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Pdf-no other solution than to pay?
Thread poster: Annie Xystouris

Annie Xystouris  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:05
English to Greek
+ ...
Jan 19, 2011

I'm dealing with a not-so-helpful agency right now, they want me to translate a pdf file that's full of coulours and shapes and different layouts. I imported it into trados the way it is and the result is not so good. The outcome is a word file that has some images missing, whose format cannot really be edited, etc.
I searched the forum and saw that you're supposed to convert it before importing it into Trados. But I don't want to pay 80 dollars for the converter(tried the free ones-the result is an unreadable word document).

Is there no other solution?



[Edited at 2011-01-19 15:38 GMT]


 

Roy OConnor (X)
Local time: 01:05
German to English
Afraid not. Jan 19, 2011

Hi, Annie,
If you don't want to tediously cut and paste text from the PDF, I'm afraid you will have to invest in a PDF converter of some kind. I use ABBY PDF Transformer. It costs 65 Euros in version 3.0.
I have version 2 and find that it works ok if I outline the text I want transforming. If you want to retain the original layout of complex PDFs, you will need something a bit more sophisticated and more expensive.

I receive a lot of PDFs to translate and find the investment well worth it.

Roy


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:05
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Someone has to pay Jan 19, 2011

Annie,

if you search the fora more, you'll find that by far the best way to deal with PDF files is not to deal with them - get the original (usually editable) file the PDF was made from instead. If you can't, there are several ways to deal with PDFs, probably the best one would be to OCR it (many people, including me, are very happy with Abby FineReader). Also, Trados Studio can directly open PDF files. In both cases, the source file produced in the process and the target text usually need extra tweaking. The extra time and effort you need for that must of course be paid by your client, as well as you need to take into account the costs for any additional software you need (such as FineReader).

Try to find out by how much you will have to raise your rate for translating PDFs. Often, your client will magically be able to produce the source file after all once you tell him your surcharge.

To answer your question: There is no other solution than to pay. The question is: Who is doing the paying - you or your client?


 

Jonathan Hopkins  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:05
German to English
+ ...
Alternative free service for converting PDFs Jan 19, 2011

Hi,

There are also some free online services that you could use just as long as it wouldn't violate any confidentiality agreements between yourself and the agency.

One such free service which offers great consistent results is http://www.pdftoword.com/

Cheers,
Jon


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:05
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
The best solution is to invest once in a decent OCR software Jan 19, 2011

like Abbyy FineReader and then use it to convert everything you need.
However, expecting ANY converter in the world to produce a fine readable and editable, perfectly formatted file is the same as a hope for a wonder.
Regardless what tool you use the file will have to be reformatted afterwards.
The best way to deal with it is to tell the customers, PDF do have a word price plus an (big) extra for formatting.


 

Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 18:05
English to Spanish
Solid Converted (software) Jan 19, 2011

If you wish, I can use my software to make the conversion into Word, as long as the pdf is in English.

icon_smile.gif


 

Patrick.D
Local time: 01:05
Russian to English
+ ...
CutePDF and PDFCREATOR freeware, any good? Jan 19, 2011

Interesting!
I have just downloaded tonight, CutePDF writer (freeware) to my computer. Does anyone have any experience using this type of freeware in professional translation - is it reliable, and were there ever any problems converting MS word docs into PDFs?

(The software mentioned above is used for converting files into PDFs, slightly off-topic, I know...)

[Edited at 2011-01-19 21:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-19 21:13 GMT]


 

Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Cute pdf writer Jan 19, 2011

I use cute pdf for converting my Word invoices to pdf. It works very well for this job.

I have tested many different free pdf converters over the last year (can't remember any names though, sorry) and have recently purchased ABBYY Finereader. I am very impressed with the quality of OCR that ABBYY produces. Yes you have to check and edit the formating and some spellings, but its still a lot faster than working from scratch!


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Going back to the source of the "problem"... Jan 20, 2011

Yes, it is a pleasure when agencies give us all ready for translation, but in many cases that is not the situation. If an agency does not have the ability or the time to prepare a PDF for you and produce the translated PDF file with your translations, you can offer the service. And the key is that you CAN offer it, but have no obligation.

If you don't have the means to do this kind of work, why didn't you reject the translation in the first place? I think it makes sense to ask. If you ask me, it is not the agency that's unreasonable in this situation...

And... if you offer a service that requires special software, doesn't it make sense to buy some option at a reasonable price tag? After all, you will be buying a product that will help you in more jobs, the same as if you buy a computer or CAT tool.


 

Annie Xystouris  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:05
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
didn't say no because... Jan 20, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Yes, it is a pleasure when agencies give us all ready for translation, but in many cases that is not the situation. If an agency does not have the ability or the time to prepare a PDF for you and produce the translated PDF file with your translations, you can offer the service. And the key is that you CAN offer it, but have no obligation.

If you don't have the means to do this kind of work, why didn't you reject the translation in the first place? I think it makes sense to ask. If you ask me, it is not the agency that's unreasonable in this situation...

And... if you offer a service that requires special software, doesn't it make sense to buy some option at a reasonable price tag? After all, you will be buying a product that will help you in more jobs, the same as if you buy a computer or CAT tool.


I didn't say no because when I received it I tried entering it in Trados to see if it was possible to translate and it worked, so I didn't think that there would be any problem whatsoever. Stupid of me not to check the target file, I know...but I've learnt from my mistake. I never said the agency was unreasonable though, just not very helpful.


 

sophie_jane
Local time: 01:05
German to English
Bizsoft Jan 20, 2011

I have recently had this problem. I downloaded the freeware Bizsoft, which seems to work very well and you can also edit the document in the Word doc it creates to get rid of hard returns etc.

 

Grace Horsley  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:05
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
Charge extra for PDFs Jan 20, 2011

My suggestion would be to invest in some decent OCR software like Abbyy FineReader, which makes the whole job easier and less stressful, and then just charge your clients more for non-editable formats such as PDF to cover your extra expense. Actually, when faced with having to pay extra, clients often manage to get hold of an editable version of the file or do the conversion themselves before sending it you.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I'm doing it with InFix Pro Jan 20, 2011

Check this out: http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/pdf-en.html (intended for clients).

I guess Trados should handle a XML file well. WordFast leaves it up to the operator skipping the tags, however it seems that Iceni developed InFix Pro with Trados and DejaVu as benchmarks.

You may download a fully-functional demo, which will render your PDF with a watermark. Then you have a choice of buying the software, or paying a fixed fee per save-without-watermark.

On top of the translation (which conceptually involves text only), don't forget to charge for:
  • Layout adjustments
  • Fonts that you don't have, and that the client doesn't provide


This should work well. It has worked fine for me so far.


 

Emilio Gironda  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Stock up on enough ammunition Jan 21, 2011

All the previous replies to your post are just right...

Stock up on enough ammunition.

My advice to you is that when you start dealing in the world of translations, you must understand that with existing technologies today, you will be faced against so different types of documents, many of them created with the most bizarre and/or unknown software.

As for PDFs, you have no choice but to try to get the best of the best and be prepared; my suggestions for you are:

* Abby Fine Reader Pro
* Able Pro 2Extract
* Adobe Acrobat Pro
* Nitro PDF Pro (my favorite)
* Omi Page Pro
* Converter PDF to Word doc.
* Pro ReadIris
* Solid PDF Converter

Certainly the customer does not care how you do it, just he wants it done... and for yesterday! So ...

Of course, you have every right to charge for all your time and effort as well as the for the translation itself, just let the client know about this beforehand.

Lots of luck,

EmGi/PERU


 

Elettra2011
Local time: 01:05
English to Italian
+ ...
God bless Infix! Aug 13, 2011

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Check this out: http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/pdf-en.html (intended for clients).

I guess Trados should handle a XML file well. WordFast leaves it up to the operator skipping the tags, however it seems that Iceni developed InFix Pro with Trados and DejaVu as benchmarks.

You may download a fully-functional demo, which will render your PDF with a watermark. Then you have a choice of buying the software, or paying a fixed fee per save-without-watermark.

On top of the translation (which conceptually involves text only), don't forget to charge for:
  • Layout adjustments
  • Fonts that you don't have, and that the client doesn't provide


This should work well. It has worked fine for me so far.


Thanks for posting this!
I was leaving a nightmare... but Infix seems to solve it. I had to translate some xml text and word 2010 for some strange reasons does not support xml mark up anymore. Of course the work had to be done "for yesterday", so in order to provide the client with a nice layout, being unable to use word editor without losing the formatting, I had to work on pdfs. I had never done this before... Infix is a very easy and versatile tool, which allowed me to write my translated text directly into the pdf. With a great result. A real time saver, I would reccomend it to anyone who needs to work well, saving tons of time...icon_smile.gif)


 
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