Re: PDF to Word Conversion Tool

Subject: Re: PDF to Word Conversion Tool
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 20:25:45 -0400




JimGroark -at- aol -dot- com wrote:



What *I'm* looking for is something that will facilitate extracting multi-
page tables (or what look like tables) from .PDF files which are hundreds
of pages in length. Then, I want to be able to paste the "tables" into
MS Access or MS Excel, for manipulation.



Jim,

That won't happen. There are no tables in a PDF file. There are just characters positioned on a page, with no tags, identification, or semantic relationships among them. They are only arranged in what appears to be a table because of the way your (table-cognizant) brain processes the image.

What I've found with the tools I've tried is that if the table consists of nicely aligned columns of figures, you stand a fighting chance. If any cells have multiline text entries or if any columns have entries that vary dramatically in length, or if any cells are blank, you can basically forget about it.

If you really need to put the data into tables and you have no access to the original document, the easiest and cheapest solution may be to pay someone to keyboard the data.

Dick




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