Free Online Tools

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Digital files come into our lives from many directions: colleagues, students, friends, etc. Everyone has their preferred method of file creation, and the end product may not be a file type we want or are able to read or use. And while some files are pretty easy to convert on our own (.doc to .pdf, for example), there are other types of files for which it’s easier to use an online conversion tool.

One conversion tool is CloudConvert (available at As their home page describes, this free, online tool “supports the conversion between more than 200 different audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet and presentation formats.’ CloudConvert (and most other conversion tools) work solely on the cloud, and so don’t require any software downloads.

To begin, tell CloudConvert what file you’d like to convert. You can upload the file from various hosting platforms, or you can drag and drop it straight from your desktop:

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Next, choose the format into which you’d like your original file to be converted. For example, under “document’ below, a list of files appears. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’re converting a .docx into a .pdf:

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The next step won’t apply if you choose to use CloudConvert without an account. If you do sign up for a free account, you’ll then have the option to have the converted file emailed to you or sent to another platform. Otherwise, the converted file will download to your device.

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Finally, push the big red button:

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The conversion will take from a few seconds up to several minutes depending on your original file type and size. When the conversion has finished, you can download your converted document:

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(Or have it sent somewhere, if you’ve chosen to create an account.)

You’ll still have your original file stored wherever you left it in addition to the converted version of the file.

There are several free, online conversion tools out there, so shop around and see what works best for you:

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