Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Automatically convert almost any file format with OmniFormat

OmniFormat is an ad supported file conversion software that allows you to convert almost any file format into another, and it does that automatically. That’s what particularly interested me in this application. OmniFormat has some features that I couldn’t find in any free file converter.

The two biggest plus points of OmniFormat are

1. It supports up to 75 different file formats including the most popular formats like PDF, HTML, DOC, XLS, PPT, JPG, GIF, TIF, PNG, PCX, XML, PS, TXT, Photo CD, FAX and MPEG.

2. The file conversion process is automatic. OmniFormat can watch certain folders on your hard drive for files. Whenever you place any file in that folder, OmniFormat will automatically convert it to the desired format.

omniformat

OmniFormat can however convert files to only one format at a time. For instance, if you set the output format as PDF, any files you copy to the watched folder will be converted to PDF. If you need another format, you will have to change the output format in the program and all further file conversion will happen to the new format. The quality of the output format, brightness and contrast, paper size, memory usage etc can all be customized. OmniFormat can be run as a Windows service too.

I tested the application with a couple of different file types. I was able to convert almost any documents into PDF with good quality. I even managed to convert documents to image files. The program can create individual image files for each pages of the documents or convert the whole document into a single image file. Next I set the output format to MPG and added some image files. To my surprise, the image files were turned into single frame videos that can actually be played on a media player! The reverse didn’t work though – video files cannot be converted into documents.

OmniFormat reduces the task of file conversions to a simple copy and paste job. If you can stand the 10 seconds or so delay, while it displayed some banners every time the application started, you will love using this tool.

Before you can install and use OmniFormat you need to install two additional applications - Pdf995 Printer Driver (direct download, 2.1 MB) and Free Converter (direct download, 5 MB), both of which are free.

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