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Thread: anyone know a good pdf to text conversion program

  1. #1
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    anyone know a good pdf to text conversion program

    Need to edit some scanned pdf files (ocr), and need to convert them to text format to do so. Lots on the web online, but I've tried a few, and none actually work well enough.

    thanks
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  2. #2
    I use PDF Converter Pro available from Nuance. It handles a wide range of PDF conversion types. I use it a lot at work for pdf related tasks. It converts to MS-Word and unicode text formats. It ain't free but you can get a 30 day trial version from cnet.com.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Thanks gregorious, I'll check it out. But I spent a few hours typing away like a madman, so I think I'm covered.
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  4. #4
    https://www.google.com/search?q=conv...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    An interesting article, especially give that there is an API you could write a script to do it in bulk if that is what you are looking for.

  5. #5
    "FreeOCR is a free Optical Character Recognition Software for Windows and supports scanning from most Twain scanners and can also open most scanned PDF's and multi page Tiff images as well as popular image file formats. FreeOCR outputs plain text and can export directly to Microsoft Word format."

    http://www.paperfile.net/download.html

    I use it, it's light weight and simple. You'll likely need to clean up the results some but it sure beats typing. And the price is right too. It will open/do/convert .pdf files.


  6. #6
    For MAC I use a program called "SOLID PDF to WORD" It works well and is accurate even if there are images, logos, etc.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody, I only needed sections of two pdf files, so I typed it out. Took me half an hour, no biggie.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member zagam's Avatar
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    Xpdf tools

    Xpdf is a safe PDF reader, but has other commands too.

    To read PDFs on a terminal I often use:

    Code:
    pdftotext -layout -enc Latin1 -eol unix -nopgbrk file.pdf - | less -S
    Can also use LESSOPEN to read PDFs with this.

    However, it does some times mash paragraphs together.

    GNU less with the -SR options I use to read groff -ms -Tlatin1 output. The -S option preserves document integrity by preventing line breaking. The -R option is required for vt100 attributes. Run in screen if you don't have a vtXXX as I do on my ibm3151.

    See man pages xpdf(1), pdftops(1), pdftotext(1), pdfinfo(1), pdffonts(1), pdftoppm(1), pdfimages(1), xpdfrc(5) and http://www.foolabs.com/xpdf/

  10. #10
    Senior Member chris-k's Avatar
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    For future reference Adobe Acrobat Pro has built-in OCR.

    I also use ABBYY FineReader Pro (http://finereader.abbyy.com/professional/).

    Both are a bit pricy for casual use.

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