” that adds several capabilities:
- No limitation on the number of files converted per hour
- 16 Tools to compress, convert, merge, split and edit PDFs
- Sign documents with your eSignature
- Integrated with Google Drive and Dropbox
- and more
While I have been using SmallPDF for some time, I have never found a need to upgrade to the paid version. The free version works well for me. However, if you have different needs from mine, such as hundreds of documents to convert, you might consider upgrading to the paid version. So far, I haven’t done that.
SmallPDF also has a version of its software that you can download and install on either Windows or Macintosh systems. I have never tried that as I find the cloud-based system meets all my needs.
SmallPDF also has a bunch of other online services, including:
- Convert PDF to Word
- Convert PDF to Excel
- Convert PDF to PowerPoint
- Convert Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files to PDF
- Lock or unlock a PDF file with a password
- and more.
The “extra services” are available only in SmallPDF Pro.
Even if you upgrade to SmallPDF Pro, I suspect you will still be pleased with the low-cost services it provides. Again, there is no software to install and it works on all your computers: desktop, laptop, and Chromebook alike.
I don’t use SmallPDF every day but I did bookmark the site so that I can easily remember it for the few times that I need it.
You can find SmallPDF at: http://www.SmallPDF.com.