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How to spell check a PDF file

Community Beginner ,
Jun 02, 2012

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I like to have the ability to spell check a PDF file. For the most part what I see is that some Adobe products allow spell checking while inputting into a  field. I want the main file to be checked. (I produce my PDF files from a TeX document and so this is a second check past the editor of TeX. The presence of code in the TeX document makes it occasionally hard to see the errors.)

Is the best alternative to convert to WORD and check the document there?

And while on the topic is there is homonym checker? As in flagging there, their, they're.

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How to spell check a PDF file

Community Beginner ,
Jun 02, 2012

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I like to have the ability to spell check a PDF file. For the most part what I see is that some Adobe products allow spell checking while inputting into a  field. I want the main file to be checked. (I produce my PDF files from a TeX document and so this is a second check past the editor of TeX. The presence of code in the TeX document makes it occasionally hard to see the errors.)

Is the best alternative to convert to WORD and check the document there?

And while on the topic is there is homonym checker? As in flagging there, their, they're.

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Jun 02, 2012 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 02, 2012

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PDF is not designed to be an editable file format, so it doesn't make sense to have a spelling or grammar checker for the page content itself. We have spellcheckers for form fields and comments, but checking the static page content is the job of whichever application you used to create the PDF in the first place.

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Jun 02, 2012 0
New Here ,
Sep 11, 2014

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Yes but what if the pdf file was generated automatically by another application based on data input into several fields? This is my issue. I have no way to spell check within the application and I don't know how to check the pdf output.

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Sep 11, 2014 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2015

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Press the F7 key or use "Edit => Check Spelling => In Fields, Comment, Editable Text"

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Jan 07, 2015 0
Contributor ,
Jan 08, 2015

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For whatever it's worth, I "worked around:"  exported the pdf file to word, then spell-checked the word file.

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Jan 08, 2015 2
Community Beginner ,
Dec 17, 2015

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I disagree, PDF is designed to be virtual paper and if people have an expectation to use it as such then it makes sense to be able to spell check a PDF for any time that a supervisor wants to double check what a worker is doing.  I have people here that don't even see flagged words in spell check, and our accounting software doesn't have spell check at all.  So I read every invoice on paper and mark it up for the bookkeeper to correct. I actually came to the adobe forums today to see how to spell check a PDF document, fully expecting that there would be a way to handle this virtual paper in an speedy electronic fashion. (the box idea below will probably work for me but I was really hoping for a one click solution so that I could delegate to my bookkeeper)

Is there a link for feature requests like the Apple feedback link.

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Dec 17, 2015 4
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 17, 2015

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If you're interested, I've developed a tool that allows you to perform a spell-check on the actual contents of a PDF file. It can be purchased here:

Custom-made Adobe Scripts: Acrobat -- Spell Check Suite

If you want to make a feature request you can do so here: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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Dec 17, 2015 1
New Here ,
Dec 14, 2017

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Does it spell check in Spanish?

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Dec 14, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 14, 2017

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Yes, if that dictionary is included in your installation of Acrobat.

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Dec 14, 2017 0
New Here ,
Sep 29, 2016

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That's a cop-out answer. In reality, there's no good reason Adobe doesn't have a spell checker. I perform a lot of reviews in PDF documents. It's a noticeably deficient tool.

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Sep 29, 2016 3
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 29, 2016

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Using an opened document in Acrobat press the F& key to bring up the Spell Check AdId in window.

SpellC.jpg

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Sep 29, 2016 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 29, 2016

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But that only works for form fields and comments, as is mentioned in the dialog window...

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Sep 29, 2016 1
New Here ,
Mar 11, 2018

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I agree. It is astonishing that the pdf file format is essentially the only choice for widely readable digital paper. The file format is not the problem, but the Adobe Reader software and the Adobe company are definitely a huge drag on the efforts to move towards a world that uses less paper.

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Mar 11, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2016

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I have at least one more good reason to want to check spelling in a PDF file. To save hard drive space I've been compressing huge PDF files (File > Save as Other > Reduced Size PDF). A lot of the compressed files end up unusable because some characters (even fonts, in a few cases) become garbled in the process. I'd like to use a spelling checker to see if a file has such garbled characters, in which case I have to keep the one with the huge file size.

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Dec 03, 2016 0
New Here ,
Dec 07, 2016

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A very limited viewpoint.

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Dec 07, 2016 0
New Here ,
Sep 15, 2019

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7 years later, Adobe is still using this an a lame excuse.

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Sep 15, 2019 1
New Here ,
Sep 15, 2019

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7 years later Adobe is still using this excuse, although now I have an "edit pdf" button in DC.

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Sep 15, 2019 1
New Here ,
Dec 03, 2019

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This answer was and is divorced from reality. In my organization, we constantly are generating PDF files of InDesign documents for review by internal stakeholders and our writing/editing team. We certainly aren't going to send around the source IDD file for review, and it's counter to the point of editing and proofreading to always expect a designer (not a writer or editor) to remember to proof the document.

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Dec 03, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 07, 2020

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What a useless answer.

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Oct 07, 2020 0
fquinnc LATEST
New Here ,
Nov 19, 2020

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Yes, but one of a PDFs primary functions is also to create markups...which is somewhere where spellcheck would be immensely useful inside of Acrobat.

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Nov 19, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 29, 2015

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Converting to Word is sometimes problematic for me, not sure why -- so today I'm trying something new:

In Acrobat (the "About" thing says my copy is Acrobat Pro DC Version 2015.008.20082), under Preferences > Commenting > Making Comments, I checked the boxes for "Copy encircled text into Drawing comment pop-ups" & "Copy selected text into Highlight, Strikethrough, and Underline comment pop-ups."

Then I reduced the viewing size of the PDF to 50% (it's unreadable, but that doesn't matter), and then —

Having decided to use the Draw Rectangle tool, I'm drawing a big box around a whole page of text, or as much of a page as I can, and then doing the "Edit => Check Spelling => In Fields, Comment, Editable Text" thing.


It seems to be working faster than Word has, for me. (I get a lot of mangled text when I convert to Word.) And I hope the dictionary is pretty darn good.


I'll still read the entire PDF word for word, and in some places letter for letter, but I do need a spell-check backup, because after a few pages of very close reading my eyes get tired. Acrobat isn't always a lot of fun for editors/proofreaders, but it helps me earn my living, and it's a lot easier to use than it was a few years ago.


Will let you know in a couple weeks if this is working for me.

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Jul 29, 2015 1
Community Beginner ,
Jun 09, 2017

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This would be nice I agree. When reviewing someone else's PDF it would be a great first no-brainer step.

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Jun 09, 2017 3
New Here ,
Mar 14, 2020

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Another possibility is saving the PDF document using Save As Text and then spellchecking the txt file.

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Mar 14, 2020 2