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Determining the font(s) of scanned, PDF docs
Thread poster: Ivana UK

Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:00
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 3, 2006

I've been asked to retain the original fonts of a document which was sent to me by fax. I've converted this to PDF as well as putting through Abby PDF Transformer (which appears to have changed the fonts).

How can I work out what the original fonts are? (There are various fonts throughout the document).

Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Ivana


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:00
German to English
Unfair request by customer Mar 3, 2006

In a faxed document, the best you can do is come up with an approximate serif/sans serif font, point size, underlining, boldface and italics (and this assumes a clear fax!). Anything beyond that calls for someone with expertise in typesetting.

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:00
Member (2002)
German to English
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Abbyy Fine Reader retains the fonts Mar 3, 2006

I am not sure about Abbyy PDF transformer, as I have never used it, but Abbyy Fine Reader certainly always retains the fonts, so that you can just highlight the words in Word and see what they are.

If you do not have the Abbyy Fine Reader, you could download a trial version. If you will not need it again in future, you can use it on this occasion at least, without having to buy it.

Astrid


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:00
German to English
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ask the client for specific information Mar 3, 2006

IMO the only way you can reliably retain the original fonts with a faxed document is if the client tells you which fonts were used in which parts of the document and you actually have those fonts installed on your system. Otherwise the best you can hope to do is an educated guess (depending on how much experience you have with typography) and/or an approximation (if you don't have the fonts in question).

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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:00
Member (2005)
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Astrid, Mar 3, 2006

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Abbyy Fine Reader certainly always retains the fonts, so that you can just highlight the words in Word and see what they are.

Astrid


I will try out the trial version of Abbyy Fine Reader. I probably should have purchased this in the furst place rather than the simple PDF transformer!!


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Italian to English
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They don't have the fonts either... Mar 3, 2006

Kenneth Cox wrote:

IMO the only way you can reliably retain the original fonts with a faxed document is if the client tells you which fonts were used in which parts of the document and you actually have those fonts installed on your system. Otherwise the best you can hope to do is an educated guess (depending on how much experience you have with typography) and/or an approximation (if you don't have the fonts in question).


My educated guess isn't working out at all! There are at least 8 different fonts and it's taking forever to try and work them out (almost longer than the translation itself). The main problem is that I don't think I have all the required fonts.

I'm going to take Astrid's advice and try out Abbyy Fine Reader's trial version - so here goes!


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:00
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Try this... Mar 3, 2006

You may try this site:

http://www.identifont.com/

You will have to answer several questions concerning the fonts, but it is usually relatively quick. Of course, when you have many fonts, it may not be that easy...


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Gusztáv Jánvári  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 17:00
English to Hungarian
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Yet another tip Mar 3, 2006

It is also worth googling for some tools identifying or matching/comparing fonts. I don't know of any specific tool, but I remember it was a task when I attended University (studying IT) to create a tool that identifies fonts. Personally I have choosen another interesting task not this one, but all such tasks were about a week to complete, so there should be some tool on the web.

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Gwidon Naskrent  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:00
English to Polish
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Why? Mar 3, 2006

Why do you need to preserve font-related information in a fax translation anyway?

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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:00
Member (2005)
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
I have been asked Mar 3, 2006

to retain the format and fonts of the original document for court purposes so that it looks like the original for all intent and purposes - but since the doc was received by fax, it's turning out to be rather more difficult than anticipated!

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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:00
Member (2005)
Italian to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the link Mar 3, 2006

Jabberwock wrote:

You may try this site:

http://www.identifont.com/

You will have to answer several questions concerning the fonts, but it is usually relatively quick. Of course, when you have many fonts, it may not be that easy...


I'll certainly give it a try,

Ivana


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:00
Member (2002)
English to Italian
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"Retain" or "imitate"? Mar 4, 2006

Dear Ivana,

I am almost sure that, at least for the fax, they just meant "imitate".

Most fonts are copyright protected, so if you are asked to litterally retain them, then you should buy them! And no one can expect that a translator should identify them on a fax... (a professional printer could not even do it for sure)

On the other side, on a legal document it is fair to ask to respect bold, italics, and major font differences. Chances are that you can deliver a perfect job just by alternating between Arial and Times and Courier and a few more fonts at the right places.

If you have difficulty in guessing similar fonts, my-be you do not have the word option "Show font list with the actual fonts" (something like this) enabled. You can enable it if you can find the right menu item ( Found: in Italian is Strumenti > Personalizza > Opzioni, i.e. Tools > Customize > Options !!)

Ciao,
Luca

[Edited at 2006-03-04 00:15]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:00
German to English
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The emperor has no clothes Mar 4, 2006

I've heard some silly things before now, but this is one of the most ridiculous yet.

What next - will you be asked to translate a handwritten text in the author's original handwriting?

This is a perfect example of where client education is needed, at worst in the form of a simple refusal - not jumping through hoops in a well-intentioned effort to pander to the client's ignorance.

Marc


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Unfair, but try a good OCR Mar 5, 2006

Ivana Micheli wrote:
I've been asked to retain the original fonts of a document which was sent to me by fax. ... How can I work out what the original fonts are?


I agree with Kevin that this is an unfair request from the client. However, some OCR programs are pretty good at guessing the font, if that font is installed on your computer. I once had a document which used Poor Richard TTF, which is certainly not a very common font, but Abbyy Finereader Pro 4.0 was able to guess the font correctly when it converted the scanned copy into an MS Word document.


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Taisho
Local time: 20:30
Getting the fonts correct Sep 1, 2011

I am translating a Bible from the turn of the last Century with permission from publishers, yet Identifying the fonts with Finereader 10 is not so easy. What I wanted to say was Thank you for mentioning "identifont" in the post.

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