With Convertafile, documents, graphics, data files, and sound files can all be converted to a user’s preferred format, according to Simon Reid, the site’s co-director. For example, WordPerfect documents can be converted to Word, MacPaint images to GIF files, and Excel spreadsheets to comma delimited data, Reid said.

In all, the site supports more than 70 file formats, he said.

“There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving a file or attachment you can’t use,” Reid said. “Convertafile gives you the flexibility to receive and dispatch a wide variety of file formats, without the expense of acquiring a range of software products.”

Commercial file conversion software has to be sourced, installed, and maintained. In contrast, Reid said, Convertafile is instantly accessible to anyone with a web browser. The service is straightforward, intuitive, and requires no training to use, he said.

When you select the file type you want to convert, a pop-up menu appears that tells you what formats the file can be converted into. You then choose the preferred format, select your file, and click “Convert.” The file is uploaded automatically and in moments is converted and ready to download, Reid said.

Useful to schools

The online conversion service might be especially useful to school districts, Reid said. Most districts support multiple platforms, and many use legacy software at some level of operation. Convertafile can aid interaction between PCs and Macs and help users of non-current formats read files created with newer software programs, Reid said.

As distance learning and other home-to-school communications become commonplace, students, teachers, and parents might appreciate having equal access to a common means of conversion, he added.

“Increasingly, students are submitting assignments in electronic form,” Reid said. “With many schools adopting this trend, Convertafile can assist educators to load a wide variety of file types. This provides flexibility and avoids time-consuming resubmission.”

Convertafile is available 24 hours a day and is free for small files. An unlimited number of text and data files up to 25K in size, graphics files up to 50K, and sound files up to 100K can be converted at no charge.

For larger files, Convertafile is available as a subscription service. Users can opt for a flat rate plan–where you pay by the conversion–or a monthly plan. “The monthly plan would be the best way to go for a school with multiple computers and users,” Reid said.

The Convertafile site uses a Verisign-protected server for secure, encrypted conversions over the internet, Reid said, and the company does not monitor, edit, view, or disclose the contents of any uploaded files unless required to do so by law. In addition, users can now delete their converted file from the Convertafile server for complete security once it is downloaded, he said.