How To Convert A File To Another Format

File-FormatsSo now you know what .TIFFs and .EPUBs are — but how do you make them? After the jump, we’ll explain some of the basics of how to convert from one type of file to another using a variety of tools.
Image credit: Yakilda

Text Editors

A number of different word processors have a way for you to convert your files to a different format when you save them. This can usually be found under the “Save As” icon.

In Microsoft Word, for example, it looks like this:

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 11.38.34 AM

Once you’ve gotten to “save as,” you can change the format using the drop down menu underneath where you input your file’s name.

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 11.38.49 AMOpen Office works in a similar way, as you can see:

500px-Saveas-1Of course, some word processors don’t have this converting technology available. In that case, you need a separate file converting program, which we’ll talk about later.

Image Editors

With image editors it’s a little tricky to get from one file type to another, because each file type caters to different kinds of images (.GIFS for animation and cartoons, .JPGs for more complex pictures, .TIFFs for the highest quality possible, etc.). If you were to convert a .JPG to a .GIF using the wrong program, it could seriously damage the way your image looks.

If you have access to Photoshop, though, you don’t have to worry too much about that — and it’s easy to save into a different format using the same method we’ve already outlined:

save-as

See where the “format” menu is? Just drop down there and you’ll be able to save your image

If you don’t have Photoshop, many other image editors have a similar way to save files. The one I use, Paintbrush for the Mac, even lets you decide what you save your default images to:

paintbrush-mac(1)

Converter Programs

If you’re looking to convert a file into an ebook file, or if you just don’t have the right software to make a .JPG into a .TIFF without spending a lot of money, then these tools will be very useful to you. Most of them are free to use, and many of them don’t require you to download anything, allowing you to convert files using your online browser.

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Zamzar is an online converter that can literally turn anything into anything else. It’s also one of the few places that converts files to ebook capable formats.

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 12.28.13 PMFreefileformat lets you convert a wide range of files, including those that you find online if you have the right URL.

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 12.29.24 PMOnline-Convert is one of my favorite converter websites to use because it’s so much cleaner and easily navigable. It also does a number of ebook files, too!

Using all of these tools is pretty simple, and at the end, your converted file usually appears in your downloads folder.

We hope this is helpful to you! Next week we’ll probably be on break due to the holidays, but let us know if there are any topics you want us to cover in the future!

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