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Old 03-12-2008, 08:11 AM   #1
Prospect
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PDF extraction – what is the best tool?

When converting PDFs to MobiPocket for my Cybook I have so far used MobiPocket Creator and Adobe Acrobat v6.

I think that the best result is archived if I export the PDF to HTML from Acrobat and then convert the HTML file to .prc using MopiPocket Creator, instead of converting directly from PDF to .prc in MobiPocket creator.

As far as I know I could also use BookDesigner for this task.

The conversion is never perfect and there are always issues with formatting.

How do you extract your PDFs? What is the best current tool/process? Will I archive better results if I update Acrobat to the latest version?
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:04 AM   #2
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For me the best tool is ABBYY PDF Transformer. As I remember it is about $99. It creates MS Word documents that can be edited and loaded into BD.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prospect View Post
When converting PDFs to MobiPocket for my Cybook I have so far used MobiPocket Creator and Adobe Acrobat v6.

I think that the best result is archived if I export the PDF to HTML from Acrobat and then convert the HTML file to .prc using MopiPocket Creator, instead of converting directly from PDF to .prc in MobiPocket creator.
I have tried a great many software packages for PDF conversion. I own the latest Adobe Acrobat, and it is one of my least favorites for this task. DocUnPDF works very well (Mac and Win versions available, $60 or so) and will output in many formats including html and lrf. The company's reps are pretty nice, and will work with customers- for example, issuing license codes for 2 installations of the software when you buy it, so you can have one install at home and one at work.

My other favorite is Gemini, by Iceni, a British software company. Its output from pdf to html is the best I have seen, but you do pay a price- $159 when I bought it. It's absolutely top-of-the-line.

Gemini and UnPDF are the only 2 softwares out there I would recommend for this task.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:15 PM   #4
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DocUnPDF works very well
I can't find DocUnPDF. Did you mean deskUNPDF?
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:41 PM   #5
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I downloaded the demo version of Gemini and I agree that it is a great tool that works better than both Adobe Acrobate and Mobipocket Creator.

Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2008, 05:40 PM   #6
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I can't find DocUnPDF. Did you mean deskUNPDF?
Sorry, you are right. They have an upgrade offer now, and a couple of bundle specials.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:04 PM   #7
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I have had great luck with the different converters from ABC Amber ( http://www.processtext.com/ ).

They have a PDF converter that convert to almost any format you can think of - for only $12.95.

I use the companies " MS Lit" converter almost every day, as so many ebooks are released in Lit format , which my Palm TX can not read.

Hope it helps!
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:45 PM   #8
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ABC Amber Lit converter doesn't work well as it's based on a buggy version of ConvertLIT.
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:17 PM   #9
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Acrobat pro 8.0 (export as text and ou word) and Omnipage pro 16 (OCR the PDF file and save as text or word).
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:12 PM   #10
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The best tool I've found for this is Marcel Weiher's TextLightning.app available from www.metaobject.com (ob. discl. I was a beta-tester). Although it's a Mac OS X app, it's available for Linux and could probably be compiled for Windows using the recently improved support for Windows GNUstep www.gnustep.org affords.

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:10 AM   #11
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LRF conversion seems to have been removed from docudesk unpdf professional version 3.0? Can anyone confirm? I've downloaded trials of 2 and 3 and this seems to be the case...
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prospect View Post
When converting PDFs to MobiPocket for my Cybook I have so far used MobiPocket Creator and Adobe Acrobat v6.

I think that the best result is archived if I export the PDF to HTML from Acrobat and then convert the HTML file to .prc using MopiPocket Creator, instead of converting directly from PDF to .prc in MobiPocket creator.

As far as I know I could also use BookDesigner for this task.

The conversion is never perfect and there are always issues with formatting.

How do you extract your PDFs? What is the best current tool/process? Will I archive better results if I update Acrobat to the latest version?
When I only need to extract some test content from a PDF file. I use the freeware AnyBizSoft PDF to Text. It extracts text from PDF files.
Since you want to retain the format, I think converting PDF to Word or HTML, and then to .prc could be a choice. Anyway, I think there will be problems with formatting once a file is converted for 2 or more times with different tools.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:46 PM   #13
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I extract PDFs to Word docs (or RTF; the file is the same from my viewpoint), and then edit the Word doc. If I were more fluent in HTML, I'd extract to that--and expect spend the same amount of time editing the HTML file as I spend on the average PDF-to-Word conversion.

I generally have to fix the page sizes & margins, remove text boxes, change pictures to inline with text, and do odd things to get rid of the page numbers & headers. Then I fix the paragraph settings starting by making them all single-spaced, and removing the right & left margin indents if any; if it's reasonable, I change them all to the same before & after amounts and justification. Then I set the font--make it all one font, use find & replace to fix the sizes, make sure it's all 100% size, not condensed or expanded.

I'd expect HTML files to work better if the fonts were normalized, remove the extra "div" sections and "align" tags, get rid of tables that force the page structure.

Basic novels should transfer nicely. Of course, basic novels probably transfer fine from the original PDF straight to Mobi. It's when there are other formatting aspects that the conversion breaks down, and none of the auto-converters shines as the best one, because PDF wasn't designed to be a convert-from format.
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:12 PM   #14
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Hi Elfwreck,

I posted in another thread regarding this, but you seem to have a lot of experience with PDF->Word conversions. You outlined a lot of postprocessing that you do. Does your convertor insert paragraph breaks at the end of a page even if a sentence is continued on the next? If so, do you go in and manually delete every spurious paragraph break for each page? I can't figure out if there is a software smart enough to not include these breaks at the end of a page, or if there is an easy way to correct for it.
Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I posted in another thread regarding this, but you seem to have a lot of experience with PDF->Word conversions.
An insane amount. I've been working with PDF conversions for 10 years. (I still miss some features of Acrobat 4 that got dropped in later updates.) (Not that I want to go back. I just wish they'd change those few features.)

Quote:
You outlined a lot of postprocessing that you do. Does your convertor insert paragraph breaks at the end of a page even if a sentence is continued on the next? If so, do you go in and manually delete every spurious paragraph break for each page? I can't figure out if there is a software smart enough to not include these breaks at the end of a page, or if there is an easy way to correct for it.
Thanks!
Yes, it keeps the original page breaks, which means adding paragraph breaks in those spots. If it's short, I sometimes scroll through & manually remove the page breaks/paragraph breaks at the ends of each page.

Otherwise, I look for ways to identify paragraph breaks in the wrong places. This starts with removing unwanted page breaks; sometimes I remove them all (replace with a space); sometimes I try to keep them before chapter breaks, if chapter headers have identifiable typographical issues that I can search for.

Then: Search for [any letter]^p (or [any letter][space]^p), replace with [find what text]qqq, then replace ^pqqq with [space].

This doesn't work if some paragraphs are supposed to end with letters instead of punctuation (like tables), so it may involve some checking & manual touch-up. And it won't catch sentences that ended on one page, and the first line of the next page is supposed to be part of the same paragraph.

Sometimes I can search for tabs or indentation of first line--often, anything that's not indented is either a chapter header or should be part of the previous page. So, semi-manual: search, then manually fix.

It gets faster with practice. It's always a bit choppy, and never as good as a page-by-page QC, although I find it plenty acceptable for personal reading. Since most of the PDFs I convert this way are either not legal to distribute, or only of interest to a very limited crowd (I convert legal rulings from PDF to neatly-formatted Word docs for friends), I've not had to develop anything that works more smoothly.

Last edited by Elfwreck; 09-26-2009 at 05:15 PM.
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