Have you ever tried to open a file only to get an error message that the format was incompatible with your software? Did you ever get a PDF document that you wanted to convert to a Word document? Good news, you don’t need expensive software to convert files.
Check out Zamzar, a free file conversion website that’s compatible with nearly every different format. Converting files is easy and quick, follow just a few simple steps and you’ll have a converted file. Created by brothers Mike and Chris Whyley in England, Zamzar may become your go-to tool for file conversions.
How to Use Zamzar
Using Zamzar is easy peasy, you don’t need to download software or even register for an account. Head to the Zamzar website where you’ll see the four easy steps to convert your files.
1. Select a file to convert. You can either drag and drop the file from your desktop or click the Choose Files button and select the file you want to convert.
2. Choose the format you want to file converted to. You can choose from dozens of formats in categories including:
3. Enter your email address so Zamzar can send the converted files to you.
4. Click the Convert button.
Voila! You’ve just converted a document using Zamzar!
You will receive a link to your converted document in an email to the address you provided in Step 3. Click on the link to return to the Zamzar website where you can download your converted file. You have 24 hours to download the file before it disappears.
The service has been speedy quick every time I’ve used it. After I click on Convert, I head to my email Inbox and the link to the converted document is there waiting for me.
Other Ways to Use Zamzar to Convert Documents
You don’t necessarily need to download a file to convert it using Zamzar.
Convert from a URL
You can also convert a file by entering the URL where the file is located. At the Zamzar website click the URL Converter tab and enter the web address of the file you want to convert.
Follow Steps 2-4 above.
Email a File to Zamzar
You can email a file to Zamzar as an attachment, either by forwarding an email or sending a new email. You can attach an unlimited number of files, as many as your email service allows, provided each file is within the Zamzar file size limit (see below).
Send your email to (format)@zamzar.com where “format” is the name of the format you want the file converted to. For example, if you want a file converted to a PDF you would send the attached file to email@example.com. If you want the file converted to .doc you’d send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
File Size Limits
Zamzar is free for file sizes up to:
- 100 MB for uploaded file conversions
- 1 MB for conversions of email file attachments
These file sizes aren’t huge so don’t expect to convert a 2 hour video, but this is very handy for smaller files. You can convert up to 10 files in a single session and up to 50 files in a 24 hour period.
Free vs. Paid Zamzar
Paid accounts are available if you need larger file conversions.
- Free Service – up to 1 MB
- Basic Plan – up to 5 MB
- Pro Plan – up to 15 MB
- Business Plan – up to 25 MB
You also have an unlimited time to download the converted files, as opposed to 24 hours with the free service.
This chart shows you the different features of the paid plans:
You can find out more information about Zamzar, including how the Whyley brothers chose the name Zamzar, at the FAQ page.
Have you ever struggled with incompatible file formats? Have you ever been unable to open a file because of its format? What do you use to convert files? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* File cabinet image (edited) courtesy of 401(K) 2012 via Flickr and Creative Commons