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PDFs & Wordfast: What's your workflow/process?
Thread poster: Shane Wall

Shane Wall  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:44
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
Jan 31, 2008

Wordfast cannot translate PDF files directly in the source file like it does with Excel and Powerpoint.

I intend writing a tutorial on the different ways fellow Wordfast users translate the source language PDFs and return the target language PDFs to their clients.

I would like to see how other Wordfast users handle these files so I can include as many different methods as possible in my tutorial.

Here is what I currently do:
1) Open the PDF in Acrobat 8.1 Professional;
2) Export the PDF to Word: File>Export>Word Document;
3) Translate the Word document with Wordfast as usual;
4) From within the translated Word document, convert back to PDF.

One advantage of this method over some other methods I have tried or read about is that graphics from the original PDF can be included in the target. This requires another workflow that I will be writing soon, but is not included here.

One disadvantage is that any complicated formatting is lost, so it is not really suitable for projects where DTP is required in the final target PDF.

I do not want to limit my tutorial to options, methods or workflows which use software that must be purchased. If there are freeware options, I want to hear about those too.

Cheers & happy Wordfasting with PDFs,

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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:44
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I often use +Tools Jan 31, 2008

Hi Shane,

Most of the time I copy and paste the PDF text in a Word document and run "Recreate paragraphs in current doc" on the the Cnv tab of +Tools. That way I get rid of the superfluous paragraph breaks. The advantage of copy and paste - and of the Import current PDF to Word button of +Tools - is that no tricks are being used to try to recreate the paragraph and page formating.

+Tools ( is freeware. It is aimed at Wordfast users but many functions, like PDF conversion and alignment, are of use to all translators.


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