Re: Editing a PDF

Subject: Re: Editing a PDF
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 08:27:18 +0200

I don't understand...there are many products, including many free
ones, that will extract text and images from a PDF file. For a simple
two-page data sheet, why not simply extract the text, edit it, and
create a new, corrected pdf instead of going through all this grief?

I doubt that should take more than fifteen minutes or so in most
cases--or am I missing something?


> From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 15:54:53 -0500
> Subject: Editing a PDF
> All,
> YES I KNOW...  PDF is not a medium for editing, and I would not do it without arm-twisting.
> But... somebody created a "Product Brief" two-page fact-sheet used for marketing/sales, sent a PDF around for review, and disappeared to Mexico for Christmas.
> There were a few goofs that needed fixing in a hurry and nobody still in the office had the source.
> Guess who inherits the problem.
> So, I'm busily tweaking (and watching, for example, a paragraph not flow when five words are deleted from the middle line...) until I get to a "side-bar" feature summary column on page 2. There's a pair of words that need deleting. Acrobat won't let me use the text edit feature because of the way the selection occurs in that column (first letter of the first word, followed by the third word and a couple of words below them in the column). I blunder fruitlessly through other editing options and stumble upon something in object editing which invokes Adobe Illustrator.  OK, with no other obvious approaches, I make the edit in Illustrator and save the page.
> But that's only page 2.
> So, I select page 1 of the PDF in the same way (which again invokes Illustrator) and save page 1 as well. Then I open the individual page one in Acrobat and combine it with the individual page two to recreate the fixed two-page Product Brief.  Yay!  Saved the day!
> Whoops...  Somehow, Illustrator or Acrobat Pro 9 decided to shrink the second page by about half a centimeter in width, compared to the first page.
> It's no big deal this time, because the file is going with an agency submission of some sort and is not being sent to a print supplier at the moment.  But, for future reference:
> a) Is there a way I could have done the edit in Acrobat?
> b) Is there a way I could persuade Acrobat or Illustrator to not shrink the second page?
> c) Is modern Illustrator any better at this than the ancient Illustrator CS that I've got?
> HINT: A convincing option "c" would help me to justifying an upgrade...   ahem...
> Kevin McLauchlan
> Senior Technical Writer
> SafeNet, Inc.

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