Conversion of PDF to Word?

Subject: Conversion of PDF to Word?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Keith Hansen <KRH -at- weiland-wfg -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 07 Jul 2008 13:32:37 -0400

Keith Hansen wondered: <<What is the best way to convert a PDF file
into a Word file?>>

The best bet is to use the source file that was used to create the
PDF. That eliminates one format conversion, and the more of these
conversions you can eliminate, the fewer conversion artifacts you'll
have to fix. Better still, if the creator software used styles
properly, you can automate the cleanup of many problems simply by
globally updating style names or replacing existing styles with your
own styles. Of course, the original document isn't always available,
in which case:

<<And I mean a good conversion--not just converting the PDF's text
into Word, but getting the Word document to resemble the original PDF
closely in every aspect: images, formatting, etc.>>

You're always going to lose information because that's the nature of
the beast. Too much information is lost when you convert a document
into PDF, particularly if the creator downsampled images and did
other optimizations.

However, depending on what was used to create the PDF, it may be
possible to get slightly better results. My recollection (check
this!) is that InDesign does embed some style information and can
reopen its own PDF files, and ditto for files created using the
Acrobat toolbar in Word. (The latest version of Acrobat allows round-
tripping of revision tracking into Word.)

No details on this -- just vague memories that might be wrong, but
that would be worth pursuing if they're semi-accurate.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Conversion of PDF to Word: From: Keith Hansen

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