SUMMARY: exporting text from PDF

Subject: SUMMARY: exporting text from PDF
From: Abby_Schiff -at- factset -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 16:51:48 -0500

Hi Techwhirlers:

Last week I posted a question to the list about exporting text from a PDF.
Many kind (and very well-informed) folks replied. Alas, some last-minute
Y2K-Mania has officially broken loose around here so I haven't been able to
try any of these yet.

I look forward to investingating the following options as soon as Y2K-mania
subsides. (NB: if civilization collapses and Spam becomes currency, all
bets are off.)
Jim Groark:
I got a demo copy of Pit Stop from Enfocus, but it was very expensive
to purchase and didn't seem to be a standout performer. I ran across a
description of a product called Aerial, which sold for well under $100,
but couldn't find a reseller quickly enough.

Finally, I bought the Acrobat package. Acrobat 4.0 is much improved over

What you have to do is use the "formatted text" selection tool to copy
text other than columns or tables. Then paste the text into a Word
document using "Edit", "Paste Special", "Formatted Text". Columnar
text must be copied using the Acrobat "text columns" tool, and tables
using the "tables" tool.

It's fairly labor intensive, but it's better than any other method
I've found.

Carl Young:

As previously mentioned, Acrobat 4.0 includes a page-at-a-time converter.
See for their line of whole document

Sheryl Edwards:

You can copy from the PDF and paste to NotePad to get TXT (I was using this
to test for embedded True Type font problems - heiroglyphics instead of
letters in a conversion of company info to TXT by an outside company).
Gemini software is what the outside company is using to export PDF to HTML
then TXT for our info as I understand it. That is all I know about this.

Kaya Balke:

There is a website that lets you do just that. Unfortunately, I can't find
the url right now, but a search on "converting PDF" or something similar
might find it for you. I'm pretty sure that it was NOT an Adobe site. If I
do find the url, I'll send it to you.

Larry Scott:

There is no way to do this from Acrobat itself. However, there is a 3rd
plugin that can export to RTF. Its called Aerial and is available from a
called Infodata. It is available as a demo download (30-days) from The RTF export isn't perfect - but at least it can be
into Word or whatever app you use.

Be aware that as far as I know Aerial only works with Acrobat version 3 not
new version 4.

Thanks again - this list is amazing!

Abby Schiff
FactSet Research Systems Inc.

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