At least four times a day I convert something - dollars to euro, cm to inches or PDF files to PPT depending on what I’m going about.

I figured out it would be nice to have all the tools I use listed and categorized in one place and so here’s a list of different convertors to have you covered at all times!

1. PDF Converters

  • UniPDF - for converting PDF files to word. Excellent free software you can install and run to convert right from your desktop. No Internet connection needed. Also, there’s no size limitation and you don’t need to wait for ages till your file gets uploaded as it usually is with all free online convertors.
  • PDF Mate apart from converting to word, the application can convert PDF files to txt, JPEG, HTML, ePUB (E-books format) and SWF. It’s free, simple to use and has a batch converter mode to handle numerous files at once. The in-built file editor is rather nice too and allows you to edit texts, add hyperlinks and add some other special rules for converting.
  • Able2Extract - for converting PDFs on your phone or table. A slick looking app with versions for iOS and Android devices that allows you PDF docs to PowerPoint presentations, Excel, Word in just two taps. Also, Word files can be easily converted to PDF.

2. Audio Converters

  • 2conv.com - awesome free converter to get MP3 tunes out of a Youtube video and save them to your device. Works both online and offline, on Windows and Mac. But I personally prefer its mobile version on my smartphone. It gives perfect results producing 192kbps MP3s.
  • Super - doesn’t convert Youtube to MP3, but does everything other than that. It’s a free audio and video encoder that supports all formats I could think of and ever used: AAC, AC3, AMR, APE, FLAC, MMF, M4A, MP2, MP3, MPC, MPP, OGG, RA, RAM, RM, TTA, WV, WAV, and WMA to convert into AAC, AC3, AMR, APE, FLAC, MMF, MP2, MP3, MPC, OGG, TTA, WV, WAV, and/or WMA. The interface may not look particularly stylish, but the program works fast, doesn’t glitch and also allows you to extract audio from most common video formats.
  • SoundTaxi - freeware that converts DRM protected files to MP3, M4A, WMA or WAV.
  • Easy RM to MP3 converter - great software for those who need to convert a radio broadcast or Realplayer stream to an MP3. Works fast, support batch conversion and the option to configure the Mp3 encoder with custom settings
  • Dragon Dictation - for converting voice to text. A handy app for those who thinks faster than type and thinks it all should be noted at once. Jokes aside, it’s a great app when you do not want to re-type a paper text, dictate an email or Tweet on the go and things alike. Just tap and speak it - the app will do the rest. Supports 30 languages and dialects, but currently available for iOS only.
  • Evernote for Android can do the same things as Dragon Dictation and transcribe your audio notes into text. Evernote saves both audio and the text file together, so you can easily find a recorded note with the app’s in-built search.

3. Video Converters

Here’s a recent top 5 of video converetrs based on the user suggestions. The list is awesome indeed, so I’ll add just one more handy program I know.

  • Zamzar - online video converter I use pretty often. It’s rather fast and supports over 20 different formats. You can either upload a video or just paste the url. Apart from video, Zamzar allows you to convert all types of text files, ebooks, CAD, image and audio files. It’s a kind of all-in-one service, but you can upload files just up to 100MB without an account and it doesn’t support batch converting. Also, you need to give your email where the download link would be sent. Most of the times you receive it in a few min, but there are unpleasant exceptions.

4. Image Converters

  • XnView - free desktop and mobile app to convert from over 500 image formats to some 50 other. So far, it has never let me down in opening images in any format. Support batch conversion (works fast), offers a few editing utilities with nice effects like retro and sketch, plus some advanced features for customization.
  • Coolutils Online Image Converter - fast online alternative that support conversions between JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, ICO, PNG, PS, TGA and PDF files. Not sure if there are any size limitations on uploaded files though.
  • Also, here’s a good Android and iOS app to do the same on your phone and tablet.

5. Currency converters

  • XE currency converter - up-to-date rates, instant conversion and even some interesting data about historical currency rates and market trends. XE works online and as an app for iOS and Android.
  • CoinMill - another online alternative that also converts Bitcoins, Dogecoins, BBQcoins and a number of other peer-to-peer digital currencies I had no idea existed.

6. Time converters

  • World Time Zone if you like visuals and need to see what time is in certain time zone.
  • The Time Is Now if you need to figure out when it’s 10 am in Singapore or any other city in the world.
  • TimePal - free iOS app to plan cross country meetings. Set time and date for the meeting and email it to everyone. They’ll get a notification of the time in their respective local times and dates.
  • Every Time Zone - awesome free tool where you can add all time zones and cities you need, add your time in the marker at the top and see where this lands in everyone else’s day.

And what are your go-to converters?

Image Credits: Yukata Tsutano//Flick; Still Burning//Flick


Hackerspace is a community-run blog from the readers of Lifehacker. Follow us on Twitter here.