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Urgent problem with Adobe Acrobat
Thread poster: sabina moscatelli

sabina moscatelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:54
Member (2004)
German to Italian
+ ...
Oct 23, 2004

Hi everybody!

I am translating a pdf file. I export some paragraphs of it into Word, where I translate them using Trados. That happened until half an hour ago, when suddenly I copied, exactly as before, but could paste into my MS Word document only an endless row of dots.

I have already re-started my computer but with no success. What's happening? Any ideas?

Thanks a lot.


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:54
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
could be a font problem Oct 23, 2004

Hi Sabina.

Check the font applied to the text in PDF; if the font for that paragraph is not available in your system, this could lead to your problem. In this case, try selecting your dots in Word and applying another font (like Arial)

If this does not help, you could send me the pdf file with a note next to the problem paragraph, so I can have a look at it and figure out other possible causes.


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sabina moscatelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:54
Member (2004)
German to Italian
+ ...
Hi Roberta, Oct 23, 2004

unfortunately it is not a font problem. I have already tried with it. I was copying a paragraph at the time, since the text is so formatted (tables, pictures, graphs, etc), that it would take a lot to rearrange it in Word.

Thanks a lot for your help.


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English to Swedish
+ ...
Hello Sabina Oct 23, 2004

I'm not sure how you convert your Word edited text back into PDF format, if you use the distiller or a button in Word.

Your problem could be any number of problems, I will try to outline a couple of them. How these work depends very much on what tools you are using to edit and create the new, translated PDF.

1. The regional setting for your keyboard (let's assume it's Italian) may differ from the regional setting of the original PDF file, so when you paste (just assuming you are pasting)the Italian characters don't 'translate' and all you get are dots.

2. Word .doc is NOT just text on a future piece of paper, the text you see has got masses of data code underneath it so to speak. PDF files have their own code to describe future pieces of paper, so maybe one is not pasting well into the other.

If I were in your shoes I would try to:
a. edit my text in Word using the tools I'm familiar with.
b. paste my edited text into Notepad (you'll find Notepad under Accessories in your Start/programs menu). Notepad is a program which is ONLY text, and this will remove the Word formatting.
c. From Notepad paste the text back into the PDF file.

NOTE: Please make a 'save as' copy of your original PDF first, as this is no guaranteed solution.

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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 19:54
English to Russian
Does it Print OK? Oct 23, 2004

sabina moscatelli wrote: unfortunately it is not a font problem.

Sounds like a bug which can take ages to trace. Here's my dumb and, hopefully, sure solution.
Go to and download a trial version of FinePrint (adds a nag line to printer output).
Install FinePrint (it's a virtual printer).
Print the problem page(s) into Fine print. It will show you the pages, hopefully, in normal language.
Right-click on the page, select 'copy sheet to clipboard - text' and then paste it into Word.
You will have to restore allthe formatting by hand %(
If this fails, the text in PDF has probably been protected from copying, (from translation too).
Good luck
P.S. You can OCR PFD files too.

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Florence B  Identity Verified
Member (2002)
English to French
+ ...
pdf-s edition Oct 23, 2004

Some ideas :
- Did you try to paste into Wordpad, for instance?
- Did you try "paste as.."?
- See
Where you can download a trial version of ABBVY PDF transformer (a given number of pages can be processed). I use it regularly, it doesn't work all the time with all the .pdf-s but on the whole it saves a lot of time (I do a lot of work on pdf-s).

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