Mac, Word and its versions, and pdf (working with Wordfast)
Thread poster: Anne Patteet
Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
+ ...
Jul 27, 2007

Hello to all,

I have a Mac OS X, version 10.3.9. I am using an old Word version that we installed from our "old" Mac, I think it is 97. I use Wordfast 5.0.

When I receive Word documents from Windows/PCs, sometimes I can open them directly, but often I need to copy them in textedit and then copy them again in my Word version.
So far so good, it bothers me (only) a little but it works.
(When people make themselves the conversion to Word for Mac before sending me the document, it doesn't garantee that I can open them or they are sometimes messy, so that doesn't seem to be a solution)

Now, I have this pdf document with lots of images and tables and so on. I have had to ask someone to convert it to Word with one of those programs, but with the manipulations I described above in order to be able to open it, all the layout is gone (some parts are even written vertically, it's a real big mess) and the images too. I have done some format editing by hand and made it to have something presentable, but my client doesn't want it that way: she needs it with the pictures in it (some tables really are difficult to understand without the original layout).

1) I would like to know if there is a way for me to convert the Word doc (that has been taken from the pdf, in Windows) in a Word for Mac doc in which I get exactly the same layout, so that I would run Wordfast and translate as always, and the cleaned doc would be a reflection of the original pdf.

2) I would also like to know if you think that/know if with Word 2007 the conversion from Word docs (Windows) to Word for Mac would be more automatic. I've just downloaded the trial version but not installed it yet. I know that lots of people don't like to use it, but if it works for me, then I'll have to learn how to use it.

Thanks in advance to those who will help me,

Anne


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
PC/Mac compatibility issues Jul 27, 2007

MS Word compatibility issues between PCs and Macs can almost always be solved by exchanging the files in RTF format instead of DOC format.

[Edited at 2007-07-27 09:11]


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Stefan Budrich  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:16
Member (2005)
English to German
Word for Mac Jul 27, 2007

Anne,
starting with your last point: As far as I am aware, the latest Word version for Macs is Word 2004. I can only recommend using it, as we have never had any trouble opening a word file sent from any computer. Speaking as an agency, the number of word files that have been opened and edited by our Macs without trouble amounts to a five digit figure.
When we find a word file that creates trouble on the Macs, it usually creates similar trouble on our Windows machines.

There used to be a fully functional 30 day demo version available on the MS sites, might want to check.

I don't have a suggestion using Word 97 (98 on Macs) other than the "save as rtf" that Steven described, but I am not familiar with that Word version anyway.

Stefan


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Steven, Jul 27, 2007

Steven Capsuto wrote:

MS Word compatibility issues between PCs and Macs can almost always be solved by exchanging the files in RTF format instead of DOC format.

[Edited at 2007-07-27 09:11]


I never thought of that possibility. However (I don't know if it's me...), I seem to be able to open some rtf docs and some others not. Maybe it's related to the fact that my Word version is too old...


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Problems Jul 27, 2007

Usually when I've seen compatibility problems, it's been the other way around: files created on Word for Mac that would not open on certain Windows versions of Word unless the Mac saved them as RTF files. Occasionally I've seen files that cause Word for Mac to freeze on opening but that opened fine on PCs.

Incidentally, I've never seen any of these problems in Office 2004. Only on previous Mac versions.


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
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TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Stefan, Jul 27, 2007

Stefan Budrich wrote:

Anne,
starting with your last point: As far as I am aware, the latest Word version for Macs is Word 2004. I can only recommend using it, as we have never had any trouble opening a word file sent from any computer. Speaking as an agency, the number of word files that have been opened and edited by our Macs without trouble amounts to a five digit figure.
When we find a word file that creates trouble on the Macs, it usually creates similar trouble on our Windows machines.

There used to be a fully functional 30 day demo version available on the MS sites, might want to check.

I don't have a suggestion using Word 97 (98 on Macs) other than the "save as rtf" that Steven described, but I am not familiar with that Word version anyway.

Stefan


I received a private answer (because in French) saying exactly what you're saying. It seems that I downloaded the wrong version (2007)... Thank you very much!


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
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TOPIC STARTER
Office 2004 it is then! Jul 27, 2007

Steven Capsuto wrote:

Usually when I've seen compatibility problems, it's been the other way around: files created on Word for Mac that would not open on certain Windows versions of Word unless the Mac saved them as RTF files. Occasionally I've seen files that cause Word for Mac to freeze on opening but that opened fine on PCs.

Incidentally, I've never seen any of these problems in Office 2004. Only on previous Mac versions.


Additionally, I have been told that the newest version for Mac doesn't support Visual Basic anymore, which is used by Wordfast. I hope Word 2004 will do for a while... Otherwise what are we to do, us Wordfast users?


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
German to English
+ ...
in any case... Jul 27, 2007

...you should definitely upgrade from Word 98 for Macintosh. It was a very buggy version and caused a lot of annoyance and anger in the Mac community. Also, modern versions of Word have a lot of features that are missing in W98, which is not going to help with file compatiblity

As to your problems with converted PDF: this may in part result from file/version compatibility problems, but IMO the underlying problem is that every PDF to Word converter I am aware of, and particularly the relatively unsophisticated ones, seem to be designed to produce results that look nice on paper rather than results that are suitable for extensive editing (and translation is about the most extensive form of editing there is). They commonly use a more or less chaotic combination of text boxes, multiple columns, tabbed text, and (sometimes) tables to produce formatting that reproduces the visual appearance of the source document, but usually not the original formatting -- i.e. not the formatting than any halfways reasonable person would use.

My suggestion is to use the text selection tool in Adobe Reader to copy select and copy the text and then paste it into a Word document. You'll still have to clean up the formatting, especially if the source document has tables or insets, but it is usually less work than cleaning up the results produced your average PDF conversion program.
You can also use the 'snapshot' function of Adobe reader to copy graphics from a PDF document and paste them in a Word document as figures.
Check out the Help/User Guide for Adobe Reader to learn how to use these functions.

Good luck!


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
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Thanks Ken, Jul 27, 2007

I won't have time to do this while translating this document, but I'll definitely try your suggestion when I'm through.

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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:16
English to Swedish
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Good OCR program is the key! Aug 3, 2007

Anne Patteet wrote:
I have a Mac OS X, version 10.3.9. I am using an old Word version that we installed from our "old" Mac, I think it is 97. I use Wordfast 5.0.

Now, I have this pdf document with lots of images and tables and so on. I have had to ask someone to convert it to Word with one of those programs, but with the manipulations I described above in order to be able to open it, all the layout is gone (some parts are even written vertically, it's a real big mess) and the images too. I have done some format editing by hand and made it to have something presentable, but my client doesn't want it that way: she needs it with the pictures in it (some tables really are difficult to understand without the original layout).


Hi Anne,

I agree with previous poster: upgrade to a later Word version! There is absolutely no reason to hanging on to buggy old Word 97, when you can pick up a later version that also is native to OSX.

Regarding your PDF with tables:
1. Suggest your client to dig up the original source document. If this was created by InDesign, Quark or even Word from the start, there's no use reinventing the wheel and doing the layout over again. A lot of work in vain, if the source still exists somewhere.
2. If the source is lost, you'll be amazed what a good OCR program can do! In ABBYY FineReader 8, you can frame each image individually, and mark the exact words that you want to OCR for translation, even flattened images, vertical text and tables! Much more powerful and versatile than Acrobat itself.

Read my survey about OCR on Mac here:
http://www.proz.com/post/587034#587034

Conclusion: unfortunately all native OCR software on Mac is outdated and/or overpriced compared to Windows. I suggest either of these solutions:
a) If you have an Intel Mac with Bootcamp, boot into Windows and run Abbyy there.
b) Buy a copy of Virtual PC and run Abbyy there.
c) Ask a friend with Abbyy FR8 on PC to OCR it for you (or commission it here on Proz jobs).
d) Last resort: Pick up one of the native Mac programs suggested in my link above, but don't expect to get as good results.

Good luck!

/Jan

[Edited at 2007-08-03 08:51]


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
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TOPIC STARTER
Hello Jan, Aug 5, 2007

Thanks so much for these very useful explanations.

I just have upgraded to Word 2004, and it works very well. I can open the Word doc that my client sent, taken from the pdf I guess. That document is perfect, it looks just the same as the pdf.

I also downloaded the new Wordfast trial version.
Both work together well, but my new problem is : when I want to use Wf for this text, which contains pictures and images, Wf doesn't work at all.
Wf is working as usual on plain texts, but won't do anyhting with any text with images.
It takes two seconds and then tells me the translation session ended, and the only thing that appears is x number of page break lines, depending on how many pages there are in a particular document.

Regards,

Anne


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:16
English to Swedish
+ ...
Post as a separate question Sep 3, 2007

Hi Anne,

You should post this as a separate question, there is another subforum dedicated to Wordfast.

best,

Jan

Anne Patteet wrote:
I also downloaded the new Wordfast trial version.
Both work together well, but my new problem is : when I want to use Wf for this text, which contains pictures and images, Wf doesn't work at all.
Wf is working as usual on plain texts, but won't do anyhting with any text with images.
It takes two seconds and then tells me the translation session ended, and the only thing that appears is x number of page break lines, depending on how many pages there are in a particular document.

Regards,

Anne


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan Sep 3, 2007

Not Available wrote:

Hi Anne,

You should post this as a separate question, there is another subforum dedicated to Wordfast.

best,

Jan



That is actually what I did, and I also asked it on a Wordfast yahoo group. I have had partial answers that are helping me understand things a bit better.
What I have to do is extract the text boxes and paste them in a Word document, translate with Wordfast and re-insert my translation in the document containing the boxes... Very time-consuming

Thank you,

Anne


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