Author: easterncraftuk

Microsoft Word DOCX files and how to convert old DOC files.

Overview – Microsoft Word DOCX Files

A DOCX file is a Microsoft Word (XML) formatted document file, similarly to a Microsoft Word document. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. The formatted files contain various characters such as text, images, objects, styles and formatting, stored as different files and eventually compressed into a single, zipped DOCX file.

DOCX files were developed by Microsoft in 2007 for use in Microsoft Word documents. Prior to the introduction of DOCX files, Word documents used DOC file extension. This was in 2003 and earlier programs. Documents are saved in DOCX files when the computer has Microsoft Word versions 2007 and above.

Saving a DOCX file

The new Microsoft Word programs automatically save all documents as DOCX files. The page layout in Microsoft Office 2007 and later versions was redesigned. First-time users may encounter a degree of difficulty when attempting to save a document and may require some assistance. Below is a quick process to follow:

  • Create a new Word document.
  • After completion, click the file menu and save as.
  • In the new window go to Save As type in the Drop Down Box and select Word Document and click Save.
  • This document will now have been saved as DOCX file.

Unzipping a DOCX file

2007 and later software programs are designed to open, edit and save DOCX files. Earlier versions of Microsoft programs will fail to open these file. There are however several options available to open a file:

  • A Compatibility Pack developed by Microsoft is a free program available on the internet, designed to open, edit, and save DOCX files if your computer has the versions of MS Word.
  • The Word Viewer application, another free product from Microsoft, allows you to open a DOCX file without the need for Microsoft Office on your computer.
  • OpenOffice Writer and KingsSoft Writer among others are free word processor programs developed to open these files and are highly recommended by users.
  • Google Docs program is a word application, available on the internet with the same capabilities.

Converting older DOC files to DOCX format in Microsoft Word

People have been using word processing for years and because of this, would need to conduct an exercise of converting older DOC files to DOCX files. Opening a DOC file in MS Word and then saving it as the DOCX file format on your computer, is the most effective way of converting a file. Below is a simple procedure to follow. Your computer should have the compatible 2007 or later Microsoft word program.

  • Firstly, locate the Doc file on your computer and open in Microsoft Word.
  • With the Doc file open, click the File Menu and click on Save As.
  • In the new window go to Save As Type in the Drop Down Box and select Word Document and click Save.
  • This document will now have been converted from DOC file to a DOCX format.
  • The old file will still exist, and you may choose to delete the file to avoid confusion.

Converting older DOC files to DOCX format using our Free Converter

If you do not have the newer version of Microsoft Word (2007/2010) on your computer, you can use our DOC Converter.  Below is an example of the steps to follow:

  • Open your preferred Internet Browser and navigate to FreeFileConvert.com
  • Click on the “choose file” button and locate the DOC file on your computer.
  • Click on open.
  • Then select the “Output format” to DOCX in the drop-down menu, and click  “Convert”.
  • Once the file is uploaded, your Browser will then be redirected to a status page, where the latest status of your conversion will be updated automatically.
  • When the conversion is successfully completed, a “Download” button will appear next to the file name, you can then click that button to download the file to your computer.
  • The file will download and then double-click on it to open the file.
  • You will see at the top of the Microsoft Word window that the new file is now a DOCX file.

DOC vs DOCX

With the advancement in computer technology, DOCX file format is the preferred program to use for your word documents. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Word 2003 and prior are unable to open DOCX files. DOCX files are compacted files, availing advanced options of reading, editing, and online sharing. Additionally, Open Office XML Standard is easily accessed by most word processing software programs online, including the much preferred Google Docs application. The way to go then is to simply convert all your word documents to DOCX files.

Why GIF Files are so popular

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Formats, GIF files are Raster image file formats, with their use on the internet becoming more popular than ever before. As the saying goes, “a picture alone can mean a thousand words”, and their significance, are the very reason GIF files are found all over the internet today. Let us take a closer look at their origin to better understand these files.

When the GIF File was first published?

CompuServe published the first most popular GIF, of a dancing baby in 1987 and this was during the early days of the Internet. Since then GIF file formats have fully developed and become much easier to design. GIF 87a had an updated version released in 1989 known as GIF 89a. Version 89a is almost identical to 87a, as they both enable a series of animated images to be saved as a file. Version 87a encompasses transparent backgrounds support and image metadata as well as supports animation delays. Nearly all GIF files use version 89a.

What are GIF image files?

A GIF image is a file that contains a Bitmap visual motion picture. Typically, these are found on millions upon millions of websites, social media sites and image pages obtained in images, banners and icons. The duration of a motion image can vary from 10 to a maximum 15 seconds. Additionally, the GIF image file may display motionless pictures with minimal temporary movements. GIFs maintain their good quality, unlike JPEG format files. A GIF image file is palette based and with the ability to utilise 256 colours in total. Individuals still extensively utilise animated images, surprisingly, with the available 256 colours.

Making of GIF format files

If you go to the basics, you will come to know that a GIF is made of several images blocks and Medias. You can use them and make a beautiful GIF which is having a full-colour effect.   As every image block needs a personal colour table, GIF files can become huge, when holding a number of image blocks, resulting in the limitation of effective full-colour GIF images. GIF images have become popular as they are simple and easy to make. Before recent times, complicated programs and software were used to make the files. Many websites will now permit you to make the images speedily and with ease. There are many programs that have been developed to make the images on numerous platforms on websites. One can only search and choose a website and tool that is appropriate for them. Naturally, the programs will come with step-by-step instructions, which make the whole process effortless.

The popularity of GIF files

Centuries ago, motionless pictures were the order of the day. The introduction of animated GIF images changed that era. Videos were the sole means of watching animated images with some movement. Video technology had its shortcomings as the files were often too big to share from one computer to another and with a considerable time required to upload images for viewing. The technical feature to watch preferred sections of the video was not available to viewers. Unreliable internet connections and limited data hindered the file uploading procedure. Of course, this has become a thing of the past with the never-ending advancement in technology. GIFs gained their significance following a wide coverage of unsuccessful motion picture movies on the internet.

People took to selecting small eye-catching short clips timely avoiding the viewing of an entire movie. This triggered GIF file frenzy on the internet. File sharing and saving on the computer was a much more straightforward task, due to the size of images. Some individuals took this exciting opportunity to market by sharing extensively on the internet, with many reaping recognition and rewards. Individuals simply search and download popular GIF images on the internet today, without fuss. Image clips of musicians, athletes, presenters and other famous personalities, taken from motion pictures, televisions shows and games are shared on the World Wide Web. This has promoted not only famous personalities but transformed some regular users into internet celebrities.

Conclusion:

Animated GIF images are one of the best discoveries for the internet users who wanted to view animated images effortlessly and within a short space of time. The younger generation of particular mention may today find it difficult to communicate with peers in the absence of GIF. It is true to say the younger generation prefer a more suitable, speedy and convenient way to effectively communicate with one another. The ideal mix of picture incorporating video that fully captures their attention and imagination in a short period of time becomes much more desirable. Based on these factors, GIF files have garnered much popularity.

We support a wide variety of conversions from and to a GIF format, our most popular GIF conversion types include GIF to MP4, MP4 to GIF, GIF to BMP and many more.

Encryption/Decryption Overview and Why Encrypt PDF Files

Encryption/Decryption overview

Encryption, also known as cryptography is the conversion of readable information, messages or data to a format that only the intended recipient can access. This process may not completely eliminate interference, but reduces the possibility of a would-be interceptor manipulating the plain text, to the detriment of innocent parties. In an encryption programme, the predetermined information, messages or data in plain text is encrypted using an encryption algorithm, also known as ciphertext. Once encrypted, it is unlikely for the encoded material to be manipulated, as exceptionally high-level computer skills and resources are required.

Decryption then is the process of taking the encoded text or data and converting it back to plain text using decryption algorithms. The information or message on receipt can be easily decrypted using a private key provided by the originator, to the intended recipient.

Type of keys

There are two keys used in encoding and decoding text:-

  1. Private Key
  2. Public Key

Symmetric key

The encryption and decryption algorithms are the same in Private/Symmetric keys. The same key should be used by communicating parties before they can attain reliable communication.

Asymmetric key

In Asymmetric key programmes, two keys are paired but are not identical. The public key is published for everyone to use when encrypting messages or data. The second which is the private key, however, remains only known to the recipient of the encoded data.

Uses

Encryption is used to protect data in transit from a company to various banks/institutions, via networks such as an outsourced payment transfer platform, Bluetooth devices, internet banking and mobile telephones, these also used by various other companies.

In recent times, encryption is used by many organisations to retain data, which may not immediately be needed for use, but may be requested for at any time, as necessary. With the encoded data kept on computers, laptops and other storage devices such as ‘USB flash drives’. Encrypting information or data ‘at rest’ preserves information through loss or theft of hard drives or laptops and in the event, physical security measures fail.

Recent threats to encrypted text ‘at rest’ have been cyber or cryptography attacks, encryption key attacks, integrity attacks, malicious attacks, and data destruction attacks. Data protection technologies aim to counter some of these attacks, so it is more difficult to locate, pilfer, defile or eliminate.

Verification of messages

Encrypting and decrypting of information can only be secure; to begin with, if the devices are used to operate the programme have not been tampered with. Encryption on its own can protect message confidentiality, but other techniques are still required to protect the authenticity and integrity of a message, such as a digital signature.

Data deletion

The conventional methods for erasing data from storage devises involve overwriting its entire file with patterns, which can take an enormous amount of time, depending on the volume of content. Cryptography offers a process of deleting the content almost instantly provided all data on the device is encrypted with the key stored on the same device. All the information becomes inaccessible by deleting the key code.

Why Encrypt PDF Files

So then, why protect PDF files? The reason being, that we only view on screen without the option to print the files. This is a strong measure designed to ensure that one never really gets to fully understand its abilities and shortcomings if any. The PDF file may never be successfully decrypted by a recipient, once its content has been encrypted. A free software application developed by Adobe to encrypt files will allow sending of files via the internet. The recipient may decrypt if decryption code has been availed to them, further permitting them to open, read, edit and print the file. Without the decryption key, the file remains a view only document, without the printing facility.

The two main ways to encrypt a PDF file are:-

  1. Password encryption
    • Relies on a shared password between the originator and the recipient.
  2. Public key Infrastructure (PKI) encryption
    • Provides greater protection by using cryptography and digital certificates.

Our Encrypt PDF and Decrypt PDF tools can be used to password protect PDF files using the “shared password” method, in which case the PDF file can only be viewed by someone who knows the password for the file.

Fonts, what are they and popular font formats

The modern world is always looking to improve on technology, and the advancements and font technology is no exception. The array of font styles eclipses any imagination and thus allows for the adaption of a distinct font to present an assortment of material.

What are fonts?

Fonts are sets of displayable or printable letters, digits or symbols in specific styles and sizes. Typeface depicts the various styles found in fonts which form typeface families. Some features found in each font family (dialogue box) are font styles, font colour, text effects and font character spacing. For example, Times New Roman is a TrueType font. A document with a selected font will be viewed and printed as seen on screen. In the Times New Roman typeface family; font styles, text highlight colour and underline, for example, form a part of many fonts one can select.

Font sizes range from 8 to 72 points with the most preferred font pitch sizes being 10 and 12. There are two types of fonts, namely pitch font and proportional fonts. Pitch font letters have an equal diameter, with proportional fonts being the opposite. In general, choosing the appropriate typeface family and related fonts really depends on the data and preferred appearance one would want to display. The appearance of a page on screen view or print will determine the choices one would make.

There are three computer font file data formats:

  1. Bitmap fonts (Raster fonts)
  2. Outline fonts (Vector fonts)
  3. Stoke fonts

Bitmap fonts

This format consists of pixels or matrix of dots representing the image of glyph or specific shape in each face and size. Raster font is the term used for Bit-map fonts but is not frequently used. A printer identifies the relevant characters saved for the document and subsequently reproduces the matching dots. A variance on the typeface will generate suitable Bitmaps for the content. Bitmap fonts are generally considered to be device dependent.

Advantages of Bitmap fonts are:

  • Exceptionally fast and more straightforward to operate
  • Much simpler to generate
  • Bitmap fonts show exactly the same results when presented on corresponding image or data visuals
  • Maintaining smaller visuals will exhibit optimum results for Bitmap fonts

The poor visual quality of Bitmap fonts is primary a disadvantage, particularly when sizes are enlarged, in comparison to other fonts such as Outline and Stoke fonts. The fonts, however, are nevertheless a standard feature in some computer operating systems. Digital Bitmap fonts may use monochrome fonts or ‘shades of grey’. The Bitmap fonts remain widely used in computer systems, particularly for screen displays.

Outline fonts

Also known as Vector fonts, the character outlines are scalable to any size as the font uses drawing instructions and mathematical formulae to describe each particular shape, known as Bezier curves. In vector structures, each image is interpreted algorithmically. Presented dimensions differ with font styles. Outline fonts are therefore known as scalable fonts as their height and width can be adjusted. Vector fonts are also known as image-oriented fonts, apart from the scalable font phrase. The main advantage they have over Bitmap fonts is that they are favourable when using prime quality image machines. The higher the quality, the more superior vector font appears. There are three formats which are used in online fonts

  • Type 1 and Type 3 fonts – This type was created by the Adobe. The purpose was to use this font for professional digital typesetting.
  • True Type fonts –This was introduced by the Apple Inc. and is very popular with implementations available.
  • Open Type fonts – Designed by Adobe and Microsoft and deemed a smart font system, outstanding and incomparable to any other fonts, redesign visual character presentations to improve the reading experience.

Stroke fonts

This font uses a series specified lines and other information to define the form, shape or size of the line in a specified face. In East Asian markets it is promoted and advertised on a large level. The use on an embedded level is widespread in these markets, the advantage of stroke fonts include reducing the number of vertices required to define a glyph. Met fonts are stroke-font formats.

PS Files

Developed by Adobe, PS files are widely used by publishers for printing purposes. Postscript files (PS files) are images saved in the Postscript page description language and may contain vector graphics, Bitmap graphics or text. Postscript files contain images and text on the same page.  A postscript file is distinguished by its’ .ps’ suffix.

Conclusion:

There are so many different types of the fonts, and their popularity is different for various industries and locations. Overall PS files fonts are widely used by publishers for printing purposes. Other have their importance and popularity in various industries.

Our PS Converter supports conversion of PS files into various other formats, for example, you can use it to convert a PS file to BMP.

Five reasons, why you should convert Word Document to PDF format

Microsoft Office is one the most used Office software by the companies and individuals. Almost every document or presentation can be made in Microsoft office. This article was written on Microsoft Word, and it can be said the software, and its feature does not disappoint the user. However, there are several reasons why you should consider converting DOC files into PDF format. This is because converting to PDF provides greater opportunities and options for the writer in the contemporary world. Let’s have a look at them.

Word document change their format, PDFs do not

Imagine spending a whole day writing a long article and choosing the best format and page size, taking it to the office and opening it in a new computer and formatting it all over again! This is one of the biggest problems with the DOC format. When opened on a different computer or with different software, the whole document changes to a default format which ruins the document. It sometimes not only alters the format settings but, since some software may not support Microsoft Office feature, change the whole document setting, thus, the document looks entirely different.

One of the main reasons why PDF was developed by Adobe was to provide a uniform platform for every type of document, especially with DOC format, so that they can be viewed on any kind of device and operating system. This meant that once the document is converted to PDF, its style and format will become absolute and cannot be changed or altered in any way regardless of the device or system.

References can cause a lot of trouble

As mentioned above, if opened on different software or a computer, your contents can get disorganized. This commonly happens in an e-book or documents with content. Since on a different computer or software, the document is opened in default settings; thus page size can also change along with margins or guidelines. This also results in different page numbers and line spacing. It is yet another reason why writers prefer PDF format for their books or articles which may include pictures or table of contents.

Different version, different problems

Every software was once old; as time went by, newer and better versions were introduced in the market with advanced features and improvement. Same happened with Microsoft Office, although it created a small problem along with the improvements. Documents created in the new version of Word will rarely open in the older versions of Word since they lack several features which are prominent in the new versions. In the other way around, newer versions can open the old version documents but with slight changes. This can result in document alterations. Change of font or image display is some of the problems accompanied by the common Word problems mentioned above. As stated, it can cause format change or alter the content orientation as well.

Word is not the only one in the market

Billions of people use computers every day, and millions of them use it to write their books, articles, and whatnot. There is a very high probability that not all of them are familiar with Microsoft Word, and they may be using any other word processing software. This means that their document can be in different style, different font, size, or orientation. Although they can be opened in Word, a different view of the document can be highly expected. This means it may choose a default font for the document if the original font is not available in Word. Or it can cause the document to reformat which means the page size can change and so will the page numbers. You will experience the same consequence when opening a Word file in different word processing software. PDF means you can open your file in any software without expecting a single change in the format of the document. This ensures your documents remain intact and unaltered.

What is better than software which is mobile friendly?

In this fast developing world, most of the business and digital work depends on computers. Since you cannot access your computer everywhere, some people offer an alternative to using mobile devices to remain updated on their work. They often view documents and presentations on their phones or tablets. This becomes very difficult when the file they want to have a look at is in DOC format. Why? Because of most of the times, DOC formats require different apps which are not produced by Microsoft. This means they may not support some features resulting in alterations. Furthermore, apps that are good for doc formats are rarely free and cost a good fortune. PDF, on the other hand, have lots of free and user-friendly apps which can be downloaded on any mobile devices and allows the user to view PDF file without any problems.

Our DOC to PDF Converter provides an easy and hassle-free way to convert Word documents into PDF files, so you can always use it to convert your DOC files, or you can use our DOC Converter to convert DOC files into many other formats besides PDF.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) – a technical overview

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is software that assists in reading text, translating, and converting an image into a text file. OCR system comprises of the optical scanner for reading the text and disenchanted software for converting an image to a text. This software ease reading of complicated letters, books, and journals. OCR has the capability of reading text in large various fonts. Unfortunately, OCR does not provide a great support to handwritten text files. This article will provide you with the technology behind OCR, an essential element of OCR, principles based on OCR, and how one can convert scanned image to the editable file using OCR.

Technology Behind Optical Character Recognition

The most advanced type of OCR currently is ABBY FineReader OCR. Usually, OCR works with three basic principles- integrity, purposefulness, and adaptability. OCR is easy to use and consist of three steps which are scanning a document, recognizing it, and store it in the right format (RFT, XLS, PDF, and TXT). How does OCR recognize text? It isolates document pages to an element like the block of text, image or even tables. The line is partitioned to the word and then to the character for them to be recognized. After character have been recommended the software do a comparison with a set of the image pattern. It then improves diverse hypothesis about character recommended. Regarding this hypothesis, the program inquires different effect of subdividing lines into word and word into characters. After processing colossal numbers of such probabilistic hypothesis the software proceeds with its decision of presenting you with the recognized text. Modern OCR such as ABBY FineReader can support 45+ languages from the dictionary. This facilitates auxiliary inquiry of text element on word unit. It ensures more accurate inquiry and recognition of document and assists in getting text information from the complex document. These are the three basic principles of equipped on the OCR with maximum reliability and brilliance that make it possible for human recognition.

Essential Element for OCR

The essential elements are scanning and recognition. Both two elements involve various procedures.

Recognition: images captured through scanning digital camera can be as well recognized by OCR for them to be converted to text form. A digital camera needs to have bright light for their images be recognized by OCR. Modern OCR such as ABBY FineReader has dependable recognition technology that targets processing camera images. They have been well built to counter image bias at the edge, perfect recognition.

Scanning: this software can scan to two types; scanning to pdf and scanning to a word. Scanning to pdf ensure layout accuracy. Scanned document retain original outlook on screen resembling virtual photocopy. One can click on a single word or listen to overall document. Scan to a word is done for flexibility thus providing power to edit and change text layout

Converting Scanned Images to Editable File

It involves various steps when converting scanned images from source to editable file using OCR.

Step 1:

Involves detecting the direction of the text. The scanned image is never perfectly aligned hence you slightly need to rotate scanned images so that text line become 100 % horizontal.

Step 2:

Involves discovering whether the text is unit column or double column

Step 3:

In every column, you need to locate ‘baseline’ position of the consecutive text line. Double column text needs to be changed to a single column “long ribbon of printed character”. The format used is black and white.

Step 4:

Express this ribbon into unity character by recognizing vertical stripes of the white pixel. Each “token” is of rectangular mini-image of black/white pixel. In case two tokens are sandwiched by more than average white space you can add “space” token

Step 5:

Go through the token, comparing one by one with a pixel of known characters (letters, number, etc.). Find the length of a token and each of selected templates. You require selecting short length character being the right one. But in case this step doesn’t return token for you take unit character but instead probabilities.

Step 6:

Sum variety of probabilities called language model which is always specific to a language, e.g. English. Example, likely previous letter “who” is accompanied by the letter “I” or digit “1” which has same probability in the next token. However, language model will lean on the letter”I” instead of “1”. OCR lacking this step typically produce many non-sensical word –language free but the one with language model produce ideal transcript no matter the blurred image( image captured with an out of focus camera or the one printed both side of paper where text of back can penetrate through)

To convert your scanned images into an editable format, you can use our online OCR Conversion tool.

 

XML: what is it? History and Uses

There are varieties of file extensions, and the new one with variation pop up each day. For an IT expert, the XML file extension does not seem like anything new. But for a new user of IT XML might be sound like an extension for malware. But it is not a malware; it is one of the widely used file extensions. XML actually means Extensible Markup Language. It means that it is kind of a markup language to interpret and add data to be understandable by humans as well as machines. So XML files are used to interpret, transport, structure and store data. It was designed with the aim of the generality of usage across all over the Internet. Dr. Charles Goldfarb who was involved in the development of XML file system, says that XML is a kind of holy grail for computing because it overcomes the problem of data exchange universally between non-identical systems.

Background

The true history of XML actually goes back to 1970’s when three employees of IBM, Charles Goldfarb, Ed Mosher and Ray Lorie introduced a new technique of forming technical documents, called GML, in which tags were used to structure the data. The name actually consisted of initials of their names Goldfarb, Mosher, and Lorie. Later Goldfarb introduced the term general markup language to reflect the use of the GML better. In 1986 ISO adopted it as SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). SGML is not an actual markup language rather it provides a specification for other languages, for example, HTML is used to specify tags for web pages, is an application of SGML.

Although HTML was so much popular from the start but there were many problems which were creating headaches for the web developers especially. There were some loopholes in the presentation which were left open on the discrete of end users, on the contrary, page designers always wanted to solidify their design. The completion between Internet Explorer and Netscape was causing differentiation in the standards and was creating more problems for web developers. These problems and lack of standard were causing the original idea about web pages and usage of web services to drift away because the interpretation of web content was no longer uniform.

Because of these problems, it was widely accepted that HTML is too limited and SGML is too complicated, so there was demand for something much better. In 1990’s a large group of people well known in the industry collaborated and came up with the XML. The collaboration was done using emails and teleconferences. The XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. Basically, it is also the specification for other markup languages. It was developed with the aim of general purpose usability and stability, conciseness, formality and minimum optional features. Its internet application is only one form of its usage. With the introduction of XML now it is easy to specify and store any data, which can be imported and processed by any application using any platform.

Uses

There are wide varieties of uses of XML. Some of these uses are as follows.

General application of XML is that it provides a standardized platform to store, access and display data.

While doing web searches and web tasks, XML makes it easier to get desired results because XML defines the kind of data store in the file.

The most popular use of XML is in web development. With XML it is easier to develop an interactive and wide variety with the option to the customer to customize. While data is stored once in XML, which can be used to present to different users with the different style of viewing and processing.

XML use is also getting popular in the storage of data among enterprises. With the use of XML, it is easy to exchange data across different platforms. A business process is getting connected across global scale more than ever. If data hubs are using standardized XML, it will allow business to interact with each other and with customers with ease. Many industries have created systems for storing information in the standardized form using XML for better interaction within the industry. Finance, health care, sciences, and music industry are just to name a few who are using XML for standard data storage. For example in publishing industry XML is used across all document publishers, for example, XML is the basis for Microsoft’s as well as Google’s application as well.

Layout

There are two methods to layout data of any XML document. These layouts are DTD (Data Type Definition) and XML schema. DTD is basically an extension of SGML and XML schema is written using XML syntax. There are some limitations in DTD such as it treats all data in a document as a string and does not have the ability to specify specific rules to specific data. For some application, it is not useful that is why XML schema language was introduced.

You can use our online XML Converter to convert XML files into other formats or you can also convert your PDF files into XML using our PDF to XML Converter.