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Old 01-25-2016, 12:23 PM   #1
1v4n0
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Post pdf to doc: best way?

Hello guys.

What is the best and (possibly) easiest way to convert from pdf (text) to doc/odt/rft? And I mean with the line breaks in the right places too, not just saving to doc from acrobat. The final goal is an epub.

I did it this way (acrobat pro->save as doc) once, and then I bulk-corrected all the line breaks with perfect epub. Not sure if I missed anything.

EDIT apparently I did. It doesn't undo line breaks where the line ends with punctuation and starts with a guillemet ę, and it erases the dash where the new line starts with one (this is probably due to prefectepub's hypenation regex). Also, it doesn't undo line breaks if a page ends with a period and the next one starts with a capital letter.

One other time I passed the pdf through finereader, but it was more complicated.

Thanks.

Last edited by 1v4n0; 01-25-2016 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:45 AM   #2
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Aiseesoft PDF Converter Ultimate converts pdf->docx (text only) surprisingly good.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:44 AM   #3
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It depends on which version of office you are using. MS Office 2007 has a full utility for converting and editing PDF files.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:41 PM   #4
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I'm on open office
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:31 PM   #5
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Conversion of pdf files is not at all easy, and every pdf is different. In all cases, the resulting file has to be parsed and corrected manually.

My first step with text pdf files is always BRISS to remove headers and footers and then Mobipocket Creator Professional Edition (free software). Of the several output formats, I always use the html file. If the html is in good shape, I open it with Sigil. If a lot of corrections are needed, I sometimes use notepad++ to make a first cleanup and then I open with Sigil.

I've tried other solutions, including saving to html with Adobe Standard, but I always come back to Mobipocket Creator, which has always produced the best results for me.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Pablo; 08-07-2016 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:34 PM   #6
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Aiseesoft PDF Converter Ultimate->docx->proofreading->applying Heading style to chapter titles, generate TOC->Calibre->ePub

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Old 08-12-2016, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calum.kane View Post
It depends on which version of office you are using. MS Office 2007 has a full utility for converting and editing PDF files.
I had not realized that recent versions of MS Word would directly read/convert PDF files. Thank you for pointing this out. I just tried loading a few random PDF files into MS Word 2016 (Office 365 v16) and it did an amazingly good job. I tried scanned documents (no OCR layer) with inset graphics, and it correctly found and OCR'd the text, using the correct font, and also inset the graphics perfectly within the text. A two-column scientific paper (computer generated, not scanned) was converted perfectly into a Word file--all of the text in the correct font and with all of the figures placed perfectly. Even when I scanned that same 2-column article into a bitmapped PDF file with no OCR layer and used Word to open that bitmapped version, it still correctly rendered the text (using OCR) into two columns and inset the figures. Microsoft has clearly put a lot of effort into turning PDFs into Word documents. I had no idea. This will be my number one recommendation for dealing with PDFs from this point forward.

Edit: I've added some examples. The scanned conversion isn't as good as the conversion of the computer-generated PDF (native.pdf), but it's still very good considering the intelligence that had to go into something like that. Sorry I used a zip file for the word files. The forum attachment system would not let me attach a .docx file. The open_office_format.zip file contains the Word files saved in the .odt format.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf native.pdf (154.0 KB, 149 views)
File Type: pdf scanned_no_ocr_layer.pdf (883.0 KB, 154 views)
File Type: zip wordfiles.zip (45.8 KB, 147 views)
File Type: zip open_office_format.zip (43.6 KB, 81 views)

Last edited by willus; 08-12-2016 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Added examples (now with .odt files)
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:18 AM   #8
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Cool. Open office doesn't have anything like that, right?
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1v4n0 View Post
Cool. Open office doesn't have anything like that, right?
I don't know--I haven't tried it. Try loading the above PDF examples into the Open Office version of Word and see how the conversions compare to what I posted from MS Office 365 v16.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:08 PM   #10
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How do you go from there?. I got a nice docx but when I converted to AZW3 with calibre to use in my kindle it was terrible.
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Old 08-13-2016, 12:07 AM   #11
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How do you go from there?. I got a nice docx but when I converted to AZW3 with calibre to use in my kindle it was terrible.
This is probably better asked/searched in the Kindle Format forum.
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