ABBYY Finereader: troubleshooting
Thread poster: Susan Welsh

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:34
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Sep 24, 2015

I just completed translation of a certificate, which had to be converted from PDF to Word, preserving as much of the appearance of the original as possible. ABBYY Finereader gave me some big headaches, some of which I eventually solved and some not. I was processing it to "editable document."
1. The headers were fine on the first three pages, but on the last page the header took up the whole top half of the page, which was not how it was in the original. I tried every trick I know in Word, but could not solve it and eventually left it the way it was. (I tried reprocessing it in ABBYY without headers, but it came out the same.)
2. Some type came out in the wrong place in Word, e.g., a small bit of type alongside an image or centered under an image. I somehow fixed this with a lot of trial-and-error futzing, but I have no idea what did it.
3. I had one version that looked okay in Word on the screen (in most respects), but when I saved it and reopened it, bits of type still ended up in the wrong place, and one bit of type had the top half of the line chopped off.

The main problem is the first one, the only one I could never solve.
Any suggestions?


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My suggestion Sep 24, 2015

My suggestion: stick to what you're good at: translating.

After several years of wrestling with ABBBY, Acrobat Professional, various online PDF conversion things, and one very bad experience, I now no longer accept pdfs. The agencies I work with know this and do the conversion job themselves. If I look through their conversion and see anything about it that isn't right (misaligned tables etc.) I refuse the job.


 

jethro
French to English
+ ...
Try notepad Sep 24, 2015

I don't know if this helps but in these sorts of cases I generally copy the converted text (in Word format), paste it in notepad (where it is plain text), copy it from notepad and then paste in a new Word document. This generally works, although you might have to mess a bit with the layout. Or else just go through the process I described with the troublesome part of the text.

The real problems crop up when converted PDF files with tables!!!


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:34
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Export as plain text Sep 25, 2015

I nearly always export my file from ABBYY as plain text. It avoids all the problems you mention.

In fact, this is similar to jethro's suggestion, but without the extra step. Also, tables created in ABBYY are preserved.


 

jethro
French to English
+ ...
plain text Sep 25, 2015

I say, Emma, I did not know there was a plain text facility in the program. Does that actually retain the tables? Because when I paste tables into notepad the grids, etc. disappear when pasted back into word!

 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 14:34
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
This idea Sep 25, 2015

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

I nearly always export my file from ABBYY as plain text. It avoids all the problems you mention.

In fact, this is similar to jethro's suggestion, but without the extra step. Also, tables created in ABBYY are preserved.


I agree with idea of Emma since format-free texts are easily edited with a number of software.

Soonthon L.


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:34
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
OpenOffice Sep 25, 2015

In such cases, I open resulting files in Apache OpenOffice / LibreOffice. Pages in documents exported from FR normally get formatted each with its own style (Convert 1, Convert 2, etc.). If a page is 'bad', I simply delete the respective style using Stylist, and the page defaults to, yes, the Default style.

 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:34
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
plain text for a certificate? Sep 25, 2015

I don't see how the plain text option can work for a certificate, where you need to preserve the appearance of the original (with images such as seals, stamps, logos, etc.). Nevertheless I will try your various options and see if I can learn something.

Thanks to all


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 09:34
Member
French to English
+ ...
Plain text Sep 27, 2015

Susan Welsh wrote:

I don't see how the plain text option can work for a certificate, where you need to preserve the appearance of the original (with images such as seals, stamps, logos, etc.).


The whole point is that ABBYY's attempts at re-creating the formatting do more harm than good!

You need to start with plain text, and then MANUALLY re-format it to look as much like the original as possible — this takes MUCH less time than trying to work within ABBYY's 'fudge'.

As for the graphics elements, it is a simple matter to select, copy, and paste those from the PDF document into your Word document.

It is a lot of extra work, which is one of the reasons I choose not to accept this kind of assignment icon_wink.gif Compared to the straight 'per word' price for these documents that usually have few words, people are rarely prepared to pay for the extra time taken.

The reason for your first problem is likely that the original document had the header, then several blank lines; but ABBYY canot count how many line returns at (say) 12 pt — so it just adds to the style of the header line something like 'space after: 3 inches' etc.

For your other problems, ABBYY very often sticks bits of text into text boxes; these frequently 'float around', and can also be responsible for the text being cut off, due to the way the properties are set.

You only have to look as the resulting document with hidden characters visible (¶) to see the fudges it does to achieve what IT thinks looks right! Manually stripping out the unhelpful ones usually takes far longer than starting from scratch.

[Modifié le 2015-09-27 15:28 GMT]


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:34
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
plain texts plus graphics Sep 27, 2015

OK, I think I've got it now, thanks Tony for that extra bit about copying the graphics. I was thinking I couldn't do that because it was a "dead" pdf; but after it went through ABBYY I could indeed grab the graphics.

However, I agree with everyone who said it's not worth the effort! In fact, I decided that quite some time ago, but this was a new client whom I was trying to cultivate ... the usual story. I made a little more than minimum wage (USA) on the job.icon_frown.gif

Thanks all


 


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