Quotation for uneditable documents
Thread poster: Veronica Manole
Veronica Manole
Romania
Local time: 19:58
Portuguese to Romanian
+ ...
Jan 23, 2008

Hi,

Could anyone tell me how should I make a quotation if I cannot count the words?
I received some .pdf documents. I think that converting the .pdf to .doc might do, but I wonder if there is other way. I also thought of charging by target word number, but I cannot estimate accurately now the anount of words.

Thank you,

Veronica


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 18:58
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Count per hour Jan 23, 2008

Hi Veronica,

In this case, you may simply apply your rate per hour.
Pretty standard in the business when word counts are unclear.

HTH


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:58
English to Polish
+ ...
Sigh Jan 23, 2008

If the PDF document is not a scan (like a fax), you can use Adobe Reader to save the document as text (File -> Save as text) and then get the number of words. It may not be 100% accurate, but a good estimate.
Or you can OCR the PDF using Abbyy or other software and then get the wordcount.

Or you can tell the customer to stop being silly and send you the editable original document to save everyone's time and money.

HTH
Pawel Skalinski


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Ioanna Orfanoudaki  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 18:58
French to Greek
+ ...
Two ways Jan 23, 2008

Hi Veronica,

The ideal way is to get yourself an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software such as Omnipage Pro or ReadIris Pro, which will help you convert your pdf docs in no time. There's another software I've heard of but that I've never tried, Practicount (www.practiline.com/download.htm), which is supposed to count lines without converting.

If none of the above is available, you can count the number of words of one full line in your original text, multiply it by the number of lines of one page, then by the number of pages of your document, to get a rough estimate.

HTH
Ioanna


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Ioanna Orfanoudaki  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 18:58
French to Greek
+ ...
Pawel's made a point Jan 23, 2008

Sometimes it's worth telling the customer there'll be a % of surcharge if you need to spend extra time counting words and converting your document. This is an incitement for them to get you the editable version of the text....

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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:58
English to Polish
+ ...
Unless... Jan 23, 2008

There are, of course situations where it's impossible or useless getting the original - if the original was done using a DTP program which you may not have (e.g. Quark, InDesign) or if the original is simply unavailable.

One of my recent jobs was a document that was written on a typewriter in the early 1970's... It would not be sensible to ask for the original MS Word file.

P.A.S.

[Edited at 2008-01-23 08:51]


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Veronica Manole
Romania
Local time: 19:58
Portuguese to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 23, 2008

Ioanna Orfanoudaki wrote:

Sometimes it's worth telling the customer there'll be a % of surcharge if you need to spend extra time counting words and converting your document. This is an incitement for them to get you the editable version of the text....


You are right. The document is scanned, so counting the words is quite complicated.
The idea to insist and ask for the editable versions seems very good, although it does not work every time But charging extra will probably make them find the document in no time

Veronica


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:58
French to Portuguese
+ ...
You can always count the target words Jan 23, 2008

It's what I do when I get a pdf text.

I immediately tell the client that usually a page has got about 1000 words (full text) and that I'll charge by target word, since I can't count it on the source.

Another useful tool is "Anycount", a programme that counts documents, including pdf, but I think it must only count editable pdf.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 19:58
Turkish to English
+ ...
old-fashioned technique Jan 23, 2008

There was a technique that was used before digital documents existed for estimating the number of words. It involved selecting a few lines from the text at random, counting the number of words in each line and calculating the average number of words per line, then counting the number of lines in the document and multiplying the result by this average. This will give you a reasonable estimate of the wordcount.

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Marcus Geibel
Germany
Local time: 18:58
English to German
ABBYY PDF Transformer Jan 23, 2008

...is the tool I use to convert scanned pdfs.
It's a low cost version of Finereader and works pretty well.

I also use PractiCount which is excellent f. ex. for Excel files where many counting tools have problems.

Regards
Marcus


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:58
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Target text Jan 23, 2008

That's relatively common in the US, even if you have an editable source document. And it's usual for the invoice not to be issued until the translation has been done.

I don't recommend charging an hourly rate just because the source text is not in doc format.

You should from experience be able to come up with a "back-of-the-envelope" guess as to the number of target words. You make it clear, of course, that it is a guess and that the final amount won't be available until later.


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Quotation for uneditable documents

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