copying from pdf comes out in single column

Community Beginner ,
Jan 07, 2011 Jan 07, 2011

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Hi,

I recent turned 3 word documents into PDFs using the "Print" feature on my mac from within Word. Two of them came out great. The third one LOOKS great, but when you try to copy the text from the PDF and then paste into a Word document (or notepad or anywhere!), it appears with one word per line, like one long column.

It

ends

up

looking

like

this!

The other two PDFs copy and paste just fine. We do want our users to be able to copy and paste parts of these documents, and I can't figure out what is different about the third PDF. Even if I just highlight two words in the middle of a sentence and try to paste those, they still show up in a column format with one word per line.

Any ideas how to get rid of this without actually retyping the entire Word document?

Thanks so much in advance!

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LEGEND ,
Jan 07, 2011 Jan 07, 2011

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You may want to ask this quesiton in the Mac forums (apple.com). It's probably not Adobe REader doing it but more of something in the

creation process which is all Apple.


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Community Beginner ,
Jan 08, 2011 Jan 08, 2011

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I think this is an adobe issue not an Apple issue. Plus, the apple forums have no forum for software questions like this. Does anyone else have any idea for me? Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 15, 2011 Mar 15, 2011

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I'm having the same problem on Windows XP. This is not just a MAC problem.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 15, 2011 Mar 15, 2011

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Here's something that works for MS Word files, but it doesn't work for Text files. if you copy a block of text from a pdf and paste into a Word doc, and it pastes as one word per line, you can do the following:

1. select the pasted text in the Word doc.

2. use the Replace function, select replace all,  ^p with ^s

This will convert one word per line back to a normal text paragraph.

I still don't know what I did to cause spaces to be interpreted as line returns by default when copying pdf text to Word, text, or Excel files. This did not happen in the past. How annoying.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2011 Mar 16, 2011

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Thank you SO much...this is amazingly helpful!

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Guest
Apr 18, 2012 Apr 18, 2012

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You just saved me hours of frustration and unnecessary work, rrich3!!  Thanks a ton!!

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New Here ,
Apr 19, 2015 Apr 19, 2015

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Thanks man!!

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016

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It worked - once I figured out what ^p & ^s are.

For anyone who, like me, is more or less computer illiterate:

Open your word document where all the text is in a single word column

Go to the 'replace' function in the top right corner (if you can't see it, expand the document to fit the whole window)

.Replace function.png

Select 'Replace' and then select 'More' from the bottom left of the pop-up window if it isn't already expanded.

More.png

Select 'Special' from the bottom of the expanded pop-up window.

Special.png

From the pop-up list, choose 'Paragraph mark' (1st on the list) for the "Find what" field.

Then click 'Special' again and choose 'Nonbreaking space' (14th on the list) for the 'Replace with' field.

The 'Find and Replace' window should look like this:

Replace all.png

Click "Replace all".

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 20, 2011 Mar 20, 2011

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Here's some more info for someone to resolve this issue:

The one-word-per-line problem only seems to occur when copying text from a pdf that was created using "MAC OS X 10.6.6 Quartz" .  I have two pdf documents from different sources that had been created using this application that had the "one-word-per-line problem". I have six other pdf's that were created with various "non-Apple" pdf producer software that did not have this problem. So, this issue looks like it is related to Apple's pdf producer software. BTW, you can check the pdf creation softwware by selecting File/Properties in the pdf.

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New Here ,
Nov 01, 2012 Nov 01, 2012

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I have been having the same trouble with the text being displayed as a column of text when I copy paste it from a pdf into TextEdit. From my detective work it seems to be connected to when a pdf is made of a document containing the font Calibri. Don't know what the solution is other than not to use Calibri in a document that is at some point going to be reformatted to a pdf.

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New Here ,
Jul 17, 2013 Jul 17, 2013

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Amazing to see this problem is STILL alive and well!

I am having the exact same problem on BOTH a Windows 8 system running Adobe Reader 10.1.7  and a Mac OS 10.7.5 system running Acrobat Pro 9.5.5.

I was attempting to cut from a PDF and paste into a WordPress site via Firefox, and also tried to paste into MS Word 2013.  Always saw the same results using the same and various PDFs, and the lady in the cube next to me has the same problem.  Both of us tend to have lots of windows open in lots of apps.

Interestingly, I did not have this problem yesterday on the Mac performing the exact same task from the same PDF on the same computer.

The 'solution' is:

Shutdown then power up the computer, then open ONLY the programs you NEED (Acrobat and the destination of the paste).  This worked on both the Win 8 and Mac computers!!

IMHO, the best solution is to never use any Adobe products!! 

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New Here ,
Feb 07, 2014 Feb 07, 2014

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This is still occurring. I'm using Acrobat XI Pro, and Mac OSX 10.9.

If you have trouble copy/pasting out of a PDF in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, just use Preview instead. Producing a PDF on a Mac and then reading / copying / pasting from Preview works as expected.

The "every word on its own line" problem only occurs when copying from an Adobe PDF-reading product.

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New Here ,
May 18, 2015 May 18, 2015

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Admdikrmr,

This was an excellent suggestion:

"If you have trouble copy/pasting out of a PDF in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, just use Preview instead. Producing a PDF on a Mac and then reading / copying / pasting from Preview works as expected."

So simple, yet perfect.

Much Appreciated!

Brad

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New Here ,
Feb 19, 2016 Feb 19, 2016

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If you don't have access to Preview application on MacOS, try opening the pdf in Chrome browser. I was able to copy then paste my content to Excel without the carriage returns. Using Windows 7 OS.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 03, 2015 Jul 03, 2015

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Just save your PDF as a "Rich Text" file and this will fix the single word issue.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2017 Feb 01, 2017

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Open this document in Safari and copy text from the browser. It just worked fine for me. I spent a half of the day trying to solve this problem. Hopefully, It works for everyone.

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