Converting PDF files into a Trados-manageable format
Thread poster: Jean-Pierre Artigau

Jean-Pierre Artigau
Canada
Local time: 21:43
English to French
+ ...
Oct 3, 2012

Hello everyone

I usually receive Word files which are easily inserted into Trados 2011 for translation. However one of my clients sends me PDF files that are incompatible with Trados. When attempting to convert them into Word from zamzar.com (the free online file conversion site) all I get is a Word file with a count of 0 words, where my text appears as an image.

How can I convert such a PDF file into a Trados-compatible format? I don't like having to copy the whole text before I start working on it.

Thank you.

Jean-Pierre

[Edited at 2012-10-03 20:18 GMT]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 04:43
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Studio Oct 3, 2012

If these are "genuine" (not scanned PDFs), there are 2 ways how to treat them in Studio:

1st: open the PDF file in Studio and translate it right there as it is.

2nd: open the PDF file in Studio and "Save source as", than translate the resulting Word file.

HTH,

Uldis

[Edited at 2012-10-03 17:51 GMT]


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Jean-Pierre Artigau
Canada
Local time: 21:43
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. Oct 3, 2012

I'll try your suggestion.

Jean-Pierre


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
OCR Oct 3, 2012

You'll get the problems you describe if, as Uldis says, the PDF is actually a scanned file, i.e., an image itself.

To process these files in Studio you need to convert the PDF to an editable format by using an OCR program such as ABBYY or Omnipage. Adjust the settings before you convert in order to avoid rogue tags in your Word document, because otherwise you will have a a tag-ridden file when you open it in Studio.

For more details, check out my blog article on processing PDFs and avoiding a tag soup in Trados Studio.

HTH,
Emma


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 04:43
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Password protected PDFs Oct 3, 2012

One more thought- the genuine PDFs may be password protected (allowing only a few or none options). Such protected PDFs will not convert to Word, etc. You will not believe how many of these protected PDFs there are there around in all companies, living their own independent file-lives - in no case yet any of our clients have been able to provide a password- at best, the person has forgotten it or password setter is not known, at worst he was fired or died 5 years ago.

There are multiple ways around that, but I will mention only 2 legal ones- if printing is allowed, print that PDF to a new PDF document, if nothing is allowed, save screenshots and OCR them.

Uldis

[Edited at 2012-10-03 19:50 GMT]


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Petra Kumar  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:43
Member (2012)
English to Czech
Adobe Reader X? Oct 3, 2012

One small addition to this discussion..I think Adobe Reader X (free download) also has option to convert PDF files to Word & Excel formats. I have not tried it but would have greater expectation from Adobe than online convertors.

Good Luck!
Petra

[Edited at 2012-10-03 20:18 GMT]


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:43
Member (2002)
English to Russian
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Moderator of this forum
Adobe Reader is just reader Oct 3, 2012

It is not intended for converting PDFs. In case you wish to do this with Adobe software you need to buy the full version of Adobe Acrobat.

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Petra Kumar  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:43
Member (2012)
English to Czech
Adobe Reader vs Adobe Reader X Oct 3, 2012

Adobe Reader X can convert PDFs to Word (have just done one & seems to do a pretty good job). Adobe Reader is as Natalie pointed only a Reader.

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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 04:43
English to Russian
+ ...
Adobe Reader 9 vs Adobe Reader X Oct 3, 2012

Petra is partially right: a new version of Adobe Reader is a bit more than just a PDF reader.

Now it's possible to convert PDF into Word or Excel but via an online Adobe service. I don't think this service can handle scanned documents or documents with complex layout. You can also create PDFs from other files. It's not free: you should buy a subscription.

There are also other very useful new features:

- making notes
- highlighting
- typing
- signature insertion

Nikita Kobrin


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 04:43
English to Russian
+ ...
Adobe service Oct 3, 2012

Petra Kumarova wrote:

I have not tried it but would have greater expectation from Adobe than online convertors.


Actually it's also an online paid service offered by Adobe. I don't think it will be much better than the existing free ones...

Nikita Kobrin


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Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:43
Member (2010)
English to French
Abby Oct 4, 2012

I learned from previous threads that the best tool [for scanned PDFs] is Abby. I didn't yet try it personally.

To come back to Adobe "conversion service": you can't use it when you have a confidentiality clause on the input document because you would have to send the document to Adobe.

Madeleine


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Jean-Pierre Artigau
Canada
Local time: 21:43
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you everyone Oct 4, 2012

Finally I've tried Abbyy, which delivered a text full of tags. I got rid of the tags by saving the everything as text, then I opened it in Word to re-create the formatting. A lot of manipulations, but with an acceptable result.

Emma, what is your version of Word with the Clear Formatting option? Maybe time has come to update my Word 2000.

Jean-Pierre


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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:43
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Adobe Acrobat X Standard Oct 4, 2012

I can recommend Adobe Acrobat X Standard. It converts live and dead PDFs better than anything my clients have (I assume they use Abbyy). I see the successor, Adobe XI, is expensive though.

Olly


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Short cut for clear formatting in Word Oct 4, 2012

Jean-Pierre Artigau wrote:

Emma, what is your version of Word with the Clear Formatting option? Maybe time has come to update my Word 2000.

Jean-Pierre


Glad to hear you solved your problem.

The Clear Formatting explanation in my blog post link above was based on Word 2010. However, I think the short cut for clearing formatting in all Word versions is Ctrl+Shift+N. Maybe you can see if that works in Word 2000.

And yes, maybe time has come to update your Word version!


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