Highlighted

Copy text from a PDF to word. Just get Symbols

Contributor ,
May 04, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hello,

I have a public PDF with no Copying Restrictions. When I try to copy text from the PDF highlighted text to WORD I only get unreadable garbage.
I can select the desired text and copy it into word but when I paste the text it is pasted like symbols and lines.

I tried Special Paste and does not works. It says the font is a Gill Sans something (with numbers and so on), no really a font it seems but when i change it to Arial i still get symbols.

Any help or ideas,

Cheers,
Sebastian

Topics

General troubleshooting

Views

365.1K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more

Copy text from a PDF to word. Just get Symbols

Contributor ,
May 04, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hello,

I have a public PDF with no Copying Restrictions. When I try to copy text from the PDF highlighted text to WORD I only get unreadable garbage.
I can select the desired text and copy it into word but when I paste the text it is pasted like symbols and lines.

I tried Special Paste and does not works. It says the font is a Gill Sans something (with numbers and so on), no really a font it seems but when i change it to Arial i still get symbols.

Any help or ideas,

Cheers,
Sebastian

Topics

General troubleshooting

Views

365.1K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
May 04, 2009 3
LEGEND ,
May 04, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

You simply should just have to change the font used for the display in WORD. Why not try saving to a DOC file?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 04, 2009 1
Contributor ,
May 04, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks for the idea Bill, but it does not work. Even if i change the font in Word it will be still strange symbols. By the way if i save the PDF as a Word file I just get a lot of pages full of symbols, as you can see in the attach.

Is there any way to replace the fonts of the original PDF by changing it by a different one?

Cheers,
S

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 04, 2009 0
LEGEND ,
May 05, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Sometimes you can change the font, as long as the fonts are compatible. Check the document properties to see if the fonts are embedded (I guess they are) and if you have those fonts on your system. If you do not have the fonts, then you can't copy them.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 05, 2009 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 05, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

If the fonts don't have unicode tables and they do not use a standard encoding for mapping the glyph indices to characters then you get garbage characters during copy/paste. You can try using the PDF Fixup Profile "Embed Fonts" in the Preflight tool to embed the font (if you are unable to reauthor the document). However, the font does need to be installed on your system and license to allow embedding in order to do this.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 05, 2009 3
Contributor ,
May 05, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Lori, thanks for the good info! I open the Preflight windows, but there is no "Embed Fonts" in the Fixed up. I guess i do not have that font or the PDF enconding is just bizarre. The font is Gill Sans and Futura, which i have installed both in my system but maybe is a weird version of the font.

It is very frustrating to see how somebody at the Ministry of Health could be so dumb to upload a public PDF in Internet which is supposed to be copy/pasted by researchers all over without knowing this very basic stuff.

By the way, i supposed that i cannot try anything else? I thought i could somehow "force" the actual font by highlighting text and putting Arial, for example, like if it was a Word Document.

Cheers,

Sebastian

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 05, 2009 0
Community Beginner ,
May 05, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Can you send the link to this Ministry of Health document or post on this forum to take a closer look at?

sypark

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 05, 2009 0
Contributor ,
May 05, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Songpark, Thanks for your help! i just attached a short version of this PDF in this reply.

Cheers,

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 05, 2009 0
Engaged ,
May 05, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

After looking inside the PDF it turns out that no usable encoding information is present (neither in the PDF nor in the embedded font data) to derive the meaning of the characters/glyphs that are displayed on the pages in the document.

The fonts actualy are all embedded, but in a way that all encoding information has been removed. This is a typical example of a PDF that is syntactically fully compliant with the PDF spec but where important information about the meaning of the text in it has been thrown away during the process of making the PDF. As far as I can tell it would be very difficult to recover the encoding info. Strange as it may sound the best option may be to convert the pages to oixel and then run OCR on them....

According to the document info PageMaker 7 and Distiller 5 have been used - not sure whether that combination wasn't quite up to the task but I am on Acrobat 9 now and haven't seen Pagemaker for years...

HTH.

Olaf Drümmer

callas software

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 05, 2009 1
Contributor ,
May 06, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks Olafdruemer and Bill for a very complete answer and good help in this matter. I will try the option on going on to TIFF mode and i might also call this Ministry (i do not hold much hope) to see if the can change a series of PDF made in the same way. It is interesting that you mention Pagemaker which is a Dinosaur in editorial design, almost nobody use it anymore.

NOTE: On another subject, this is my firs tread in this "new" Adobe Forum. I just realized the "Correct" and the "Helpful" answer which has also brings a point system. I have to say i find it quite unfair compared to the older Adobe forum when people just collaborate with info for the shake of helping. As an example most of the replies i got to my specific question in this tread were substantially helpful to me and i find it limitating or unfair to one have ONE chance to give a helpful answer to a particular member.

Cheers,
Sebastian

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 06, 2009 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 15, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have this exact same problem.  It is very frustrating.  How is it not possible to "grab" onto the text in the pdf ??!!

  • I am looking at it.  I can see it.  I can read it.
  • I can highlight the individual letters and words with the mouse pointer. (So it's not just a "picture")
  • With a pdf editor, I can even make the text bold, italic, or increase the font size.

SO WHY CAN'T I COPY THE TEXT!   AAARGH!

No, the file is not protected.

Yes, I have tried saving as different formats.  (The "save as tiff file workaround" idea is  very time consuming and greatly degrades the quallity.)

The font is shown as being: "Arial083.313"

Something in the pdf program is recognizing the text, translating the 1's and 0's (that make up all computer files) into the letters that display on the screen that I can read and select with the mouse. So why can't that same "something" allow me to copy it?  So frustrating.

Somebody please help.  If you can solve this problem you are awesome.


Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 15, 2010 2
LEGEND ,
Mar 15, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I grab text every once in a while and it typically works fine. For me to be able to view the proper font on my system, I have to have that font available. The Arial you listed is not a typical system font and is probably why you are having problems. When you copy, what font name is shown in WORD or other word processor. Your problem is likely the fonts. Acrobat will display that font if has been embedded in the file. However, Acrobat will not copy a font to your machine, only the character information.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 15, 2010 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks for the reply Bill.  The font name shown in WORD or other word processor is the same--Arial083.313.

Example:  The text I copy in the pdf reads: "Check heating circuit sensors / heating system"

When I paste in word processor I get this: "3_         __&_     _____&_______&_         ____&4&_"

or this:    & &

Can I post my problematic file in this forum?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 16, 2010 1
LEGEND ,
Mar 17, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

For some reason attachments has been deactivated (used to be right above the Post Message button). The simplest way is to post a link to another site where you post the file. There must have been some abuse or something, because it was a useful feature.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 17, 2010 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 17, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Bill@VT wrote:

For some reason attachments has been deactivated (used to be right above the Post Message button).

It's a security issue they are working on. Hope to get the option back soon.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 17, 2010 0
Explorer ,
Mar 17, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

As PDF Reader is just designed for viewing PDF, you can read, highlight it easily but cannot always copy text from PDF to Word. It is normal.


If you want to copy text from PDF to Word and want to perserve the layouts and hyperlinks, evern graphics, you could use PDF to Word Converter, by which, you can preserve the original contents from PDF to Word. This PDF to Word Converter is a free desktop program providing batch partial and encrypted PDF conversion, which is better than free online software. Just go to try it and hope it helps.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 17, 2010 1
Community Beginner ,
Mar 18, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Good idea.  Here is a link to the file on Google docs.

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0Bxko9yoJfnApZDYxZTI4NzMtNjhmYy00Zjc3LTg1ZWQtZmQxMjU4MGJmNzE1&hl=en

There should be a download link in the upper left corner.

Yes, I know some of the text is in German, but I should still be able to copy and paste the text as it is regardless.  But honestly, my main objective is to be able to search for text within the document.  If there is an error message saying "G2 Fault" I want to be able to search and find all references to this in the manual.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 18, 2010 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 18, 2010

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 18, 2010 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 12, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Simple fix for that file.

1. Change the language to Spanish

2. Save file

3. Reopen file

4. select ALL

5. Paste into Microsoft Word

Hope that works.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jan 12, 2011 0
New Here ,
Mar 24, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Try selecting the text, right-clicking it, and choosing "copy with formatting". This works for me.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Mar 24, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
May 05, 2009

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

One approach is a bit of work, but might meet your need. I saved the file to TIFF (600dpi). I then went through each TIFF to converted it to B&W. I think copied the text to WORD. The result was not perfect, but it was in English and could be clipped. The resolution and the B&W were important to the project completion.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 05, 2009 0
New Here ,
Feb 09, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I had that same issue. What I did was to print the pdf file to CutePDF printer. I was able to copy and paste the text from the new document.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Feb 09, 2011 1
New Here ,
Feb 16, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks Techjf25....Your solution to print to CutePDF worked perfectly and solved an issue that I encounter quite frequently!  Super easy and quick as can be.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Feb 16, 2011 1
Explorer ,
Jul 16, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hey - worked for me too!

Thanks

Chris

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Jul 16, 2011 0
New Here ,
Apr 04, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

A PDF file does not store enough information to enable you to re-create it as a Word document (that's why it was invented, to prevent people copying files).

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Apr 04, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 04, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

That's hardly why the PDF format was invented...

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Apr 04, 2011 1
New Here ,
May 31, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

A PDF file does not store enough information to enable you to re-create it as a Word document (that's why it was invented, to prevent people copying files).

I agree with your opinion, PDF is end or export file and in order to preserve layout and any other content, it is existed independent from OS and applications. It displays like a photocopy of original file and the codes of it is totally different from Word, so there are many uncompatible issues out there.

Basically, a well-tagged PDF file can be copied successfully but the failing instances varies by multiple reasons.  

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
May 31, 2011 0
New Here ,
Apr 15, 2011

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Here's the solution.  When you open the PDF document in "Preview", do not do any "saves" on it before you have copied the data you want to paste into Word.  Before you do anything, Do a "save as" on the document and keep one fresh copy just in case you forget and do a save on it.  Once you do a "save" on a PDF document, it will convert the text to garbage when pasted into Word.  It works. 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Apr 15, 2011 1