Re: PDF to Word Conversion Tool

Subject: Re: PDF to Word Conversion Tool
From: letoured -at- together -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 21:05:09 -0400


Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net> said:


>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.

The trouble is that is that keying in numerical data makes errors -- and he
has hundreds of pages to do.

I don't know if this can be done in windows, with hundreds of pages to deal
with it might be worth a try; IBM's OS2 comes with tiff printer driver. You
can print a file to it and get a multi-page tiff file at fax resolution. I've
then used an OCR program, like TextBridge in the training mode to correct the
data, and saved it to a format needed.


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