A large number of file formats is one of the drawbacks of working digitally. Usually everything works fine of course. You receive a file from your client, you double click on it and you can get started, read and edit.
Only sometimes someone sends you something you can’t open – or worse, your software doesn’t even recognize it. You can’t open it no matter what you try.
This is where file converters come in, and we thought we’d take a look at someone whose name sounds like a superhero – or could it actually be a supervillain, ready to frustrate you with his existence?
Let’s Zamzar. tackle (opens in new tab) and find out the truth…
- Subs can pile up quickly, but you can get big discounts if you know where to look
Like any good company, Zamzar strongly encourages you to sign up for one of its subscription packages. However, keep in mind that you can use their service for free. However, you can only do two conversions in a 24-hour period (with a maximum size of 50 MB per file). Still, it’s enough to check if the service works for you, or if you only need an occasional format change.
When it comes to the plans, you have three tiers: Basic, Pro, and Business.
Basic lets you work with file sizes up to 200MB, you have unlimited conversions through Zamzar’s online service, or 50 per day through their desktop app. You can process up to 25 files at a time and get 5 GB of online storage space. All this for $9 a month, or $81 a year.
Pro boosts all those numbers: your file size increases to 400MB, you can use the desktop app to do up to 100 conversions per day, batch convert up to 50 files at once, and have 20GB of online storage space. More features, of course, means a higher price: $16 per month, or $144 per year.
Finally, you have Business. This gives you a maximum file size of 2 GB, 500 desktop conversions per day, 100 files per batch conversions, and 100 GB of online storage, for $25 per month or $225 per year.
If you think that’s a bit too much, there’s a trick to giving yourself a 25% discount: select the plan you’re interested in and hover your cursor over the back button: a little pop-up window will appear with that discounted offer.
Zamzar: access to the service
- Browser based tool or desktop app – take your pick
The easiest way to use Zamzar is to point to your favorite web browser to zamzar.com. But as mentioned above, you can also download software that allows you to use Zamzar right from your desktop. The software works for both Mac (10.15 or later) and Windows (10 or later) and also comes in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors).
The Mac version is fully integrated into the Finder. Control-click on the file you want to convert, mouse over ‘Convert to…’ in the ‘Quick Actions’ submenu and select the desired format from the list.
On Windows, it’s almost as easy. Right click on a file and select ‘Show more options’. You’ll find the “Convert to…” menu we discussed above for the Mac.
Trying out the free version of the service will get you 25 conversions through the Desktop app.
Zamzar: File Conversions
- So many formats to explore and select
Zamzar offers you a remarkable number of file format conversion options from video converters until PDF Converters. You can access them all from the ‘Formats’ menu at the top of the page. From there you will find all compatible files. Zamzar can handle document, image, audio, video, eBook, archive and CAD conversions, neatly divided by type and arranged alphabetically, listed next to the formats your current file can be converted to.
If your file isn’t on the list, Zamzar recommends contacting them so they can see if they can include it in the future.
This may feel overwhelming, but you can limit the display by opening the “Converter” menu. From there, you will find some popular converters, such as: PDF to JPGAVI to MP4 or RAR to ZIP, among a few others, or click “All Converters”, or a limited preview, such as “Document Converters”, “Audio Converters” and so on just to see them.
Repentance is in Zamzar’s blood. Honestly, it’s no wonder we ranked the file conversion tool as one of the best PDF to AutoCAD converters (and even one of the best AutoCAD to PDF converters). Fast, easy, accessible and fully loaded with file type converting tools. What’s not to love?
Zamzar: User Experience
- So easy to use, a monkey could do it
To be fair, it doesn’t really matter which type of converter you choose from that menu: select one of them, then click “Choose File.” Find the one you are interested in on your hard drive and based on the format, the “Convert to” menu offers formats compatible with it. So it won’t insist on converting an audio file to a Word document, for example if you accidentally chose the wrong converter.
This makes the interface extremely user-friendly, as it aims to bypass any errors and provide the solution you are looking for. You don’t even have to venture into those menus at the top of the page at all. The main page itself has a big green “Choose Files” button right there, front and center.
Select the file, select the conversion format, click Convert Now and after a few seconds or minutes (depending on the complexity of your document and format) you will be offered to download the result.
When you use the desktop app, your conversion will appear right next to the original, making the process even easier.
And we found the results to be excellent. Zamzar claims that conversion and download speeds are much faster if you get a subscription, but the process seemed pretty sprite to us when trying out the free option.
|Prices||Three subscription packages available||3.5|
|Access||Easily use the file converter online and on your desktop||4.5|
|File Conversion||Support for a wide range of formats||4.5|
|Experience||An incredibly simple file conversion tool||5|