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Free PDF Reader Doubles as PDF-to-Word Converter

Talk about the best of both worlds: Nuance PDF Reader is a lightweight, feature-rich PDF reader for Windows that can also convert your PDFs to Word, Excel, or RTF formats.

In other words, it can take the place of Adobe Reader and browser-based conversion tools like PDF to Word. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to uninstall your current PDF reader in favor of the Nuance product, but if you're provisioning a new machine (like, say, a netbook), it's definitely worth consideration.

One nice touch is that when you first install PDF Reader, it asks if you want to disable JavaScript -- which can help prevent malware-infested PDFs from causing any damage. Adobe Reader and other products offer the same option, but you have to go hunting for it manually.


When you convert a file, the software actually kicks you to a Web page where you specify the desired output format and the e-mail address of the intended recipient. You don't have to manually select your PDF as with PDF to Word; that first step is handled by the software.

Nuance is an 18MB download (versus 45MB for Adobe Reader 9 and, it should be noted, 5MB for the latest version of Foxit Reader). To get it, just supply your name and e-mail address; Nuance will send you a download link. (Mine arrived in about 60 seconds.) [via Digital Inspiration]

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