What is Smallpdf?
Did you know one of the most popular sites on the internet is run by a team of 10 people? In fact, Smallpdf is one of the top 1000 most visited sites on the internet. The Swiss company converts about 1 million files a day in a way that is easy-to-use, reliable, and available in 20 languages.
The name Smallpdf comes from the company’s origins as a PDF compression tool. They refer to themselves as “a small team from a small country with big ambitions.” Their features have expanded considerably since their humble beginnings in August 2013. Today, Smallpdf users can convert, edit and protect their files – all from the comfort of their browser. After exploring the website ourselves, we can see why they’ve found so much success over the last few years.
Pros & Cons
- 17 features
- team option with Smallpdf Pro
- requires an internet connection*
After going out of our way to identify areas of improvement, we’ve come to the conclusion that Smallpdf has thought of everything. The Smallpdf team may have perfected the ambitious task of converting files with ease. We suspect that this has to do with how receptive they are to user feature requests.
*While their online tool is dependent on an internet connection, we should note that they have also developed a desktop solution (more on that later).
Smallpdf accomplishes exactly what they’ve set out to do: make PDFs easier. That’s why it isn’t the PDF converter that impresses us but all those special touches that make the experience so much better than other PDF readers and converters. The product is visually appealing, straightforward, affordable, and there’s even an option for a team account.
The design of the online PDF converter is exactly what we need– it’s clear that user-experience was prioritized. We can’t help but admire the website’s colour scheme and easy navigation. Everything is straightforward (and mobile friendly!). There are 17 features on Smallpdf right now. Every feature comes with a short description so an unfamiliar feature can quickly become your new favourite. At the same time, Smallpdf makes it easy to get going if you already know what you need to do. Just drag and drop your file into the converter and it’ll do its thing.
What’s the best feature available on Smallpdf? While we love them all, the merge and split option is our favourite. Now we don’t have to scroll through entire chapters, we are able to focus on the most important parts of the document. Add your files to the converter and simply select the pages you want to cut out or merge. You are also able to rearrange the order of the remaining pages.
One thing we’ve noticed about Smallpdf is that it is a bit tricky with some fonts. If they don’t have the font you’re using in the document, a few extra steps will need to be taken to convert everything properly. It’s not impossible, but it means you’ll have to embed your font in the document to ensure that the converted file looks just right.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how much money you’ll have to cough up before you can start converting files so effortlessly. To everyone’s surprise and relief, it’s easy on the bank account too! Smallpdf can be used for free or with a Smallpdf Pro subscription. Without a subscription, almost all features are free to use twice per hour. Smallpdf Pro users have unlimited use and there is even an option to add team members to the account. Smallpdf Pro also comes with added features, such as integration with Google Drive and Dropbox. For $6/month, Smallpdf offers functionality and affordability in a way that we haven’t seen with other PDF converters.
When it comes to PDF converters, there always seems to be a tradeoff. DocuFreezer lets you convert as many files as you’d like but they do not support many file formats. Free File Converter supports many file types but you’ll likely lose your formatting along the way. Many online PDF converters will follow a similar freemium model to Smallpdf but we’ve found that the number of free uses is unrealistic even for a home user.
The Future of Smallpdf
Now that they’ve conquered the world of converting files online, their next project is creating Smallpdf for Desktop. The first version of this product is available for download here. It is an easy-to-use PDF reader that also offers the file converting features that we’ve come to love so dearly. A desktop option may be especially enticing for users that are not comfortable submitting their documents to a third party. Smallpdf has made it clear that they are a reliable service, where files are deleted from their servers after one hour. Now there is a downloadable option if the online service doesn’t sit well with you.
At the end of the day, there are many avenues for converting files. None of them will allow you to do what you need to do with the peace of mind that Smallpdf can offer. Our ultimate online PDF tool takes care of our PDFs so we can spend more time and energy tackling the rest of our to-do list.
Influence Digest Rating: 9.6/10
Smallpdf Free: 9/10
Smallpdf Pro: 10/10
File Conversion tools: 10/10