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Convert a scanned document to Word
Thread poster: Fabienne Gualino (X)

Fabienne Gualino (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:20
Spanish to French
+ ...
Dec 7, 2010

Hello everybody!

Do you know if it is possible to convert a pdf document, which is in reality a scanned document ie. an image, to a word document ? I work with SDL Trados 2009 and wordfast, can those programs open this type of document?

In case I cannot do so, I will have to write the translation in a word document trying to respect as much as I can the presentation of the original document and I will also have to insert the images of the original document (illustration with caption for instance) that I will have changed with "paint". That is the only way I found! It represents some waste of time and I was wondering how much shall I charge those manipulations?

Than you a lot for your help,

Fabienne


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:20
French to German
+ ...
Short answers Dec 7, 2010

Fabienne Gualino wrote:

Hello everybody!

Do you know if it is possible to convert a pdf document, which is in reality a scanned document ie. an image, to a word document ? I work with SDL Trados 2009 and wordfast, can those programs open this type of document?

No, they will only open documents which have been created with DTP applications. An image stays an image.


In case I cannot do so, I will have to write the translation in a word document trying to respect as much as I can the presentation of the original document and I will also have to insert the images of the original document (illustration with caption for instance) that I will have changed with "paint". That is the only way I found! It represents some waste of time and I was wondering how much shall I charge those manipulations?

Than you a lot for your help,

Fabienne

Try an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, this would be faster. Lots of information are already available in the ProZ.com fora.

And yes,... I would charge on an hourly basis whatever the method used may be - that is, if the client accepts the additional costs (many are not really in such subtleties).


 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:20
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
OCR Dec 7, 2010

Investing in OCR software is essential if you want to be able to handle pdfs electronically.

Whether or not you can handle your current document with such software depends upon whether your deadline allows time for you to buy, install and learn how to use the software and also whether the scanned file is of good enough quality to be OCRd successfully.


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 20:20
English to Russian
+ ...
Use a DTP specialist Dec 7, 2010

In such cases I give PDF files to a DTP specialist, he carefully (keeping the original layout) converts them into MS Word and I work with Word files as I always do without any problems.

Certainly I charge my clients extra if they send me non-editable files to translate (such as PDF, image files, etc.). That extra money I don't take for myself: I paid it to my DTP specialist for his work.

NK_TC_Logo_30x31.png


 

Fabienne Gualino (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:20
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
DTP specialist Dec 7, 2010

Nikita Kobrin wrote:

In such cases I give PDF files to a DTP specialist, he carefully (keeping the original layout) converts them into MS Word and I work with Word files as I always do without any problems.

Certainly I charge my clients extra if they send me non-editable files to translate (such as PDF, image files, etc.). That extra money I don't take for myself: I paid it to my DTP specialist for his work.

NK_TC_Logo_30x31.png



Hello Nikita:

Could you put me in contact with a DTP specialist that you know? Is it very expensive?

Thanks.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:20
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Try out ocr Dec 7, 2010

I think it is important to learn how to manage PDFs and scanned documents yourself. Maybe you need a DTP specialist's help right now, but it something that you should be able to do, and offer as an extra service.

To see what we're talking about, why not try a free OCR on your current document? Nuance offers quite a good one here: http://www.nuance.com/for-business/by-product/pdf/pdfreader/index.htm

I use abbyy finereader professional but there are a lot on the market.

After using an ocr you may have to get rid of unnecessary tags. You can do this by hand (using search&replace) or with a code zapper macro.

HTH


 
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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 20:20
English to Russian
+ ...
Please feel free to contact me Dec 7, 2010

Fabienne Gualino wrote:

Could you put me in contact with a DTP specialist that you know? Is it very expensive?



Fabienne,

Usually it's not expensive. The price mostly depends on the volume, quality and layout complexity of the PDF file.

In order to accurately determine the budget I have to show your file(s) to my DTP specialist. Please send it to me via my Proz profile and I will do it.

Please note: I'm not going to get commissions for this deal. icon_smile.gif I will just give my DTP specialist an extra chance to make some money and that will be enough...

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[Edited at 2010-12-07 15:14 GMT]


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 20:20
English to Russian
+ ...
Everyone should do his own work Dec 7, 2010

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

I think it is important to learn how to manage PDFs and scanned documents yourself.


Yes Emma,

It's certainly not bad to learn how to manage PDFs and scanned documents yourself.

I've got the latest version of FineReader and sometimes I OCR easy files myself. But in many cases when PDF layout is very complex and/or the quality of the scanned document is very low I prefer to give the document to a specialist and pay him rather than spend many hours doing it myself. Any complex job needs high qualification and certain skills.

NK_TC_Logo_30x31.png

[Edited at 2010-12-07 15:38 GMT]


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 20:20
English to Russian
+ ...
Example Dec 8, 2010

Nikita Kobrin wrote:

I prefer to give the document to a specialist and pay him rather than spend many hours doing it myself.


Emma,

And when I say 'hours' I mean 'hours' and even days. It's not exaggeration.

Let's take the particular job we are discussing here.

Fabienne, sent me his PDFs. All in all there are 12 files of quite different quality and layout complexity in that batch.

I have showed those files to my DTP operator and he said that it will take him about 14 hours to make a quality conversion of all the files into MS Word. It means almost 2 working days. And here we should take into consideration that he is an expert in conversion. If I (with my level of OCR skills) started doing this conversion it would take me a whole working week I suppose...

That is why I prefer to give this work to somebody else and pay him...

Certainly in order to be able to pay for this job I have to charge my clients extra. But even if you are able to do quality OSR yourself I don't think you should do this work for free as many of our colleagues do as far as I know...

NK_TC_Logo_30x31.png


 

Fabienne Gualino (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:20
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good Quality Dec 8, 2010

Nikita just sent me one of the pdf document converted to a word document and I have to say that the result is fantastic. I have to see now what my client says! I hope he agrees on the fees as this solution seems to me the best one.

I let you know


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:20
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Be your own specialist, it's really not that hard. Dec 9, 2010

I agree with Emma,

PDFs are something every translator should learn to deal with themselves.

I would recommend you buy ABBYY FineReader 10. It even has a new feature where you can automatically extract words from any document or program via a screenshot!
So for example, imagine you have an annoying table embedded in an image in Word, simply click a button, and make a screenshot of it with ABBYY, and the program will automatically use OCR and other "magic" and send an almost perfect table to a new Word document, your clipboard, Excel, etc. I used this yesterday, and my client was amazed. It took me 5 minutes to recreate two very complicated tables embedded in images in a .docx file.

I have tried every OCR program known to man, and so you might call me a DTP specialist, however, with a little work anyone who is reasonable clever with computers will no longer need to worry about outsourcing this job to a specialist, because they will be their own specialist.

Michael

[Edited at 2010-12-09 01:07 GMT]


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:20
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
version 10 Dec 9, 2010

Michael J.W. Beijer wrote:


I would recommend you buy ABBYY FineReader 10. It even has a new feature where you can automatically extract words from any document or program via a screenshot!


Thanks for telling us about the new feature, Michael. I'm going to upgrade today!


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:20
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
p.s. memoQ is organising a webinar about Optimising Source Files Dec 9, 2010

You're welcome Emma. FineReader really seems to have created a one-stop solution for all of our PDF problems. Any time my clients send me a file they converted, or had converted, ABBYY does a much better job of it.

~

By the way, Kilgray (the people behind memoQ) are organising a webinar on exactly this topic.

On their website today:

"Optimizing Source Files Webinar

It happens so many times that you receive files for translation that no tool can process out of the box...

Have you got no idea how to handle unique file formats or fix errors in converted files? Attend this webinar on 14 December 16:30 (CET) and get first hand tips from us.
"

-> http://kilgray.com/news/optimizing-source-files-webinar


 

Fabienne Gualino (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:20
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good advice Dec 10, 2010

Hello!

This time I won't convert the documents myself as I am running out of time but with all the pieces of advice you gave, I will give a try. It is always interesting to learn something new!

Thanks to you all


 
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