Monday, May 16, 2011

Zamzar—Online File Converter

Link to Zamzar:
I find all the Microsoft updates to be very annoying—they make new file extensions that cannot be opened by the older versions of its software. For example, Microsoft Word has always had the extension .doc, but they changed it into .docx about three years ago, and now people are beginning to use these .docx documents more often because that is what's provided in their new Microsoft Office Packages.

This makes sending files to and from my classmates a lot more difficult. Often when working on group projects or when editing each other's work, we need to send files via email so that we can see each other's work. However, since I have the old Microsoft Word version, I cannot open the .docx files that many of my classmates send me and I often need to ask them to cut and paste their material into the pieces of mail that they send to me.

Even though the above method is time consuming, it usually works and that's how I have been dealing with the problem during the past year. However, when the file in qjavascript:void(0)uestion is a powerpoint (.pptx) file, it's simply impossible to copy and paste all content into the email. This is why I find Zamzar essential.

I found Zamzar a few days ago when a member of my chemistry presentation group sent me a .pptx file containing the powerpoint that he had done. Since .pptx was the extension for the new version of Microsoft Powerpoint, I could not open it with my old Powerpoint version and had to find a way to convert the file. Therefore I went onto Google and searched for a file conversion program, and surprisingly I found Zamzar, which was an Online converter!

Screenshot of Zamzar

Zamzar was very easy to use. I simply uploaded the .pptx file and specified what type of file I wanted it to be converted into. There were many types of files that you could convert, such as audio, video and image files. Anyway, after selecting .ppt as my desired extension, I entered my email and in a few minutes I received an email containing a link. From the link, I just downloaded the converted file.

I find Zamzar to be very convenient because it's online and does not require any membership. However, I do notice that the converted files tend to be a lot larger than the original ones, which can be quite a disadvantage if you have limited Internet usage. But overall, I am sure that I will be using it in the future.