PDF is the standard file format for distributing documents, but it is not always the best or the most convenient one. What if you want to edit data or analyse it? Just convert it to Excel on your iPhone!.
The app with the longest name ever, PDF to Excel Converter - Convert PDF to Excel documents - with OCR for scanned tables and spreadsheets, is able to take PDF files, convert them to a spreadsheet using OCR (optical character recognition) technology and provide the result as an Excel .xlsx file, ready to be opened in Microsoft Office or any other app that can read Excel files.
PDFs with your Mail
To test the app I created an invoice and saved it as a PDF file. I then emailed it as an attachment to my iPhone. Here it is in the Mail app.
View PDF attachments
Tapping the PDF file attachment in the email displays it full screen on the iPhone. Pinch and spread can be used to zoom in and out as usual.
Down at the bottom of the screen is the Share button and tapping it displays all the different ways this file can be shared. PDF to Excel is right there among them.
Wait or pay
The app PDF to Excel app is free, but there are severe limitations. For example, there is a one to one and a half hour wait for your PDF file to be converted to an Excel document. An in-app purchase of $5.99 enables files to be converted instantly. It is once-only and it permanently removes the wait.
When the file has been converted, it can be tapped to view it. All the iPhone's share options are available, so you can email it, save it as a note, save it to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and so on. From there it can opened in Excel on your PC or Mac, or moved elsewhere.
The resulting spreadsheet was plain text with no formatting, but everything was there in rows and columns, like in the PDF.
There is another in-app purchase of $1.99 that enables online storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box to be used. This would enable you to convert files in your online storage using nothing but your iPhone.
PDF to Excel Converter is a niche app, but if you often need to convert tables and other data in PDF files to Excel spreadsheets then it could be very useful. The one-off in-app purchases are reasonably priced and the app performed well.
Title: PDF to Excel Converter (iOS app store)
Price: Free (with paid upgrades)
Seller: Cometdocs.com Inc.
iOS: 8.1 or later
Verdict: A useful app for some people. It does what it says.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 11 August 2016