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Help! Convert a text in a column into a normal text (Word)
Thread poster: Noelia Ruiz Pérez

Noelia Ruiz Pérez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:23
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
Mar 22, 2017

Hi all,

Maybe I am just being silly but I am really struggling here. I have a PDF doc for translation. I can copy the text into a Word doc, so I can format it into the format I need for delivering (special format). The PDF is in columns, which I can copy easily into a Word doc. The problem is I need this text to be in normal format, and not a column. The first thing was to copy the text into the Word format doc I get as a sample but that doesn´t work. Nothing else works for me.

It is like:

The text looks
like this bla
bla bla bla

and I need:

The text to look like this bla bla bla bla bla

Anyone can help?

Thank you!!
Noelia


 

ibz  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:23
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Convert table into text Mar 22, 2017

Hi Noelia,
Can't you just mark the whole text and then chose "Convert table into text" or select "one column"?
Hth,
Irene


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:23
Member (2008)
French to English
Find and replace Mar 22, 2017

In the Word document, hit the dzkhulo2td0siiv3svkf.jpg symbol to show hidden text.

Select just the text in the Word document that has the extra paragraph marks, not including the last paragraph mark.

Open the Replace dialog (Ctrl+H)

In the Find what bar, type ^p

In the Replace with bar, type a single space

Hit "Replace all"

When the pa2vt3j6kdmrv78lliko.jpg box shows, choose No.

This is a typical problem with converted pdfs, but once you get used to it, it only takes a few seconds.

[Edited at 2017-03-22 15:36 GMT]


 

Noelia Ruiz Pérez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:23
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
No, it doesn´t work Mar 22, 2017

ibz wrote:

Hi Noelia,
Can't you just mark the whole text and then chose "Convert table into text" or select "one column"?
Hth,
Irene


No, I have tried that, event copied just one column. And I don´t have the option "Covert table into text".icon_frown.gif


 

Noelia Ruiz Pérez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:23
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Mar 22, 2017

John Fossey wrote:

In the Word document, hit the dzkhulo2td0siiv3svkf.jpg symbol to show hidden text.

Select just the text in the Word document that has the extra paragraph marks, not including the last paragraph mark.

Open the Replace dialog (Ctrl+H)

In the Find what bar, type ^p

In the Replace with bar, type a single space

Hit "Replace all"

When the pa2vt3j6kdmrv78lliko.jpg box shows, choose No.

This is a typical problem with converted pdfs, but once you get used to it, it only takes a few seconds.

[Edited at 2017-03-22 15:36 GMT]


Thank you! Although the result is not perfect, it does the trick! I think I will have a little fun even before I start the translation!icon_smile.gif


 

Sylvie Meyer  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 03:23
Hebrew to French
+ ...
How to convert a column text in a plain text (Word) Mar 22, 2017

Let's say you have 5 lines of text in 1 column.
Under your text, insert a table, 1 column, 5 rows.
Highligth your text and copy (Ctr+C)
Highlight your table (the 5 rows) and past (Ctr+V).
Now go to Table Tools, and then to Layout.
Highlight your table, and click on the icon "Split cells". We will be asked to indicate no. of rows and columns = no. of rows, 1, no. of columns, 5.
Now you have 1 table of 5 columns and 1 row.
Highlight your new table, and in Layout, choose in Data "Convert your text". You will be asked to indicate "Separate text with...". Choose the "Other" option, and tape a SPACE in the empty box, then Enter.
That's it! Hope your text is not too long...


 

Evi Wollinger  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:23
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
could also copy into wordpad first Mar 22, 2017

I could be wrong, but wouldn't it do the same thing (remove paragraph marks) if you copy the text from the pdf into wordpad and then from wordpad into word?
That's what I always do in this case and it works for me - this step removes most formatting.


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 02:23
Member
French to English
+ ...
Slight refinement Mar 22, 2017

John's suggestion works, but for a better result in some documents, you can do it in 2 stages. If you FIRST OF ALL do a search-&-replace all for 2 successive ¶ marks, repalcing them this time with some unique character (or short string) that never otherwise appears in your document, like µ or whatever; THEN replace any SINGLE ¶ with space as John says, and then finally go back and replace your 'unique character' with a ¶, then you will preserve more of the wanted formatting, IF the original document did use ¶ marks in the first place to separate paragraphs (and assuming your PDF conversion carried those through, instead of cheating the line spacing!)

Note that there are various marcos around to do this with greater or lesser success, depdning on the charcateristics of the original document, the PDF conversion, and then the conversion back out of PDF.

Beware that if you copy-&-paste text directly from a PDF (particularly if you try to do so using 'Select all'!), when pasted into your Word doc you will find that various blocks of text may well be out of sequence — it's up to you whether you prefer to do more selective copy-&-pasting in the first place, or sort the problem out once you're in Word (probably least hassle!)


 

Stanislav Okhvat
Local time: 03:23
English to Russian
Smarter way to remove excessive paragraph breaks Mar 22, 2017

Hello Noelia,

While John's suggestion works, some important paragraph breaks may be removed during this replacement operation. If you need to paste text copied from PDF files in the future, I would suggest for you to use Unbreaker tool (part of TransTools add-in for Microsoft Word). This tool performs smart removal of paragraph and line breaks. You can read more about this here.

Best regards,
Stanislav Okhvat
TransTools – Useful tools for every translator


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:23
Member
English to French
Bimp bam boom Mar 22, 2017

It's not a column, but the way you get pdf text copied to Word using CtrlA+CtrlC+CtrlV.

Here is a utility specifically made to handle this: AutoUnbreak (here for example: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Other-Office-Tools/AutoUnbreak.shtml )
I used it a lot when I used to get PDFs for translation. It's not perfect either and requires reviewing like plain search-replace (tables, some 2-column layouts, shuffled titles/page ends...), but it may be slightly smarter for situations when line ends match sentence/phrase ends, bullet points, etc.
I seem to remember there is a size limit, but you can work around this limitation by copying-pasting multiple times.

Philippe


 

Noelia Ruiz Pérez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:23
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all! Mar 22, 2017

Wow! Thank you! I thought I was getting mad. Will try all suggestions and let you know.

Thank you so much!


 

Noelia Ruiz Pérez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:23
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Fantastic! Mar 22, 2017

Philippe Etienne wrote:

It's not a column, but the way you get pdf text copied to Word using CtrlA+CtrlC+CtrlV.

Here is a utility specifically made to handle this: AutoUnbreak (here for example: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Other-Office-Tools/AutoUnbreak.shtml )
I used it a lot when I used to get PDFs for translation. It's not perfect either and requires reviewing like plain search-replace (tables, some 2-column layouts, shuffled titles/page ends...), but it may be slightly smarter for situations when line ends match sentence/phrase ends, bullet points, etc.
I seem to remember there is a size limit, but you can work around this limitation by copying-pasting multiple times.

Philippe


I have tried this and it works rather well! It is almost perfect! Thank you so so much! You saved me a big headache!

And thank you all of you. Tried first what sounded a bit easier, but I have learned lots todayicon_smile.gif))

Have a good eve!
icon_smile.gif


 

Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:23
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Reginaldo Francisco's training! Mar 22, 2017

I would like to recommend to someone having this kind of issues to watch the training on "Gaining productivity with a basic tool" that convers this and other issues with MS Word documentations. It was very helpful for me.

http://videos.proz.com/videos/advanced-microsoft-word-for-translators-gaining-productivity-with-a-basic-tool-470

Kind regards

Clarisa


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lots of useful tips Mar 23, 2017

I have no doubt of the generosity of the many colleagues who wrote to help you, Noelia. Here are other thoughts, however:

a) There are dozens of Word-specific forums on the Internet offering sensible tips on resolving issues like yours.
b) Likewise, there are dozens of YouTube videos showing how to put those tips into practice.
c) Being proactive and doing all the heavy research and self-learning first is, in my view, a show of respect towards so many of our colleagues who stop doing what they're doing (translating, preparing a file for delivery, etc.) to help out another colleague.

All things considered, it's always great to see a colleague go ahead and ask other colleagues how to solve something or improve a procedure. There are still translators who can't be bothered with formatting issues in Word, and the clients (i.e. the end users of the translations) pay the price.


 

123Translations
Venezuela
Local time: 20:23
Member (2008)
Dutch to English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Simple way Mar 23, 2017

There is anorher, very simple way yo convert a column into simple text.

Copy the column, open your email client (like Thunderbird), click on New Message, right click in the text field and select Copy without formatting.

You can then copy the text into any document.


 
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