PDF file translation
Thread poster: raniaelmaraghy

Local time: 10:22
English to Arabic
Apr 22, 2008

If i have a pdf file (containing pictures) and i want to translate it preserving the same format , jpg locations, etc. What software do i need to learn. I tried pdf typewriter but encountered many problems when the target language segments were longer than the source language ones. Is Indesign the right tool?

Thanks for ur help.


Lars Jelking  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:22
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Why not MSWord? Apr 22, 2008

I do such jobs frequently and use almost exclusively Word. It is fairly easy to create an exact look alike with Word's positioning and lauout tools. You might have to use Adobe Acrobat, (not the Reader) to extract the images, either by simply copying if the PDF is layered, or by taking a snapshot.

InDesign is of course the ultimate, but really not needed for this kind of job.

Good luck


Sanja Ivelić  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:22
German to Croatian
+ ...
DTP job Apr 22, 2008


I am not sure are you ready to deal with it since it is something that really exceeds translating job.

Firstly, there is no specific tool which would be appropriate for your file. It depends exclusively on the original file format which could be InDesign, QuarckXPress, Framemaker, Pagemaker ecc.

Secondly, the clients dispose very rarely of the original file format and if so, you really need in-depth graphic know how to work with specific tool(s). It is definetly the area of graphic engineers and it is always separately charged as it takes hours of work.

You could preserve the same format only if you would have the original file which you would then convert into ttx file (that keeps all format information within tags). But this conversion demands basic graphic knowledge as well.

I suggest you just translate the best you can, the DTP department of your client will do the rest.

Best regards,


Tarjamat  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:22
English to Arabic
+ ...
Agree, Word is best solution Apr 22, 2008

I agree with Lars, you can translate in Word, format the text the way you want to, then you need a tool to get the graphics out of teh PDF and into Word, which can be Adobe Acrobat (not reader) or you can use the Print screen function on your keyboard and paste into Word, where you can crop it too.

Let me know if you need more help with this.


[Edited at 2008-04-22 15:22]


Katia Perry  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I do it using Word, too Apr 22, 2008

I agree with those who said Word is good enough.
When I receive pdf files with graphics, I use the Copy& Paste tools. If I need translating something in the graphics, I insert a Text Box with the translation over the original. It´s a bit time demanding, but it works.


Thomas Ochiltree  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:22
Member (2005)
Latin to English
+ ...
ABBYY fine reader an option Apr 22, 2008

I find that ABBYY fine reader does a pretty good job of converting a PDF document into a facsimile Word document. How good a job depends on the original PDF file: if it has really small type, or is skewed, or has handwriting, then the ABBYY FineReader Word equivalent will be messed up to varying degrees. Also, it can carry over formatting from the original which can actually be troublesome, and depending on the original there may be graphics one can't enter and change. However, within these limitations it is quite easy to use (you save the PDF file in "my pictures", go to ABBYY FIneReader and select the file, then follow some easy steps. )

Granted, there are benefits in overwriting a document (not having to shift one's gaze from printed text to screen, and in the best case, not having to create tables, etc.) but there are also some downsides, particularly in using spell check and (at least in my experience) sometimes having a foreign language document "crash" when being overwritten with loss of my work unless I have conscientiously saved it every few minutes.

My bottom line as a translator is that I don't guarantee clients a facsimile, and only guarantee an overwritten text if the client provides a document that can be overwritten. If the client wants an overwritten text I ask for it in Word (have the client do the transformation) and also in PDF. That way I can use the PDF file (printed out in hardcopy) to check against errors (for instance in tables) that may have been introduced by the conversion process.

[Edited at 2008-04-22 18:20]

[Edited at 2008-04-22 18:21]

[Edited at 2008-04-22 18:26]


Local time: 10:22
English to Arabic
That was very helpful Apr 23, 2008

Thanks for all your replies. I'll opt for using word and the print screen function. Formally, i used the Acrobat pagetypewriter demo version to extract some of the images after importing it to word. By the way, you can use it to overwrite the source language but when i tried to write in arabic, it turned into symbols and i have to set it as unicode.
Thanks for all ur answers. That was very helpful for me.


Local time: 10:22
Danish to English
Here's how I do it Apr 23, 2008

I have zamzar.com convert pdf to odt
I open the odt in OmegaT for translation
I check and cleanup the odt in Open Office
I send the odt to zamzar for conversion back to pdf

[Edited at 2008-04-23 13:06]


Andrew Günther
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:22
Polish to English
+ ...
PDF Apr 28, 2008

Try Adobe Acrobat 3D ( 30 days Trial )
adobe acrobat prof. ( 30 days Trial )
or very easy Macromedia FlashPaper 2.

You can download from www.adobe.co.uk

[Zmieniono 2008-04-28 21:45]


Cagri Aras  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:22
English to Turkish
+ ...
solid converter pdf to word Jun 16, 2008

I'd suggest solid converter to convert pdf files to word. best software there is.


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