A PDF document is often the best format to share documents, booklets, etc., as it lets you share the content in a rich format without any damage to the formatting. But sometimes you need to convert the document in Word format. How can one easily convert any PDF file to Word document for free?

In an earlier post, we talked about free online PDF to Word converters. But they have their own limitations:
1. Online PDF converters cannot handle password-protected files.
2. The output is emailed to you, which might take some time to arrive. So if you are in a hurry, online PDF converters are not recommended.
3. All online PDF converters have a file size limit. If your file exceeds the limit, you are out of luck.
4. It requires you to upload file to the Web, which may be a hindrance if you are stuck with a poor Internet connection.

Converting PDF to Word

AnyBizSoft PDF to Word Converter

AnyBizSoft PDF to Word Converter is a free Windows application for converting PDF files into formatted Word DOC files on a click, provided you have Microsoft Word 2003/2007/2010 installed on your computer. (It's free only for non-commercial use.) After installing the application using the under-7MB Windows installer, you will have to register the product by getting a key code from their website by giving your name and email.

I personally don't like being forced to get registered for using some free product. If I have to, I use any disposable email such as GuerrillaMail instead of my email address. I hope the product company will get rid of this annoyance in future versions.

The application has a simple interface where one can add (or drag-and-drop) multiple PDF files to be converted into Word documents. If only a few pages of any PDF file needs to be converted, the page numbers can be specified.

The tool can even convert your password-protected PDF files into Word. It shows a padlock icon next to protected PDF files. To unlock the file from the PDF to Word Converter's interface itself, click on the lock icon or right-click on the file and choose unlock option. Enter the password in the pop-up dialogue box. If you don't provide the password, the tool skips the protected file and continues processing other files.

The PDF to Word Converter does a good job in retaining the original format, images, graphics and links. However, it's formatting for tables can deviate from the original, given the complexity of the task. It's a fair deal as a free PDF to Word converting application.

The PDF to Word Converter cannot convert scanned PDF files into Word. If you want to convert scanned images and PDFs into text, use free online OCR tools.
If you have been using Ubuntu for some time and you don't hesitate in exploring new avenues, you might have discovered how to install fonts in Ubuntu. If you haven't, here's a simple guide to installing your desired fonts in Ubuntu. (And you will wonder why you didn't find it on your own.)

Use Ubuntu Software Center

Install fonts in Ubuntu
It's never been easier to add fonts in Ubuntu, thanks to the Software Center (Applications > Software Center > Fonts) where one can browse through the repository and install the desired fonts.

Download a font and install

Installing fonts in Ubuntu

If you want to install any specific font, just download it, double-click to open it with Ubuntu Font Viewer and click on Install button. Font Squirrel, DaFont, 1001 Free Fonts and Urban Fonts are some of the places to look for free fonts.

Installing multiple fonts

If you have a huge collection of fonts to install, opening all of them in Font Viewer and then clicking Install button can be tiresome. Instead, select and copy all fonts. Now go to the Home Folder (Places > Home Folder) and press Ctrl+H to show hidden files and folders. If you don't find a folder called .fonts, create one with this name. Paste the fonts in this folder.

All hidden folders in Ubuntu begin with a dot. So when you create a .fonts folder, you are creating a hidden folder that is used for custom fonts of the user whose Home Folder it is. The Home Folder has the same name as the Ubuntu user.
Do you need to use the text in an image of any letter or newspaper or some document? Optical character recognition (OCR) tools can be used to convert the text in some image (JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF or PDF) format into word/text. But not everyone has an OCR application. That's where free online OCR tools come to rescue.

There are plenty of good online tools that will read the text in images and give you the output in word format that you can copy and paste to desired place. This involves simple process of uploading the image on the website and then copy-pasting the resultant text. However, it's recommended to go through the text once because the results are not error-free. Some letters or words can be wrongly identified, changing the meaning of the text.

1. Online OCR: This supports all image formats as well as PDF (only the first page of a multi-page document). The text churned out by the OCR tool removes line breaks (not paragraphs), thus saving you the hassle of removing the unwanted line breaks when using the text in some document.

2. Free OCR: Free Online OCR is another tool for converting image to text. It supports only JPG, GIF, TIFF, BMP and PDF formats. It retains the line breaks in results, which can be a cause for irritation.

3. New OCR: New OCR supports all image formats as well as multi-page PDF documents. If you need to convert any PDF to word text, upload the file and then get page-wise results. It supports multiple languages.

These three online OCR tools should be good enough to meet your most requirements. If you know any better tool, do let me know.
MyPaint Painting Application

MyPaint is an open source paint application for creating excellent works of art in various operating platforms including Windows, Linux and OSX. It comes with a distraction-free workspace packaged with a wide variety of brushes that allow users to paint their imagination on the limit-less canvas. One can keep working without the need to resize the canvas.

This painting tool can be used with a mouse as well as a pressure-sensitive tablet. So its ideal for both the professional artist as well as those who just want to have some fun.

MyPaint Drawing Sample

Email Virus

Emails are one of the most popular ways of infecting any computer with nasty viruses. You have received an email with an attachment that you suspect is virulent. How do you check if it's a virus or not without having to download it? That's where VirusTotal comes to rescue.

VirusTotal provides free online virus scan against multiple virus engines, including BitDefender, ClamAV, McAfee and Symantec. Forward the suspected mail to scan@virustotal.com with SCAN as the subject of the email. Or, you can create a new mail, copy the link to the attachment file and send it to scan@virustotal.com with SCAN in the subject line.

VirusTotal will conduct a free virus scan of the suspected file and email you a report. It may take some time for the report to reach depending on workload. The file to be scanned can be up to 20MB.

If you have already downloaded the file, or have a suspect file on your computer, you can also upload the file at ViruTotal website for a free virus scan.

Convert PDF to Word

Do you need to copy text from a PDF file that's in image format? There are several free online PDF converters that can convert any PDF to word.

Why do you need to convert PDF to word? Let's look into this real life scenario. You are short of time for filing a report, and suddenly you get a scanned copy of a letter that you need to include in your document. Had it been a PDF created from digital text file, it would have been possible to copy it using the text selection tool, but it's not possible to do so with a PDF or image file created by scanning a physical document. (Most archived books on Google Books are also scanned images.) Using a free PDF to word converter tool, one can save time and effort which otherwise would have been required for typing the text.

How to convert PDF to text?

1. Upload the PDF file on the PDF converter tool website.
2. Give any disposable mail address (you can use GuerrillaMail for creating free disposable email address) if required
2. Copy the processed text and paste it where required.

If you have to convert a multi-page PDF instantly, create separate image files of each page (use full screen option and zoom feature to fit the entire page in the screen) using "Print Screen" key and paste it in an empty PhotoShop, GIMP or Paint file. Save the image as JPEG or PNG or BMP. Use these images with Online OCR or Free OCR to get the text.

Online OCR: It can convert only the first page of any PDF to word, but you will get the result instantly.

Free OCR: Free OCR is an online optical character recognition tool that can extract only the first page of a PDF document, but the results are instant. However, it can be annoying if you don't want the line breaks to be the same as in the original file.

Zamzar: Zamzar is free tool for converting several files into different formats, including PDF to word files. It requires an email id where the link to the converted text will be sent. It might take some time before you get your text.

PDF to Word: It will convert PDF to text in Word document or Rich Text Format (RTF). No other image formats are supported. It requires an email id, where the text document is mailed after the process is over. May take some time.

PDF2Word Online: Convert PDF2Word Online doesn't require you to give any email id. Just upload the PDF file and wait for a link to the text file.

New OCR: New OCR supports several image formats as well as multi-page PDF documents. Upload the PDF file and then get page-wise results. It supports multiple languages.
Everyone spends a significant portion of their day (and also night) over the Internet. But most of us rely on buttons and mouse for navigating the Web. Keyboard shortcuts can drastically boost your online experience. These shortcuts are used by both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Many of these shortcuts will be valid in other Web browsers as well. If you are using a Mac, replace Ctrl key with Cmd (command) key, Enter key with Return.

Web address: One can immediately go to the address or location bar by pressing Ctrl+L or Alt+D or F6.

To automatically complete .com address, press Ctrl+Enter. Eg: for www.google.com, you just need to type google in address bar and then press Ctrl+Enter.

To automatically complete .net address, use Shift+Enter. Eg; for www.google.org, type google and press shift+Enter.

To complete .org address, use Ctrl+Shift+Enter.Eg: for www.google.net, type google and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

If you need to type www.google.com/adsense, type google/adsense and then press Ctrl+Enter. For www.google.net/adsense, type google/adsense and press Shift+Enter. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter for www.google.org/adsense. (Google Chrome will only be able to expand .com Web addresses.)

Web search: If you need to do a Web search, pressing Ctrl+K or Ctrl+J will take you to the Web search bar. In Google Chrome, prefixing ? with any query will give you Google search results.

Web search in address bar: To search any word or query with your default search engine, type the query in address bar and press Alt+Enter.

Tabbed browsing: Press Ctrl+T for opening a new tab in browser window. To close the current tab, press Ctrl+W. In case you closed a tab accidentally, press Ctrl+Shift+T to restore it.

List of keyboard shortcuts for Firefox

Back: Alt+Left Arrow
Forward: Alt+Right Arrow
Homepage: Alt+Home
Refresh webpage: F5
Completely reload webpage (overriding cache): Ctrl+F5
Stop: Esc
Go to Bottom of Page: End
Go to Top of Page: Home
Zoom In: Ctrl++ (Plus key)
Zoom Out: Ctrl+- (Minus key)
Zoom Reset: Ctrl+0 (Zero)
Search: Ctrl+F
Find Again: F3
Find Previous Shift+F3
Find As You Type Text: /
Web Search: Ctrl+K or Ctrl+J


Open Tab: Ctrl+T
Close Tab: Ctrl+W
Undo Close Tab: Ctrl+Shift+T
Move To Next Tab: Ctrl+Tab
New Window: Ctrl+N
Close Window: Ctrl+Shift+W or Alt+F4
Undo Close Window: Ctrl+Shift+N


Bookmark Current Page: Ctrl+D
Bookmark All Tabs: Ctrl+Shift+D
Bookmarks: Ctrl+B
History: Ctrl+H
Clear Recent History: Ctrl+Shift+Del


Complete .com Address: Ctrl+Enter
Complete .net Address: Shift+Enter
Complete .org Address: Ctrl+Shift+Enter
Delete Selected Autocomplete Entry: Shift+Del
Toggle Full Screen: F11
Select Address Bar: Ctrl+L or Alt+D or F6