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export to excel result unreadable

Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2016

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I'm exporting a monthly credit card statement to excel (xlsx) format. Part of the resulting converted file look fine. The part that has the detail transactions appears in the proper column formatting but the actual dates, amounts, and descriptions are not readable. It's as if the underlying data is encoded in a format that excel does not understand...for example, it might be in 2-byte encoding. Any idea whether I can tell the export to use a different encoding OR is it an option that has to be handled within excel OR is it a but in EXPORT?

Correct answer by Claudio_González1 | Most Valuable Participant

Obviously, the fault is in the specific PDF file, and you are doing all that you can do. Good look.

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export to excel result unreadable

Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2016

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I'm exporting a monthly credit card statement to excel (xlsx) format. Part of the resulting converted file look fine. The part that has the detail transactions appears in the proper column formatting but the actual dates, amounts, and descriptions are not readable. It's as if the underlying data is encoded in a format that excel does not understand...for example, it might be in 2-byte encoding. Any idea whether I can tell the export to use a different encoding OR is it an option that has to be handled within excel OR is it a but in EXPORT?

Correct answer by Claudio_González1 | Most Valuable Participant

Obviously, the fault is in the specific PDF file, and you are doing all that you can do. Good look.

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Jun 18, 2016 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 18, 2016

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Hi cellist_01

Could you please let us know the Adobe service you are using to export PDF to excel format.

If possible could you please also share the screenshot of the PDF and the excel file you get after exporting PDF.

Regards,

Meenakshi

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Jun 18, 2016 0
Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2016

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Meenakshi,

Thanks for replying.

The service is called Adobe Export PDF and I am accessing it via Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Tools.

In my original post, I showed an example of a line from the pdf and the corresponding line from the excel file. I copy-and-pasted the lines into the text of my question. Now that I go back and look, I see that the example lines were lost. (They

showed while I was composing the text of the question!)

I won't be able to show the entire pdf, as it contains sensitive information but I can attach a screenshot of some of the problem lines.

Phil

credit card screenshot of lines from excel.JPGcredit card screenshot of lines from pdf.JPG

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Jun 18, 2016 1
Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2016

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Here are the excel lines again with the rows resized to show the text more clearly.

credit card screenshot of lines from excel-resized rows.JPG

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Jun 18, 2016 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 18, 2016

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Without further information, my guess is that the author of the file used a font that isn't in your system and that wasn't properly embedded in the document.

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Jun 18, 2016 0
Explorer ,
Jun 19, 2016

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The file is created by the credit card company. I'll see if I can find out more about the specifications of the file and report back what I find.

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Jun 19, 2016 0
Explorer ,
Jun 21, 2016

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I've contacted the credit card company (bank). The pdf is created by software from TargetStream StreamEDS. I asked them: What is the character encoding? ans: we don't know. Is the file encrypted? ans: if it is encrypted then you would need a password. (in other words, "we don't know."

I've contacted TargetStream. They disavowed any knowledge of this particular file and suggested I contact the bank.

Looking at the data with a hex editor, it seems that the encoding might be EBCDIC. I'm trying to find a tool that will convert it to ascii, which is what EXCEL needs.

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Jun 21, 2016 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 22, 2016

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Obviously, the fault is in the specific PDF file, and you are doing all that you can do. Good look.

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Jun 22, 2016 1
Explorer ,
Jun 24, 2016

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@Claudio

Do you know how to submit an enhancement request to Adobe?

I'm sure the conversion process pdf->excel is complicated, but it seems that since Adobe understands the internal structure of the pdf far better than any third-party, they could find a way to identify areas of the converted file that are based on images rather than text. If so, it would seem that their process could reserve a column of the output for a flag that would basically say "this(these) row(s) is(are) rendered from an image using OCR and it (they) may not be readable as text." Then, the user could decide whether to remove them from the excel file. It might even be an option that the end user chooses when requesting the conversion.

In my case, I want to be able to automate (at my end) as much as possible, the process of coming up with a useful spreadsheet. For other bank statements that I deal with, I currently use a process that goes something like this:

     1~ excel-file-from-adobe-export ->

          2~ saveas csv ->

               3~ perl-extract-useful-data-as-csv ->

                   4~ open-csv-in-excel ->

                         5~ manually-process-excel-file

Best case scenario, steps 2,3,4 are automated.

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Jun 24, 2016 1
Explorer ,
Jun 29, 2016

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@claudio I spoke with the credit card company (bank) technical support again.

They provide two types of statement PDFs.

The one I've been discussing here is specifically designed to make it more accessible on a mobile device. Some of the data contains information that will enable the mobile device user to use voice and speaker to access the statement. The reason for the EBCDIC encoding is to enable interaction with the file using both the Adobe Reader software and other (non-Adobe) reader software.

The other type of statement is for non-mobile-device use and is not encoded in EBCDIC. I have no problem converting that type of file (to EXCEL) on my PC with the Adobe Export service.

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Jun 29, 2016 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 29, 2016

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Thanks for all the extra information. Suggestions for improvements are best posted here: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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Jun 29, 2016 1
New Here ,
Aug 02, 2016

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send to where? I am having the same problem with BofA statements and will gladly send you thge files if I only knew wehere to send them...

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Aug 02, 2016 0
New Here ,
Sep 28, 2016

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I just bought Adobe's Export PDF for a year to make my data entry and sorting easier and I've been struggling with this for more than an hour. The BOA statements come out in Greek. Did you ever find an answer to your problem?

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Sep 28, 2016 1
New Here ,
Jul 18, 2017

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After spending an entire day trying to figure this out and thinking there was an issue with my system fonts, I found a work around.

I'm on a mac but I imagine the equivalent steps would work on a PC.

I open my bank statement as a pdf and take a screen shot (command+shift+4) of just the sections I want (my Bank of America statement has sections with logos, etc.) and save those to my desktop. I then open each one in Preview or your image viewer and export them as a pdf, giving each one a name like Feb page1, Feb page 2, etc, so I know the correct order they appeared on the statement. I then combine the new pdfs in Acrobat, making sure pages are turned the same way and in the correct order. Then take the new combined file pdf and export it as an excel file...voila, works like a charm and saved so much time.

Best,

George

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Jul 18, 2017 0
jfc-june LATEST
New Here ,
Sep 16, 2017

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Found a solution,

1 - Open the PDF file you wish to convert

2 - Use File > Print (Using Microsoft Print as PDF instead of your actual printer)

3 - Save a copy of the PDF and name as needed (I just name it 1.pdf for January, 2.pdf for February, etc.)

4 - Open your new file with Adobe Acrobat

5 - Convert to xlsx

This should result in a legible copy of your statement. Using Print as PDF will also allow you convert locked pdfs to Excel format. I had an issue with a statement that was locked or perhaps in a view-only state and using Print as PDF allowed me to convert this to excel for data extraction.

Hope this helps someone!

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Sep 16, 2017 0
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