Translation of .pdf document
Thread poster: Nathalie Ohana

Nathalie Ohana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:36
English to French
Apr 19, 2012


This might have already been taken up here but I could not find it, so please bear with me, your help is much appreciated.

I just received a financial statement to be translated. It is in .pdf form and has numerous tables with lots of figures. Trados 2009 did not accept it. I tried and convert it into .doc form, no go. It is an image and as such cannot be modified.

I could of course re transcript it on a .word document as I do the translation but it will take hours and hours to re transcribe the names, the tables and the figures.

Does anyone have a way of doing that, as simple as possible as I'm far from being a geek...

Thank you.


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:36
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
You did not search very eagerly :-) Apr 19, 2012


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You need an OCR Apr 19, 2012

Look for "OCR" in the fora and you will find plenty of information. For instance:

If you wish, I will be happy to OCR this one for you with ABBYY Fine Reader. You will have to do some formatting in the tables, etc., but at least the text will be there for you to copy/paste as appropriate. Just email me via


Julie Allison  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Software for "pure" PDF documents Apr 19, 2012

Hi Nathalie.

I agree that OCR software can convert and retain the formatting/layout of such documents. I don't know about the one recommended by our colleague but I use, an online service, which is fairly reliable but can leave some images unconverted.

As for "pure" PDFs, i.e. not scanned documents, Nitro Pro PDF software is very good. You can edit the PDFs directly in the software or convert to Word or other formats while retaining the formatting. It is simple to use. A free trial version can be downloaded at

Good luck!

Julie Anne


Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:36
Member (2004)
German to Polish
+ ...
PDF Apr 19, 2012

[quote]Nathalie Ohana wrote:


This might have already been taken up here but I could not find it,

Some 17 831 times is really hard to find...



Petr Skocik  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 13:36
Czech to English
+ ...
Google Docs Apr 19, 2012

Hello, Nathalie,

Have you tried Google Docs? I think they have OCR built in. All you need do is specify the source language and Google should do the conversion for you.
Otherwise, there are a couple of free OCR tools. In any case, OCR is the keyword you need to look for, as other members have already mentioned.

I wish you luck!

Petr S.

[Edited at 2012-04-19 18:50 GMT]


Nathalie Ohana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:36
English to French
Thanks Apr 19, 2012

Thank you all for your kindness.


ocr programs May 15, 2012

Google Docs is a good tool but I am afraid it won't do well with a complex structure of PDF. I would recommend use special OCR software like omnipage, abbyy finereader or readiris. Normally it retains the original layout of the document like columns, graphics, etc.


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Translation of .pdf document

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