Easy PDF Review | Tech Radar

easy PDF is a very interesting online PDF tool, which means you can access it from any device, even a phone or tablet.

Its purpose is to help you convert files to and from PDF format. There are also tools for merging PDFs and even converting scanned PDFs to searchable text via OCR.

It’s a lot of features, and perhaps best of all, it’s a free service – although you have to wonder how they make their money.

Easy PDF: interface

The Easy PDF interface - sparse and simple to navigate

The interface is sparse, giving you large icons to choose from (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Easy web access
  • Simple navigation thanks to a clean interface

Regardless of the device you have, you access the service through a web browser. Once there, you will find that the interface is as sparse as possible. You are graced with 15 icons organized in rows and columns (this is resized according to your screen dimensions).

Operation is simple: start by selecting the tool you want to use.

You can convert documents to various other file formats, such as PDF to Word, PDF to PowerPoint, PDF to Exceland PDF to AutoCAD. It is also possible to change the file types to Text, JPG, PNG or GIF. Each has their respective icon to click on, so getting started is simple.

Doing the reverse is also available, turning a Word document to PDF or JPG to PDF. However, your options are much more limited in this direction.

You also have an attractive PDF creation tool, have the option to split a PDF, or merge PDFs in a single document, there is a PDF Compressor tool, and finally “Online OCR”.

So, let’s take a look at some of these tools.

Easy PDF: PDF conversion

Conversion options in Easy PDF

Choose the right tool, upload a document and Easy PDF will convert it for you – easy (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Fast to download, slow to download
  • Excellent automatic OCR

Select the appropriate icon and you are prompted to provide a file to the service. You can do this by dragging one from your computer directly onto the page. Import can also be done via drop box Where Google Drive.

The download is very fast, but the conversion will take some time. Obviously, the more complex the document, the longer it will take, although there is a noticeable lag even for simple files, containing only a few pages of plain text. Have one with a photo or complex layout, and it takes even longer.

Once done, you can download the results, and it’s also very slow. It is also possible to download the finished product to both online storage services.

One thing we particularly liked was when converting a scanned file PDF to Word. Our scanner just converts the page to an image, but during the conversion process Easy PDF automatically runs a ROC across the page, turning that photo into selectable and editable text. It’s not perfect (no OCR in our experience), but it’s more than enough.

But it’s not perfect: we encountered cases where the conversion failed, but we were able to re-download the original and it would work the second time around. Even very simple documents sometimes failed, without any explanation as to why.

  • PDF conversion rating: 4/5

Easy PDF: convert to PDF

No more Word to PDF conversion failures in Easy PDF

Sometimes simple Word documents couldn’t even be converted to PDF on first run (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Can convert JPG and Word to PDF
  • Frequent failures

By using the JPG to PDF tool worked as expected. The principle is exactly the same as when trying to convert a PDF to another format, with each step being similar – just select a different icon at the start.

Service crashed when we tried to use Word to PDF. We tried different files. Complex files, files with columns, files with images, files with just plain text. They all failed. Each of them.

Could the service have had a bad day? Maybe, so we tried it another day, and this time it worked. This tells us that the service is unreliable. You can’t really wait a few hours or even a day, if you need a converted file now.

You might not experience it yourself when you try the service, but knowing that Easy PDF can fail so easily – and frequently when we’ve tried it – it’s hard to recommend.

  • Convert to PDF note: 2/5

Easy PDF: PDF Manipulation

Long loading times in Easy PDF

The tools are not always reliable – here Easy PDF will not show any thumbnails to select (Image credit: Easy PDF)
  • Disappointing PDF “creation” tool
  • Other tools regularly failed

Now we come to what look like useful tools: ‘PDF Creation’, ‘PDF Split’ and ‘PDF Merge’.

We were eager to explore them, but were disappointed pretty quickly.

Take ‘PDF Creation’ (please, as the old joke goes). We expected to be able to create a PDF, i.e. edit them in some way, to differentiate this tool from other “XX to PDF” icons available.

Instead, it’s just a tool to turn any file format (over 100 file formats depending on the service) into PDF. Download it, click “Create PDF”, and it is (eventually) converted. You can’t even add multiple files to convert them all at once, so this is basically a simplification of the individual tools we’ve already explored above. It certainly looks like a duplicate. It would probably be easier to remove those other icons and just bring this one to the front to clean up the interface.

‘PDF Split’ sounds interesting: you upload a PDF and split it into separate pages… but that just wouldn’t work for us. The files we tried downloaded successfully, but then we waited for the service because it told us it was “Loading PDF preview…”.

We waited. And waited. Even a basic 3-page PDF of plain text made us wait forever. We went back the next day and it was still ‘Loading PDF preview…’ So we gave up.

Failure notification in Easy PDF

Even text-only PDF files could not be merged when we tested the service (Image credit: Easy PDF)

What about “Merge PDF”? This is another neat idea, allowing you to combine multiple PDF files into a single document. Downloading many files was easy. But it just didn’t work. Even very simple single PDFs would not merge. We even tried to merge two copies of the same ordinary document. No dice. Each time we got ‘File merge failed!’

Let’s end on a positive note: ‘OCR Online’. This allows you to convert image data into a text, Word or Excel document. Everything is automatic. Once the conversion process is complete, your image has been transformed into editable text. And this particular service worked for us.

  • PDF Handling Rating: 1/5

Easy PDF: Terms

  • Opaque terms and conditions
  • Installs cookies on your machine

So reliability isn’t that great, and if you can’t trust a service, would you even use it regularly?

Next, we come to the terms and conditions. We are assured that Easy PDF is anonymous, your connection is secure, your files are deleted after 6 hours – similar to Sejdawhich has a secure feature of automatic data erasing for 2 hours.

Easy PDF places cookies on your device in order to make it work, they claim. But, in recent years, we have become extremely wary of “free” services. Personally, we wouldn’t give out our cloud storage usernames and passwords, but maybe you’d be more trusting souls.

Easy PDF: Final Verdict

Mobile interface for Easy PDF

Easy PDF’s mobile interface is just as easy to navigate (Image credit: Easy PDF)

Easy PDF may be “easy” to upload files to, but everything else seems random. Sometimes the service worked, other times not. It claims to offer unlimited PDF conversions, which would be fantastic, if you didn’t have to wait and wait and wait for the process to fail more often than not – at least in our experience. As is often the case, “your mileage may vary”.

There is also the aspect of trust. Can you trust a free online PDF converter service to keep you anonymous? They state that “the data that your [sic] give us will only be used for document conversion and website analysis”. But what exactly these website analytics are remains a mystery.

If the service worked reliably, it would be easy to recommend it despite this.

But unfortunately, this is not the case. If you have a Mac, you don’t actually need this service because you can convert any file to PDF directly from the Print command, and PDF manipulation is synchronization using the Apple preview PDF reader and editor application.

We know it’s not that easy on Windows or Linux, but you’ll find plenty of premium PDF editors and free PDF editors up to the job.

Easy PDF Scorecard

Attribute Remarks Score
Interface Clean and simple 5
PDF conversion Fast to download, slow to download 4
Convert to PDF Only converts Word and JPG, and not very well 2
PDF manipulation Misleading, unreliable tools 1
Terms Opaque terms and conditions 2