Thing 9 is ZamZar, a web based file conversion site


Check out the post for Thing 9  is:Your chocolate does not read your customer’s peanut butter?  Zamzar the file conversion website.

The Wiki Page describing it is here.

Please post your thoughts about Zamzar in the comments.  Enjoy!


57 Responses to “Thing 9 is ZamZar, a web based file conversion site”

  1. PMalasky Says:

    ZamZar is a really good website and one of my fellow students in graduate school gave me the link. We use it at our information station at the library and it has been a big help. Sometimes it seems to take a little too long for the file to appear in your email, but it is like waiting for the pot to boil. I have used it to transfer many types of files. It works well for many formats.

  2. LibraryLady Says:

    I wish I had more “bad” files to play with. I think this will be very useful with the public. Definitely worthy of a place in my favorites. Even with the wait, it sure beats saying “I don’t know…”

  3. D. Sebly Says:

    I think this will be useful in just the way described in the opening paragraph of ZamZar’s MarylandLearning page. It’s just those impossible moments on the desk, when a user wants to access a file and can’t because of some sort of incompatibility of programs. Of course, I’m usually completely flustered by the end of the exchange with the user, because I cannot help in any way. Now, I have the answer: ZamZar.
    It’s easy to use, and I don’t have to be a member or pay dues or purchase an expensive program or whatever. It’s just there for my use.

    I tried converting some documents – from Word to PDF, with success, of course. Very useful. I plan to use this for myself. (I could have used this, in fact, when I was in graduate school last year – too late now!!) And I plan also to pass on information about this site to people outside of the library, who could use it in their line of work. Very nice, very useful.

  4. Rainey Says:

    I found Zamzar easy to use and lots of fun. This can be used both at work and at home since you can covert files online without downloading yet more software. I converted a file from their website and a video from my website and emailed it to family members. The best part about it is it is free. I didn’t find it slow at all. It was in the email in 30 seconds. I’m send the link to my home computer.

  5. Jo Says:

    My experience with Zamzar:

  6. forestlover Says:

    Zamzar is great! Very helpful. I will definitely use this. It was extremely easy to use. It solves the incompatibility problem nicely. Thanks for introducing me to Zamzar.

  7. sunflower Says:

    Zamzar is easy to use. For me I will use it personally, and at work it will be useful with helping patrons converting documents. It’s also free. What more could one want! Thanks so much for Learning 2.1. I’ve learned so many useful things.

  8. KristinB Says:

    I love knowing that something like this is out there. We do sometimes have issues with patrons who have files that aren’t compatible with what is on our computers, so having a free online tool like this is very exciting. Especially the pdf feature. I wish I had known about this (was it even around though?) back when I was in grad school and as part of the process of creating a website for a project, we had to create a pdf document. I had to use one of the campus computers for that task, but it would have been so much easier if I could have just done it from my home computer. Yes, it does take a little bit for it to get sent to you, but, it still is a great free service. And, I like the fact that it converts more than just word documents. There is a whole range of things that can be coverted.

  9. Ponyahhn Says:

    I learned about Zamzar several months ago, and have used it numerous times at the reference desk. Just yesterday I had a patron who had been all over town looking for a computer with Word 2007 on it (it’s a small town) to no avail. She used Zamzar, and within 60 seconds had received an email with the conversion. She was thrilled, and glad to know about the website for future reference. It is absolutely wonderful!!!! I did have a patron last month who didn’t receive the conversion immediately, and who was unwilling/unable to wait five minutes for it, but I don’t consider that to be Zamzars problem. Fantastic website! One of the most useful that I have learned about.

  10. shannonmc Says:

    I had not heard of Zamzar previous to this assignment. It will prove to be a great resource in helping patrons. It is easy to use and the fact that you don’t need to register prior to using is a pleasant surprise. For my test it did take over a half hour for the file to come through to my email. I was hoping it would be faster. Looking at some of the other posts I see others experience faster times so my experience could be the result of my branch’s bandwith versus the site itself. It is definitely a tool I will use in the future.

  11. sunshine Says:

    I had one good experience and one not-so-good experience. The first time I chose a Word Doc to convert I waited 6 min. —and it still wasn’t finished loading. Then I chose a different file and it was done in 10 seconds. However I did have to wait a bit for it to show up in my email. I like the fact it was a free service and that it was easy – 1,2,3 and your done. A nice benefit was not having to ‘open an account’, YAY!

    I think customers at the library would be happy to have this as an option. I don’t usually need to use this type of program at home.

  12. JackieCassidy Says:

    Zamzar is something all library staff should know about. I have been using Zamzar for free online file conversion since the time of 23 Things. Many of my co-workers use it too for helping patrons. Depending on how busy our computers are and how much Zamzar is being used, it can be slow. On one occassion, I did not get the email until the following morning. However, in most cases it is very useful, and patrons are pleased that we are able to help.

  13. jodielynn Says:

    Zamzar is very easy to use and it provides a needed service. I know patrons will be happy to learn about this and I will put the site on our branch account.

  14. CSmith Says:

    I am happy there is something out there like this. I woudn’t have guessed that there would be something out there like this that was free! I have been surprised many times over the past weeks about free services. I didn’t realize there were so many sites out there that did not charge! I did a test with it and it worked. I will bookmark this site because we can definitely use this on the desk.

  15. JessNhem Says:

    How neat was this!!! Now, this is something I could definitely use again. I made a .doc a .pdf and then I checked to see what I could change a .pub to. I was wondering about .docx, but I didn’t have any files in the format to try to convert. Also, I couldn’t change the doc into a publisher document.
    I did enjoy this a lot, but there were quite a few popups and advertisements, and it was a bit slower than I would like, but it was really helpful.

  16. Virginia Hyde Says:

    I found this very interesting. it is nice to know that it is available for use, but I know that I probably won’t use it.

  17. InsaneLibraryLady Says:

    This is a very useful site & I know I’ll be using this at the Library due to the numerous questions about this in the past. Really great !!

  18. HeatherTowers Says:

    OK I have a file in upload now that is taking forever but it could be my internet connection so I’m going to say that this website is really great! I have needed a file conversion software before and didn’t know one existed. I am so glad we learned this thing!

  19. ReluctantBlogger Says:

    I have used this site before, and found it very helpful. I think I have recommended it to patrons as well. It’s a little convoluted and cumbersome to have to go through email, and it does take time to get files, but mine came relatively fast – within 10 minutes. I wonder if there is an option to bypass the email step if you actually create an account, but I decided not to, just so I don’t have any extra log-in info to remember. The quality of the new document was good. It is nice to have a tool to work with Office 2007, and with video files (although I have not tried to convert videos yet).

  20. milt Says:

    Zamzar is a really resourceful site. I always used Switch when coverting audio files to and from mp3, wav, and flac etc., but Zamzar has all this AND the ability to convert text, image, and video all on one site. The best part about it is that it is very easy to do.

    Patrons seem to always come in and have questions about converting files from one format to the other and now we know where to direct them!!

  21. ABG Julia's Blog Says:

    Following on to previous comments. I found this site easy to use & believe it may be of help to customers. I am not sure how long it took to get into my email as I left my computer for a while, but when I returned it was there. Don’t think it was too long. Nice to have something like this.

  22. Gentlewinds Says:

    This is a very useful and easy to use website. I converted both a word document to pdf format and a jpeg file to tiff and was pleased with the results and the quick turn around time for both conversions. The drop down box, which only allows one to choose compatible formats for the original file, is a great added feature. Our customers will really find this site beneficial!

  23. Etta Place Says:

    I was aware of Zamzar, but never used it until today. I knew that it translated text, but was totally unaware that it could do so much more, (music/videos). I’m not that tech savvy to know why one would want to do that, but it’s nice to know that it can be done! It will be very helpful to our patrons who use the public computers. We’ve had times when Zamzar has been recommended to patrons who were then able to successfully translate their files. I sent in our phone tree in to be changed into pdf. Very interesting resource for computer users of all skill levels and various needs.

  24. dragonfly27 Says:

    I am familiar with this website already, and find it invaluable. We’ve used it a couple times at the reference desk, usually for folks that come in with Works files that we need to convert to Word. Many of our customers have XP Home operating systems, which does not have Word, just Works, yet they don’t really understand the difference. They create their resumes in Works, and want to print it out here at the library and we can’t open the file. Zamzar has saved us a couple of times in these situations. It takes awhile to get the e-mail back, but it’s a wonderful tool……great for bailing you out of a tough situation.

  25. beachylibrarian Says:

    I am really happy to know about Zamzar. Just a few days before this assignment I had a patron who wondered if we had the software to make PDF files. It would have been really helpful to refer him to this site – I will definitely use it in the future.

  26. Ann Drake Says:

    Well, I was hoping to accomplish this before the Thanksgiving holiday but I haven’t received my e-mail yet with my converted file. I can definitely see the advantage of having the ability to do this in the library setting. Many patrons come in our library who have word documents saved on floppies, especially resumes, and assignments for school, whether that be high school or college, and because the software is different on their home computer compared to the software on our computers, it becomes gobbledy gook when they try to work on it here. I think we would gain a lot of points if we were able to help people out by recommending this website for the conversion. I am hoping we will all bookmark it on our circ. desk computers so that we can remember it and pass the information along to library patrons. Great idea!

  27. Jeanne Trice Says:

    I wish I’d known about ZamZar a couple of weeks ago; it could have saved me a trip with my husband’s laptop due to software compatibility issues! Great site that I know we will use over and over for patrons.

  28. sandyr Says:

    This is exciting! I have a lot of label files which were created in WordPerfect ages ago. I want to convert them to Word, and the standard “Save As” option on the PC does not work. I am very curious to see if ZamZar will accomplish the conversion without destroying the formatting! The library can really make use of this tool.

  29. Michelle_N Says:

    This is a tool I’ve been using for awhile. Before our computers were upgraded to same thing system wide it was a pain to convert files. So many customers come in with Works or a different version of Word and Zamzar takes care of it, easily and fairly quickly. Great tool.

  30. DBennett Says:

    This is great. Only thing is I wasn’t prepared to wait 40 minutes for it to show up in my email. I’m still waiting for one doc. Just have to put that in the timetable when using it. I can see myself using this on a regular basis.

  31. Rusty Says:

    Like everyone else’s comments, I think Zamzar definitely has its niche at the library for those customers that need their files converted. In my “Discovery Exercise” one Word document took over ten minutes to download and it’s been about 45 minutes since then and I still haven’t received an email confirming the conversion. However, that file was a photo that I originally downloaded from the internet. My second attempt went much smoother, probably because it was only a Sonnet without any photos. It downloaded in a couple of minutes and I received the confirming email about ten to fifteen minutes later. This website will definitely fill some needs but those who have lengthy conversions may become frustrated at the library, especially during the closing hour. It’s still a very useful tool though; and I will suggest it to those needing file converstions.

  32. Rusty Says:

    It’s Rusty again. Just wanted to say that the photo Word document just converted. It was only one photo but took about an hour to convert so text is much quicker!

  33. AmandaW Says:

    ZamZar seems like it will save tons of time! There will probably be great use for it at libraries…and at home. I especially like that it emails you the conversion! Awesome resource.

  34. Regina Spiker Says:


  35. bookbliss Says:

    Zamzar is great! I don’t know if it even existed when I was still in college, but it would have been a big help, especially with online group projects! Some of my friends and family are taking online classes now, and I will be sure to tell them about Zamzar, just in case they weren’t already aware. Of course, this is also something I will pass along to our patrons–another useful (and free) tool!

  36. Janet Says:

    I went on a tour of Zamzar of the converting of files. I could not believe how simple it was to convert one. I’m sure this would be a good site for some to find out about, especially useful for the librarians to help the customers such as college teachers and other customers to be able to store more material in one file. Great tool to use.

  37. John Says:

    Zamzar is a must have tool at the reference and customer support desk since there are so many file formats out there. Its good to have a spot that can convert thing into a usable format on library machines and then convert it back for home use. As we try to keep up with students we will need to have a place where we can convert the various video and audio formats.

  38. Lisamck Says:

    Zamzar is a website that I actually bookmarked for future reference. File conversion is always cropping up whenever we have a patron who has a different version of word processing than we do, or a file needs to be converted from a .bmp to a .jpg. Zamzar has it all–easy to use and practical applicability. Very nice.

  39. Mysterylover Says:

    I have to agree with everyone’s comments. Zamzar is very easy to use, and I imagine we’ll use it a lot at the reference desk. More and more people are coming into the library and trying to use our computers only to find that our software is not compatible with theirs. As long as people are willing to wait for the conversion to be emailed to them, it seems that their problems are solved. I’m thrilled to know about Zamzar.

  40. John Says:

    I just ran across a nifty pdf to word converter. it is free and available at

  41. Michelle Sebly Says:

    I like ZamZar! This will come in handy for me, with the people who don’t yet have the newest Word. Had a bit of trouble with that in the past year.

    I can definitely see it being useful on the Reference Desk front!

  42. AMartin Says:

    Thank you!

  43. Mally Says:

    I was able to convert an excel file into a PDF file. It was so easy. This is something I needed to learn how to do so I am very glad to have this opportunity. I did have trouble figuring out how to save the converted file. I looked up how in the PDF Help and it was very clearly explained. The file only took a few minutes to convert!

  44. Jeri Says:

    I have found that the Microsoft conversion software installed on our reference desk is faster to use for WPS to Word conversions (at least for pre-2007 versions) since it takes a REALLY long time to get your file from ZamZar and customers are almost always in a hurry. It is definitely something to show our customers for their future needs or reference for the range of convefrsions it can handle when there is time to wait for it.

  45. Cecelia Robeson Says:

    It took 47 minutes to get my converted document via email. This might be a negative in some circumstances as noted in some of the comments above. But the time factor is, in my opinion, a minor issue when considered against the wide variety of file formats supported without any need to download software. I just requested a simple conversion from a Word document to a pdf file. But not only are there many different document formats, but also supported are a wide variety of image, music, video, and compressed format conversions. ZamZar is a very nice service and one that I will definitely use and recommend to library patrons and coworkers

  46. Pam Says:

    What a wonderful site to use in the library setting. It did take some time for me to receive my email but it was well worth it. This is something I will bookmark at work and home to use whenever I need to. I will definitely recommend this to patrons.

  47. rosesmom Says:

    This will be a great help for patrons who come in and find they can’t read their documents. The bad thing is the time factor. Maybe some won’t mind? As long as I have the time to wait on the email I WILL use this.

  48. Sherry Dickens Says:

    Zamzar seems to be my speedbumb on my road of Learning 2.1. I had to try 3 times to convert a word.doc to a pdf file. I had to change my allconet email to my personal email before I finally received a converted file, then I could not access Zamzar again till I changed password, new password sent, and on it goes. It was sraght forward though to get the converted document, I’m sure after I use it a few times and get my account straightened out it will be more user friendly.

  49. Richard Says:

    I like this one…. simple, quick and painless. The fact that you don’t have to go through a login process was a perfect start in and of itself. Zamzar I feel would be useful tool both at work and at home. I’ll be using it.

  50. Carl Emerick Says:

    Cool site to move files around.

  51. lindalu Says:

    A few months ago I had tried using ZamZar with a MS Word 2007 document that a customer couldn’t open. The results were disappointing.

    I don’t know if the site/service has improved or maybe I have, but I was impressed with what happened when I used a Word 2007 document from my home computer and had it transformed into a pdf that I could open on my work computer. If good results like that are consistent, ZamZar could be the star of Learning 2.1.

  52. spero Says:

    I’ve got to remember this when people I run into ask if this possible. Amazingly important in light of living in the techie fast lane…I think I’m Japanese and not just going!”

  53. Janice Says:

    This could be very useful. I tried converting a .pub document to .pdf and it was in my email within minutes. I have a new camera which takes short movies. I’ve had trouble uploading them to a blog because they are in the wrong format. I’m looking forward to trying them out here.

  54. Maryland Says:

    I like that there is a free site to convert to pdf. I wish I had known about this all the times I had patrons who couldn’t open their documents because they weren’t compatible with the software on the library computers. In fact, I could have used this personally a few weeks ago. It did take some time to get the pdf file in my email, but knowing this in advance will help with time management.

  55. Accidental Librarian Says:

    Occasionally, we get the patrons unable to open files that were saved as “.docx.” Of course, they need to print it now! Some of our public computers have been updated to handle this while others have not. I think zamzar would be a great resource in these cases, but I haven’t encountered this or a similar case since I’ve become acquainted with zamzar, so I am not sure Zamzar handles docx files yet. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t though. I simply experimented with a notepad file I created to convert to pdf. Again, the time it takes to reach your email is the only drawback I see.

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