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Old 01-01-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
TadW
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How to Do Everything with PDF Files

The following article gives a good overview over what you can do with PDF files (without using the expensive Adobe Acrobat):

http://www.labnol.org/software/adobe...tutorial/6296/
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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good find
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
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Thanks, some of that will come in handy at work.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:45 AM   #4
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But I notice no good way to convert from PDF.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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But I notice no good way to convert from PDF.
PDF was designed as an output format. It will probably never be easy to manipulate.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:57 PM   #6
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But I notice no good way to convert from PDF.
"Good" is a matter of conjecture Jon, the article suggests that "You can upload the PDF document to Zamzar and convert it any formats like doc, html, png, txt or rtf (rich text format). Alternatively, you can convert PDF to HTML using Gmail."

I have used ABBYY PDF Transformer 2.0, ABC Amber PDF Converter, Paperport, and several other packages over the years. There is not one solution for all cases and the correct choice depends on the specific PDF in question, the tools on your computer, what tools are currently available for free, what you tools you can get in a functioning trial copy, and how much money you are willing to spend on new tools.

While I am not the biggest fan of PDF for ebooks, PDFs have their place and I have created PDF files for the Sony Reader where I felt they were the best option.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:57 AM   #7
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too many of the options proposed in the article involve the uploading of your document to some server.
Call me paranoid, but I don't like at all this kind of "services" - I want my documents to stay on <my> server.
Apart from that, under linux (which is not mentioned at all in the article) software exists to do practically any kind of conversion you need.



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Old 01-03-2009, 05:52 AM   #8
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Apart from that, under linux (which is not mentioned at all in the article) software exists to do practically any kind of conversion you need.
alessandro
Really? I did search for one and have found no Linux program at all that tries to convert from PDF to floating text with attributes and with paragraph recognition. The only program that generates useful output I could find is PdfGrabber, but I am still interested in a better solution.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #9
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google books

I have a few scanned google books in pdf that I'm having a hard time converting to text, even following advice from the article. Has anyone done this successfully? I've tried:
-Zamzar (returns an unopenable doc file)
-Google mail (doesn't display pdf as html)
-Pdf2Word program
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:46 AM   #10
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Use Google

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookbinder View Post
I have a few scanned google books in pdf that I'm having a hard time converting to text, even following advice from the article. Has anyone done this successfully?
You can upload the scanned PDF files to a public web server, link those files from web page and then wait for google bots to index those PDF. See complete instructions.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:52 AM   #11
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...wait for google bots to index those PDF.
The linked example shows why this way is essentially useless. The resulting text has line breaks on each line. A good converter for books has to try to set a line break only at the end of a paragraph.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:59 AM   #12
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The linked example shows why this way is essentially useless. The resulting text has line breaks on each line. A good converter for books has to try to set a line break only at the end of a paragraph.
Really not true at all. You can also use the convention that two line breaks in a row indicates a new paragraph like TeX and LaTeX do. It is trivial to convert between the two conventions using some simple program or a one line script.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:24 PM   #13
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Really not true at all. You can also use the convention that two line breaks in a row indicates a new paragraph
No, that is not really useful for the most standard PDFs. The text object in a PDF file does not contain a real line break. It contains the position where on the page it has to drawn and a number of characters. The result is a line of text.
The progam that makes the conversion has to estimate from the positions of the text objects in which order the lines come. Simple converters like the most available (including Acrobat) use one text object, convert it to text and set a line break at the end, resulting in one line of the output text. The better converters can try to join the separate text objects, if their horizontal start position is identical and the line is long enough. But this is a difficult job, and I have not yet found a program that works good enough for me.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #14
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No, that is not really useful for the most standard PDFs. The text object in a PDF file does not contain a real line break. It contains the position where on the page it has to drawn and a number of characters. The result is a line of text.
The progam that makes the conversion has to estimate from the positions of the text objects in which order the lines come. Simple converters like the most available (including Acrobat) use one text object, convert it to text and set a line break at the end, resulting in one line of the output text. The better converters can try to join the separate text objects, if their horizontal start position is identical and the line is long enough. But this is a difficult job, and I have not yet found a program that works good enough for me.
That might be the case but there is no functional different between encoding paragraphs with two line breaks or one. What you are talking about is how go a converter is detecting a paragraph break but that has no necessary connection to how the encoding is done. You can argue that you loose information if you do not keep the line breaks in a paragraph since they are impossible to recreate but it is trivial to take a paragraph specified by using double line breaks and convert it to one line.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:28 AM   #15
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From TFA:
"Most mobile phones can read PDF files."

I stopped reading after that.
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