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Translating a PDF
Thread poster: Ruben Mendez Suarez

Ruben Mendez Suarez
Local time: 18:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 18, 2005

When translating a PDF file, one of the ways I can find to do so is copying and pasting from PDF to word, translating with TRADOS and creating a new PDF. However, when doing so, if the PDF file has got page numbers, the text knocks out of position and it does not remain as the original.
Do you know any efficient CAT tool to translate PDF? and better...
Do you know how to copy and paste a PDF into a word doc achieving not to knock the text out the position?

Thanks for your help in advance.


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:13
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Dear Ruben Jun 18, 2005

This question has been already discussed many-many times. Please try searching the forums using the "Search forums" box in the upper right corner; you will find lots of information.

Please also see the following Howto:
http://www.proz.com/howto/247

Best,
Natalia


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:13
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Convert the document to Word first using Abbyy Fine Reader 7.0 Jun 18, 2005

Hi Ruben,

I receive a .pdf as an e-mail attachment, save it without opening it in the folder that I have for that particular client, print it for proof-reading purposes, open it up with Abbyy Fine Reader 7.0, and very easily convert it to Word. However, a little bit of formatting is usually necessary.

Astrid


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
conversion software Jun 19, 2005

Ruben Mendez wrote:

When translating a PDF file, one of the ways I can find to do so is copying and pasting from PDF to word, translating with TRADOS and creating a new PDF. However, when doing so, if the PDF file has got page numbers, the text knocks out of position and it does not remain as the original.
Do you know any efficient CAT tool to translate PDF? and better...
Do you know how to copy and paste a PDF into a word doc achieving not to knock the text out the position?

Thanks for your help in advance.


No CAT tool will translate PDF, there is no way to copy and paste into Word without having to remove all those end-of-sentence paragraph marks (and make other corrections).

I have used PDF Solid Converter (about 50 euros), it's great, but it often leaves features that are impossible to remove (underlining in the wrong places, etc), although in otehr aspects it really mimics the layout well.

I had a problem with an agency about this, so from now on, I warn my clients beforehand, that I can convert the text but it may have undesirable features, or I can copy-paste-reformat and charge them extra... they choose.


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David Jacques  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:13
Member (2011)
German to English
Complex pdf cannot be converted. Trying to do so invariably leaves you with a formatting disaster Aug 7, 2012

xxxLia Fail wrote:

Ruben Mendez wrote:

When translating a PDF file, one of the ways I can find to do so is copying and pasting from PDF to word, translating with TRADOS and creating a new PDF. However, when doing so, if the PDF file has got page numbers, the text knocks out of position and it does not remain as the original.
Do you know any efficient CAT tool to translate PDF? and better...
Do you know how to copy and paste a PDF into a word doc achieving not to knock the text out the position?

Thanks for your help in advance.


No CAT tool will translate PDF, there is no way to copy and paste into Word without having to remove all those end-of-sentence paragraph marks (and make other corrections).

I have used PDF Solid Converter (about 50 euros), it's great, but it often leaves features that are impossible to remove (underlining in the wrong places, etc), although in otehr aspects it really mimics the layout well.

I had a problem with an agency about this, so from now on, I warn my clients beforehand, that I can convert the text but it may have undesirable features, or I can copy-paste-reformat and charge them extra... they choose.



[Edited at 2012-08-07 08:26 GMT]


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David Jacques  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:13
Member (2011)
German to English
PDF translation problems Aug 7, 2012

There is no way of perfectly converting PDF into a format a CAT tool can work on. If the pdf file has illustrations or any other complications the result will be a formatting disaster. Clients and agencies know this as the format was intended to be impossible to reproduce. I have always felt that complaints from them on this are nothing more than ways to reduce translation expense.
The best software I've found for converting pdf to a reproducible format such as Word is Able2Extract Professional, curently in version 6. Note, though, that it isn't perfect. 80+ pages of pdf wíth loads of illustrations and links to company internal servers will defeat any conversion software.

[Edited at 2012-08-07 08:35 GMT]


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wotswot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:13
Member (2011)
French to English
Solid PDF Aug 7, 2012

Solid PDF is in my view the best converter (along with ABBYY).
My experience with it is that you need to clean up the resulting Word document (because Solid, like many other such tools, "cheats" by inserting spaces to left/right align and/or justify text).

Typically, I do the following:
- remove redundant spaces (easy to do with Find & Replace)
- remove unwanted line breaks and paragraph markers (often easy to do with Find & Replace)
- remove unnecessary section breaks
- select all and set the font to Arial (if font isn't significant)
- select all and (in Font, Advanced tab, Word 2010) set Scale to 100%, Spacing to Normal and Position to Normal
- process the page breaks manually (Ctrl-Enter, very easy in Word 2010 at, say, 50% zoom, with the original PDF in another window)
(I've written macros that automate all the above barring the page breaks, including in textboxes, footnotes, etc., if anyone's interested).

This often resolves 95% of the problems. The ones I've missed I just correct in the SOURCE column of my CAT tool on the fly, so as not to "pollute" my TMs.

Richard


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:13
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Best practices for translating a PDF Aug 7, 2012

xxxLiaFail wrote:

No CAT tool will translate PDF


Well, I think WordFast Anywhere does (although I haven't tested it myself) and Studio 2011 does too, although the results may not be very satisfactory.

ETA: Sorry, just noticed that Lia made this comment in 2005!

David Jacques wrote:

the result will be a formatting disaster.


I wrote a blog article about this, if anyone's interested: How to get rid of a tag soup in Trados Studio



[Edited at 2012-08-07 10:53 GMT]


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not really Aug 8, 2012

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

Well, I think WordFast Anywhere does


Not really. It uses some kind of OCR and lets you translate a resulting RTF or DOC (not sure about the format) file.


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David Jacques  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:13
Member (2011)
German to English
Thanks for the responses on handling PDF files Sep 18, 2014

The bottom line is that nothing really works 100%. Disappointing but true.

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