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Viewing a PDF file while typing in a Word file
Thread poster: mbrodie

mbrodie  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:29
Arabic to English
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Apr 22, 2005

Help, I've been sent a book to translate and am looking at it in Adobe reader, I need to now open a word file to type my translation in? How do I go about this and still keep the book in view? Many thanks in advance for your help.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-04-23 11:52]

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Natalie  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Member (2002)
English to Russian
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Moderator of this forum
Hi Apr 22, 2005

In case you need to keep two windows in view, I would suggest resizing them so they would fit on your screen

Please also take a look at this howto
and consider converting parts of your PDF into Word, it would be much more convenient.

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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
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Invest in a second computer monitor Apr 23, 2005

Most current operating systems support multiple screens. You can have your new Word file open in the screen in front of you and the PDF file from which you are translating open in another screen right next to it, just like a copy stand.

Here is a link to an article that will help you set up your operating system to accomplish this arrangement (do not click on the link belwo; instead, copy and paste the URL into the address window in your browser):,aid,81963,00.asp

[Edited at 2005-04-23 04:58]

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Mihail M Mateev
Local time: 04:29
English to Bulgarian
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buy some software Apr 23, 2005

You can buy any OCR program /I recommend ABBYY FineReader 7.0 Professional Edition/, to transfer the source text from PDF to DOC file.

Then use Wordfast CAT tool /, which will keep source and translation text only in one Word file.

If you do this , you will be on a new level of translation technique.

Best regards,


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:59
English to Tamil
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There are diverse posibilities in translating a PDF file Apr 23, 2005

Let's see them one by one.

1. Any PDF file has to have a source file and it will be editable. Ask the client to give you the source file. After all, a PDF file is meant for protecting against manipulations by others and a translation is nothing but a modification. As such, a PDF and a translation operation are opposed to each other.

2. You do not have a good chance of getting the source file. It is too bad, yet not all is lost. See whether the PDF file is susceptible to the copying of text and images with the help of text select tool and image select tool respectively. If that is the case, first select all the texts, copy paste the same to a Wordfile and get the wordcount. This will help in your giving the estimate, if you bill on the basis of the original text's wordcount. Even otherwise it will give you an idea of your deadline, which you can afford to commit to. Then select the image select tool (snapshot tool in the latest version of Adobe) and copy paste the images at the appropriate places between the texts. Then reformat the wordfile to resemble the original PDF file. Tile horizontally the original PDF file and the new Wordfile one above the other. I keep the PDF file at the bottom segment. Reading it, edit the top segment with the translation. No need to have two monitors. As for the legends on the image, use text boxes.

3. In hard prints scanned and converted as PDF file using the OCR features, the text select tool is useless. But you can copy paste the images. Open a new wordfile, tile it horizotally with the PDF file and start typing the translation. When images come, you can copy paste the image at the appropriate places. As for the legends on the image, use text boxes. In this case you have to bill on the basis of the target text wordcount.

4. Now for the worst case scenario. The cute client will have the PDF file, which is protected against copy pasting anything whatsoever. In that case just type the translation and leave the images.

At times the reformatting is so tough and represents DTP work too. In that case, charge extra on the basis of hourly rate.


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German to English
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Viewing your PDF files -- two more options! Apr 23, 2005


Two other options:

1. invest in a CAT tool, e.g. SDLX ( can handle PDF files created in Mac-based QuarkExpress or in InDesign (ask your client how he created the PDF). Sure, it is a big investment, but I can't tell you how much time you will save yourself and how much more convenient it is to work with a CAT tool.

2. (and now for the budget solution....) simply print out your PDF file!


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Agreement with Thomas Apr 24, 2005

I myself like working from hard copies. A good old printout might be a good solution.

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