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best way to translate from a .pdf??
Thread poster: Patricia Rosas

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 11, 2008

Friends,

I'm swamped and I just got another project (with a 20-day deadline). Unlike previous books in this series, all I'm being given are the .pdfs with the book in Spanish. When I open the file, in order to have it large enough to read the print, there is no room left on my 19" screen for the Word file.

Under "Hardware" I just posted a related question (about whether I should get a second screen and if so, what kind), but before rushing out and making a purchase, is there some other way to handle this problem?

Related to that, does anyone know if Word Magic plug-ins are compatible with Adobe Reader?

I'm also wondering if I ought to buy Adobe Acrobat? I think my client wants a Word file (I'll be verifying that later today), but does anyone translate directly into a .pdf? If I don't buy it, I think I need to buy some sort of software to take the word counts on each file (I know there are several inexpensive possibilities).

In general, can anyone offer some tips about translating from .pdfs? I've done it before, but find it harder than using a Word file ...

Thanks very much!
Patricia


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:49
English to Serbian
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OCR Sep 11, 2008

You need an OCR software to convert that pdf to doc, or if it's a simple pdf file you can just do a copy-paste to word.
I wouldn't recommend buying Adobe Acrobat.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Try searching the forums Sep 11, 2008

Patricia Rosas wrote:
does anyone translate directly into a .pdf?



There is a huge amount of information available from past discussions of this topic. Use "PDF" and "OCR" as keywords in your search.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you! Sep 11, 2008

Thank you, Miroslav and Kevin. I never even thought of using OCR. I'm not sure if it will work with this book which has a quantity of images, but I'll search the past posts to try to find out.

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Extract text or OCR Sep 11, 2008

As Miroslav says, Adobe Acrobat will be of little help.

First try to extract the text. In my version of Acrobat Reader, I choose Edit>Copy File to Clipboard, then open a new Word document and Paste.

If this doesn't work, then the text is in the form of an image and can't be extracted. In this case, analysis by Optical Character Recognition is the only automated way to get the text.

The two top OCR programs are Abbyy FineReader and OmniPage.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
You haven't said... Sep 11, 2008

... what translation techniques you use. If you're just overwriting in Word, you might just try saving the file as text from the File menu. It might be a real mess, and it will have annoying carriage returns in the middle of sentences where they don't belong, but if you don't use CAT tools you might not care. Sometimes, though, word order comes out utterly garbled this way, so you'll just have to try and see what happens.

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ABBYY ... Sep 11, 2008

GoodWords wrote:


The two top OCR programs are Abbyy FineReader and OmniPage.


Thank you, GoodWords. I just bought and am downloading ABBYY FineReader.

I tried your other suggestions, but (and this should answer Kevin's question, too) I have 13 files, with each page holding numerous images around which the text "flows" in serpentine manner (think "art book").

I could manage without importing the images into the text file, but I would like to have a word file where the text follows the same order as it appears in the original, otherwise the typesetter is going to have a blasted time trying to put it all back into the .pdf.

One other feature of this project is that I'm supposed to produce text that will fit into that flowing, serpentine format -- in other words, the characters+spaces have to match, because no images are moved or changed in any way. If I have the original text in word, I can do word counts on segments and strive to get the word count as close as possible to the original.

Once again, thank you all for taking your time to help me out. I was really panicking...

Patricia


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:49
Member (2007)
English
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Can't the document's originator help? Sep 11, 2008

It seems to me that they are only likely to get what they want if they provide you with what you need.

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
resources are short Sep 11, 2008

Sheila Wilson wrote:

It seems to me that they are only likely to get what they want if they provide you with what you need.


They have always done so in the past, but they are swamped (I alone am doing 4 books for them in a space of 2 months).

In any case, for $100 I just downloaded ABBYY FineReader, and although I had to play with settings a bit, I'm quite impressed. I was able to create a file in Excel that is quite similar to what they used to give me. The transfer time was seconds! So, this is going to be a very useful piece of software.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:49
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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I should go for a second screen Sep 11, 2008

I have had one for nearly a year now. Before that I always had to print out pdf files and work from the paper copy. Even if you convert using Abbyy Fine Reader, you still need to display your original somewhere, unless you work by replacing the original text with the translated text in the original file, as some people do, though there are many language pairs in which this would not be possible because the word order and other factors differ so much. And anyway, conversion by Abbyy Fine Reader is all very well for straight texts, but it's not so good at handling tables and other inserted elements, so though you'll have all the text there, it's not easy to sort it out.

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Did you see my other post? Sep 11, 2008

Jack Doughty wrote:

... conversion by Abbyy Fine Reader is all very well for straight texts, but it's not so good at handling tables and other inserted elements, so though you'll have all the text there, it's not easy to sort it out.


Jack,

Thanks for sharing that. I converted the .pdf to an Excel file without the images (I can always refer to them in the .pdf). The source text is in column A and I'll be translating it in column B, and so visibility on the screen is no longer a problem.

By any chance, did you see my other post (just before this one)? I didn't want to get another computer or a second screen if -- and this is the big question for me -- the new hi-def television sets can double as a computer monitor. Do you happen to know?

If so, I really ought to wait until the hype dies down, and buy one then. It would make it possible for me to get rid of my desk. (The only purpose it holds now is to support the monitor, printer, and CPU.

Thanks!
Patricia


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Lars Jelking  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 13:49
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
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The never ending story ... Sep 11, 2008

This subject has been up on numerous occasions, and the final verdict is always the same: PDF files are not intended to be manipulated (including translated). It was devised as a distribution read-only format. There are however ways to change the text and other features in the file.

Adobe Illustrator can change text and images and then save the changes back to the PDF file. I use it a lot, but it is a cumbersome and slow process to change the text. When opening a PDF page in Illustrator each line is a separate item. This means that one has to “collect” a source paragraph, move it from its place, and put the new text in its place. I have during the last months noticed a demand from end clients to have their PDFs translated and delivered in the same format. If the material contains a lot of graphics I find Illustrator the best way to deal with an otherwise monumental task.

It is of course possible to build a “look-alike” in MSWord, but the task is daunting if a lot of graphic has to be copied-pasted and aligned. And to get the end result to look like the source demands a lot of measuring and aligning.

If you expect a lot of similar jobs to come your way I would recommend the investment in Adobe Illustrator. Besides being capable of handling PDFs it is also very handy when translating text in MSWord images as it can save the changes in the PNG format. Yes, it is expensive, but in my opinion worth the expenditure from the above reasons.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you, but my client (fortunately) doesn't want a PDF Sep 11, 2008

Lars Jelking wrote:

If you expect a lot of similar jobs to come your way I would recommend the investment in Adobe Illustrator. Besides being capable of handling PDFs it is also very handy when translating text in MSWord images as it can save the changes in the PNG format. Yes, it is expensive, but in my opinion worth the expenditure from the above reasons.


Thank you, Lars. Fortunately, the client has a full-time typesetter and she will do the transfer of the material into the .pfds. But I'll keep your recommendation in mind ...

Patricia


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Since you are new at OCR Sep 11, 2008

Take a look on my profile on the "How To" tab - I have a document linked there (fairly far down in the list) under "Post-processing of OCR text files". This is a brief explanation of how we typically post-process OCR text from ABBYY FineReader. It includes a quality assurance checklist on the last page. This is for an older version of Abbyy, but the basic principles apply.

You'll get the best results most likely if you do manual zone definitions. Automatic settings are often not very satisfactory.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks, again! Sep 11, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:


Take a look on my profile on the "How To" tab - I have a document linked there (fairly far down in the list) under "Post-processing of OCR text files". This is a brief explanation of how we typically post-process OCR text from ABBYY FineReader. It includes a quality assurance checklist on the last page. This is for an older version of Abbyy, but the basic principles apply.

You'll get the best results most likely if you do manual zone definitions. Automatic settings are often not very satisfactory.


Kevin,

Thank you for generously sharing that information!

Patricia


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