I'm facing the same problems as Direct Ebooks. I have PDF documents as source files and I need some easy way to edit them. One program is MS Word from where I can easily take it to InDesign and create an e-book. Problem is the conversion from PDF to DOC. I checked TextLightning.app which WillAdams mentioned but it's only for Mac and I have Win XP. I searched from google for "pdf to doc converter" but most of the softwares I found are shareware. I also tried to find open source software from http://www.sourceforge.net
but didn't find any. For now, I have just found this http://www.somepdf.com/downloads.html
which is free. I tried it but I'm facing new problems with it.
As you can see from the "pdf_sample.gif" file, there are 2 hyphens which just tell to the reader that the word is continueing to next row. If I copy&paste those words manually to notepad, hyphens will disappear and the words are showing correctly but the line feed is wrong as you can see from the "notepad_sample.gif".
When I use Some PDF tool to convert PDF to DOC, it leaves all the hyphens and the words are showing incorrectly as you can see from the "word_sample.gif". I should check all the hyphens manually because sometimes those are necessary. I can't just use find&replace and erase all the hyphens. Also, line feed creates sometimes one extra space between words so some words have hyphen and one empty space. That means I really need to check every case manually to see if there is hyphen or hyphen and empty space.
Problem is: either I check all the hyphens manually or every line feed. Both options are very troublesome to do manually for books with hundreds of pages. I'm using MS Word to make few styles and then export that DOC file to InDesign and create an e-book. Can you recommend some programs to ease my working process or any other suggestions to make it easier?