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How can I tell whether the text in a PDF is actually a font and not an image of text?

New Here ,
Aug 01, 2020

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Hello,

 

I downloaded a PDF and opened it in Reader DC. I wanted to capture a single character and copy it to Notepad or another text application, but the selection tool does not seem to allow normal selection. The cursor image in selection mode does not look like an "I", it looks like a "+". And it allows you to select the character, but only by drawing a boundary box around it.

 

First, I looked at the document properties, security settings tab. No security - selecting and copying is allowed.

 

I'm thinking that this means the text is actually an image of text and it can't be selected. How can I make sure this is the problem?

 

Note: the document contains characters from a non-Western alphabet, and I thought that might be the issue, but it won't even allow me to select/copy roman letters or English words.

 

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

Reader version: 2020.009.20074 / 20.009.20074.61578

 

Thanks!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Bernd Alheit | Adobe Community Professional

Looks like a image.

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How can I tell whether the text in a PDF is actually a font and not an image of text?

New Here ,
Aug 01, 2020

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Hello,

 

I downloaded a PDF and opened it in Reader DC. I wanted to capture a single character and copy it to Notepad or another text application, but the selection tool does not seem to allow normal selection. The cursor image in selection mode does not look like an "I", it looks like a "+". And it allows you to select the character, but only by drawing a boundary box around it.

 

First, I looked at the document properties, security settings tab. No security - selecting and copying is allowed.

 

I'm thinking that this means the text is actually an image of text and it can't be selected. How can I make sure this is the problem?

 

Note: the document contains characters from a non-Western alphabet, and I thought that might be the issue, but it won't even allow me to select/copy roman letters or English words.

 

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

Reader version: 2020.009.20074 / 20.009.20074.61578

 

Thanks!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Bernd Alheit | Adobe Community Professional

Looks like a image.

Topics

General troubleshooting

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57

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 01, 2020

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Looks like a image.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 02, 2020

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I think you are correct. The broken + (like a target) appears when you hover over an image. If you click you will see how large the image is (very likely one image for the whole page). You'd get this, for example, if someone made the file by scanning sheets of paper.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 02, 2020

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You can use this free tool I've developed to find out how many words there are in the current page or the full document:

http://try67.blogspot.com/2015/01/reader-word-count-free.html

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 02, 2020

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From your desription, it sounds like that PDF is one big flattened image file.  So text is no longer selectable.

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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