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Copying and pasting text in PDF turns to gibberish

New Here ,
Nov 25, 2018 Nov 25, 2018

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Using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC as my default printer.

 

When trying to copy and paste text from pdf to another app, the text appears as gibberish (symbols, etc.)

 

Some pdf prints also do not allow for copying/highlighting of lines of text - tried "Enhance Scan" to ensure OCR and flow but still cannot select single words or lines of text in some documents.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Nov 26, 2018 Nov 26, 2018

Hi quintonv,

As mentioned, you are getting gibberish text when copying and pasting text from pdf, it seems the issue seems to be the font related.

If the fonts of PDF don't have Unicode tables and do not use standard encoding for mapping the glyph indices to characters then you get garbage characters during copy/paste.

Also, there is a possibility the fonts used to create the PDF file are not available on your system.

you may try using the PDF Fixup Profile "Embed Fonts" in the Preflight tool to em

...

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New Here , May 31, 2019 May 31, 2019

Try right clicking the text and "copy with formatting".

I have been trying to OCR Japanese documents and copy/pasting doesn't work, exporting as Word doesn't work. However, right clicking and "copy with formatting" *does* work, but apparently only for very small sections of text.

Not sure if it will work with other documents, but give it a try and see how you go.

This seems to be an ongoing and unfixed issue in Acrobat. All the various "solutions" refer to the lack or corruption of font informatio

...

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 26, 2018 Nov 26, 2018

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Hi quintonv,

As mentioned, you are getting gibberish text when copying and pasting text from pdf, it seems the issue seems to be the font related.

If the fonts of PDF don't have Unicode tables and do not use standard encoding for mapping the glyph indices to characters then you get garbage characters during copy/paste.

Also, there is a possibility the fonts used to create the PDF file are not available on your system.

you may try using the PDF Fixup Profile "Embed Fonts" in the Preflight tool to embed the font and check if that helps. However, the font does need to be installed on your system.

You may also refer to the following forum threads discussing the similar issue:

Copy text in pdf gives me gibberish. Is there a way to OCR to correct?

PDF problem: copy and paste results in squares

Weird characters pasted after copying text from PDF file

Copy text from a PDF to word. Just get Symbols

Thanks,

-Shivam

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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this is not the case.

very last version of Acrobat DC is not copying entire font - missing characters - afres pasting it do INDD there is missing characters.

this never happned to me in the older versions!

the print pdf was created on MY computer, with all fonts embeded, no I need to make some corrections and it’s not possible anymore without this terrible issue.

Acroobat DC has serious problem to copy and paste fonts from pdf!

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New Here ,
May 31, 2019 May 31, 2019

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Try right clicking the text and "copy with formatting".

I have been trying to OCR Japanese documents and copy/pasting doesn't work, exporting as Word doesn't work. However, right clicking and "copy with formatting" *does* work, but apparently only for very small sections of text.

Not sure if it will work with other documents, but give it a try and see how you go.

This seems to be an ongoing and unfixed issue in Acrobat. All the various "solutions" refer to the lack or corruption of font information, but if the scanned document was OCRed in Acrobat, then surely that is an Acrobat problem, not a "font issue"

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 24, 2020 Mar 24, 2020

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"Copy with formatting"worked. Thank you!

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2020 Aug 04, 2020

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Hi, Thanks for this suggestion it's working. 🙂 Is there any way to fix the whole PDF?

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New Here ,
Oct 08, 2022 Oct 08, 2022

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I have no 'copy with formatting' when I right click the text

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2022 Oct 09, 2022

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Use Acrobat DC Pro. This option is not available in the Acrobat Reader DC. 

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New Here ,
Jul 16, 2023 Jul 16, 2023

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I have Pro and I don't have it either.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2023 Apr 18, 2023

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Did not work

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New Here ,
Oct 02, 2020 Oct 02, 2020

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Hi, Foxit Reader (free version) worked immediately!

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New Here ,
Nov 20, 2020 Nov 20, 2020

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Found another solution for Pro DC as of Nov 2020 version 2020.013.20064 (non of those other solutions worked for me): print to pdf>save file>open new doc>select edit function>copy/paste. 

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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this is not working for me.  when i print to pdf, and save the file, it does not five me an option to open new doc.  

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2023 Apr 18, 2023

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Still gibberish

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 18, 2023 Apr 18, 2023

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Hi @glamLA 


Hope you are doing well and sorry to hear that

Is this an issue with a particular PDF file or with all the PDFs? Please try with a different PDF file and check. If the file is stored on a shared network/drive please download it to your computer locally and then try again.

 

What is the workflow/steps you are doing? A small video recording of the same would be very helpful.

What is the version of the Acrobat DC you are using? To check the version go to Help > About Acrobat and make sure you have the recent version 23.01.20143 installed. Go to Help > Check for updates and reboot the computer once.

Also try to repair the installation from the help menu (Win Only) and see if that works.

Please try to reset the Acrobat preferences as described here https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-discussions/how-to-reset-acrobat-preference-settings-to-defau...

You may also try to create a new test user profile with full admin rights in Win or enable the root account in MAC and try using the application there and check.

 

Regards

Amal

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2023 Apr 20, 2023

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None of this works. Adobe- Please fix this. I spent over an hour trying to fix this. It's multiple files.

How I fixed it: 

Opened all pages of teh original PDF in Adobe Illustrator, saved as new PDF file, which rebuilt the document and then opened in Acrobat DC.

 

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2021 Oct 22, 2021

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Take a photo from ipone and copy your text.

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New Here ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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Have the exact same problem.

 

Adobe DC used to be able to handle "unicode" text, but unfortunately, Adobe (in their infinite wisdom) has elected to add a "randomisation algorithm". Now, when unicode text is imported, Adobe DC changes that to a randomly selected font.

 

The only workaround is to uninstall ALL fonts, except for the ones you want to use.

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New Here ,
Feb 07, 2023 Feb 07, 2023

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Neither of the "correct" answers work.

This is BS.  Just want to have acrobat pro be able to copy from pdf and paste.  Otherwise will need a different PDF solution.

 

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New Here ,
Mar 30, 2023 Mar 30, 2023

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Same problem - scan in text to a Searchable PDF and the Greek words display correctly in the Acrobat reader.  But if I try to copy a section of the text to paste into another document (typically Word), the roman characters are fine, but the Greek text is gibberish.  Is there not a simple solution such as enabling Greek text or a particular font in Reader?

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2023 Apr 05, 2023

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Hello, I printed as PDF and ran a text recognition scan and in my case it fixed it. hopefully it works for you as well.

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2023 Apr 05, 2023

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I had that same issue this morning with some font in a large PDF that I needed to find some specifiec terms. I simply printed as PDF and ran a new text recognition scan on top, then saved and it worked like a charm.

 

hopefully this will help someone else in the same situation.

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New Here ,
Apr 26, 2023 Apr 26, 2023

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Hello everyone,

I am on Mac and I have the same issue.
I created a large file under CorelDraw. 
When I try to copy from the PDf to Word, it works.
But when my colleagues open on their Windows computers, it does the gibberish once pasted in Word.

Please help (literally crying)

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New Here ,
Nov 07, 2023 Nov 07, 2023

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Simply edit the pdf then copy the text and it will work

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