I cannot convert a PDF into Word
Thread poster: Argentine Translator

Argentine Translator
Local time: 08:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 26, 2009

I converted a PDF file into a Word file with Plustools 4.16e.
The resulting document is a collection of blank images.
I am fullfilling all the instructions provided by Plustools.
I also tried selecting and copying and got the same result.
What is going wrong?
I use Windows XP Professional 5.1 and Word 2003.
Thanks and best regards, AT


KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:04
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Most likely you are using the tools on the wrong kind of PDF Sep 26, 2009

If you are serious about working with the full range of PDF types available, you'll have to get a full-featured OCR tool like OmniPage or Abbyy Fine Reader. An archive search will show you the details of what probably went wrong in this case. You are probably dealing with bitmap text.


Christina Paiva  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:04
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Tips for PDF translations Sep 27, 2009

There are a number of suggestions and tips here:


Hope this helpsicon_smile.gif


Local time: 15:04
English to Arabic
+ ...
Security is the answer Sep 27, 2009

Dear asker,

Most probably the PDF file has security features that prohibit copying or pasting. There are software that remove security from PDF files such as "PDF Security Remover", you can google it and download a free trial.



Maria Vita Licata
Local time: 13:04
English to Italian
+ ...
PDF files Sep 27, 2009

I apologize in advance for my ignorance in CAT tool matters.
As for PDF files, there's no good way to convert them in .doc files...all the well known converters fail; it depends on the source file from which the PDF one has been created.
The only solution is the good, old copy and paste on Word...
Simple and easy, it usually works.
Hope it helps.
...You, of course, must use Adobe Professional....and NOT Adobe Reader.


Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:04
English to Serbian
+ ...
:) Sep 27, 2009

If the best converters fail, copy and paste is almost surely not going to cut it.icon_smile.gif I would recommend avoiding Adobe Professional - big, expensive and it produces worse results than Abbyy FR and such.
Btw, never heard of Plustools 4.16e. Get something more professional.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2009-09-27 20:04 GMT]


Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
online tool Sep 28, 2009

You can probably give this tool a try, it's free and very fast.
It has always worked for me so far...


Good luck!



Deborah Edwards  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:04
Japanese to English
PDF to WORD converter Sep 28, 2009

I use this website and it usually gives great results:


Good luck!


Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:04
French to German
+ ...
To answer your initial question... Sep 28, 2009

and given the symptoms you describe (PlusTools generating blank images, no possibility to copy/paste), I would go with Kevin's suggestion and OCR the PDF file, as it obviously was obtained from a scanned text. Therefore and AFAIK, no converter will be able to handle the job and to convert this file to MS Word...

[Edited at 2009-09-28 05:00 GMT]


KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:04
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Ignorance and misinformation Sep 28, 2009

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
... it obviously was obtained from a scanned text. Therefore and AFAIK, no converter will be able to handle the job and to convert this file to MS Word....

Indeed. A basic fact that many people fail to grasp is that PDF is merely a wrapper of sorts for a variety of formats, some "readable" as text, others not (bitmap JPEG, TIFF, etc.). There are also many versions of that wrapper, the latest being the ISO standard for long-term archiving PDF/A. Many free tools or older versions of commercial tools cannot handle the newer PDF formats regardless of whether they are text or bitmap, and workarounds like printing to PDF with older or freeware drivers are often necessary before conversion.

Due to the unprofessional obsession with getting by on nickles and dimes no matter how much time is wasted as well as a great lack of technical understanding, too many of my colleagues will recommend solutions that will cover only a small part of the spectrum of PDF files a translator may encounter. It is simply wrong for any of us to assert that there is one solution which will cover all a translator's potential needs for PDF processing. However, I think it is fair to say that the best solutions - perhaps the only ones - will be a combination of professional commercial tools that will require investment. Uploading possibly confidential documents to free conversion web sites is nuts - most likely a violation of an NDA or similar.

I have found that Abbyy FineReader best satisfies my needs for my language pair and all the PDF types I encounter. For special situations requiring touchup or overlay in a PDF I'll use the InFix PDF editor. I simply don't waste my time with the rest. I have a business to run.


A Shah
Local time: 16:34
Try free trial software Oct 1, 2009

It is always better to try trial software for pdf conversions, because it is free. If pdf conversion involves ocr, abbyy pdf transformer is a good choice.

If ocr is not required, try girdac pdf to word converter pro trial version. It converts arabic, urdu, pashto and farsi pdf files.


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