Recommendation of PDF Converter

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This post has 39 Replies | 5 Followers

Posts 10
David E. Heine | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Feb 28 2012 7:44 PM | Locked

I have been playing with the Personal Book builder.  I am using the Wondershare PDF Converter to go from PDF to Word docx files.  I am encountering problems with messed up margins and faulty table conversions.  So, I think I need to explore other options using a different PDF converter.  Can anyone suggest one that seems to do a great job?

I can print out the PDF document with no problems, but viewing the Word docx files I see a lot of problems.  Logos is making a small fix to help me, but I think I need to see better Word docx files.

I am really looking forward to building Logos versions of several PDF documents I have to take advantage of the linking to Bible verses.

Thanks

 

Dave Heine

davidheine2@___.com

Posts 19262
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 28 2012 8:14 PM | Locked

David, you might want to edit your post and remove your email address from it, unless you don't mind receiving spam. Spambots regularly scan forums like this for email addresses. Click the "More" button beside your post and choose Edit. This command is available for a few hours after you post; after that you can no longer edit.

I've used ABBYY FineReader Pro which has a "Convert PDF/Images to Microsoft Word" feature. It's quite pricey at $169.99, as it does a whole lot of other stuff too. But I'm guessing their $79.99 PDF Transformer does what you want with the same high quality as the full ABBYY FineReader Pro.

Posts 258
Aaron Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 28 2012 8:20 PM | Locked

Try Zamzar! Works great. http://www.zamzar.com/

Posts 11934
Forum MVP
NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 29 2012 2:51 AM | Locked

David E. Heine:

I have been playing with the Personal Book builder.  I am using the Wondershare PDF Converter to go from PDF to Word docx files.  I am encountering problems with messed up margins and faulty table conversions.  So, I think I need to explore other options using a different PDF converter.  Can anyone suggest one that seems to do a great job?

I'm using Calibre (which is free and converts not only PDFs but a lot of other ebook formats as well), save as RTF and open in Word to make PBs. I tried quite a number of free converters as well as test versions of for-pay products, Calibre was the only one working even remotely satisfactory for me. However I've not tried tables etc., so make your own experiences - I think these tools differ quite a lot depending on the source of the PDF (scanned pages versus printed or saved from another app [and which one], heavily formatted or not, embedded pictures, charts etc).

Mick

EDIT (posted too fast): Dave, you may want to edit your post and remove the email addy - spambots have been known to harvest open forum pages for future recipients of advertisements.

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 29 2012 3:01 AM | Locked

David E. Heine:

I have been playing with the Personal Book builder.  I am using the Wondershare PDF Converter to go from PDF to Word docx files.  I am encountering problems with messed up margins and faulty table conversions.  So, I think I need to explore other options using a different PDF converter.  Can anyone suggest one that seems to do a great job?

I can print out the PDF document with no problems, but viewing the Word docx files I see a lot of problems.  Logos is making a small fix to help me, but I think I need to see better Word docx files.

I am really looking forward to building Logos versions of several PDF documents I have to take advantage of the linking to Bible verses.

Thanks

 

Dave Heine

I like Nitro Pro.  Note, note only is it not free, it is $$$$$$$$$$.  Still, it does the best job for me by far.  

 

Posts 10
David E. Heine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 29 2012 11:11 AM | Locked

I tried Calibre and found it did not transfer graphics and it could not handle tables.  Here is note from their WEB site:

 

PDF documents are one of the worst formats to convert from. They are a fixed page size and text placement format. Meaning, it is very difficult to determine where one paragraph ends and another begins. calibre will try to unwrap paragraphs using a configurable, Line Un-Wrapping Factor. This is a scale used to determine the length at which a line should be unwrapped. Valid values are a decimal between 0 and 1. The default is 0.45, just under the median line length. Lower this value to include more text in the unwrapping. Increase to include less. You can adjust this value in the conversion settings under PDF Input.

Also, they often have headers and footers as part of the document that will become included with the text. Use the Search and Replace panel to remove headers and footers to mitigate this issue. If the headers and footers are not removed from the text it can throw off the paragraph unwrapping. To learn how to use the header and footer removal options.

Some limitations of PDF input are:

  • Complex, multi-column, and image based documents are not supported.
  • Extraction of vector images and tables from within the document is also not supported.
  • Some PDFs use special glyphs to represent ll or ff or fi, etc. Conversion of these may or may not work depending on just how they are represented internally in the PDF.
  • Some PDFs store their images upside down with a rotation instruction, calibre currently doesn’t support that instruction, so the images will be rotated in the output as well.
  • Links and Tables of Contents are not supported
  • PDFs that use embedded non-unicode fonts to represent non-English characters will result in garbled output for those characters
  • Some PDFs are made up of photographs of the page with OCRed text behind them. In such cases calibre uses the OCRed text, which can be very different from what you see when you view the PDF file

To re-iterate PDF is a really, really bad format to use as input. If you absolutely must use PDF, then be prepared for an output ranging anywhere from decent to unusable, depending on the input PDF.


Doesn't sound to reassuring!!!  I'll keep looking.  Nitro Pro users on Amazon are complaining LOUDLY about the Activation problems.  So far ABBYY PDF Transformer looks like a good candidate.

Posts 903
Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 29 2012 11:41 AM | Locked

I've also used a bunch of the free, kinda-free, and not free PDF converters.  The best, IMHO, is from Adobe (the folks who invented the PDF format), who charge a paltry $20 per year for the service.  Take a look HERE for the particulars.

Adobe:
  Adobe ExportPDF makes the most of richly formatted PDF files with the ability to preserve paragraphs, tables, images, and even multicolumn text..

 

"I read dead people..."

Posts 808
Kevin Maples | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 29 2012 12:10 PM | Locked

I'm using ABBYY FineReader Pro. It works great!

Posts 10
David E. Heine | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2012 7:52 AM | Locked

I found this WEB site with a lot of good recommendations:

 

http://www.freewaregenius.com/2010/03/06/how-to-convert-pdf-to-word-doc-for-free-a-comparative-test/

Posts 769
Alan Charles Gielczyk | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 7:26 AM | Locked

Has anyone found a converter that will handle the footnotes correctly?

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 7:54 AM | Locked

Alan Charles Gielczyk:

Has anyone found a converter that will handle the footnotes correctly?

I haven't, and I don't think we will because a pdf is more like a file that is sent to a printer than any other document.

Posts 2887
Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 7:35 PM | Locked

tom collinge:
I haven't, and I don't think we will because a pdf is more like a file that is sent to a printer than any other document.

I do certainly be such a program could be written, but, alas and alack, I haven't found it yet.

 

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 421
Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 10:16 PM | Locked

Alan Charles Gielczyk:

Has anyone found a converter that will handle the footnotes correctly?

Alan,

I used Adobe Acrobat Pro to convert an issue of Themelios (downloaded from the Gospel Coalition) from PDF to Word. The footnotes look right, but the program didn't recognize the footnotes for auto-numbering. It is a two step process per footnote in Word to make them right.

Every few sentences in the body text, had a character that was assigned the wrong format.  Word's fast format fixed most of these.

Regards,

Scott

Posts 226
Michael A. Lasley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 13 2012 8:27 AM | Locked

Try the products from Solid Documents of New Zealand.

I use Solid PDF to Word for the Macintosh.

PC

http://www.soliddocuments.com/pdf/-to-pdf-a-converter/307/11

Macintosh

http://www.mac-pdf-converter.com

 

Posts 1526
Forum MVP
Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 14 2012 4:17 AM | Locked

Alan Charles Gielczyk:

Has anyone found a converter that will handle the footnotes correctly?

I use ABBYY FineReader 11, and it handles footnotes quite well - not perfectly, but it get's most of them and converts them to real footnotes. It also exports to Kindle and automatically tries to create a Table of Contents and footnotes in Kindle as well. It does surprisingly well.

Posts 56
Fred Robbins | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 14 2012 1:49 PM | Locked

MS Office will convert word documents to PDF files. It works great.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 14 2012 2:28 PM | Locked

Fred Robbins:

MS Office will convert word documents to PDF files. It works great.

Fred, just a fyi... most people on these forums want to convert a pdf file to a word document so he/she can create a personal book.

Posts 1918
Robert M. Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 14 2012 7:08 PM | Locked

In case it will be helpful, I will point to a post at my neglected little blog (link in last line of my signature) where I detail how I convert a number of formats into Word for the purpose of making Personal Books. For PDFs specifically, see the last half of the post. It is assumed that long, tedious instructions will not cause you to lose your will to live. Sleep

I'll have to check out ABBYY FineReader for the preservation of footnotes, which none of my solutions do.

Windows 10 (L9 Beta) | Android 9 (phone - L9 Beta) | Fire OS 7 (tablet - L9 Stable)

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 17 2012 7:51 AM | Locked

I loaded the ABBYY converter, trial mode. I have a 26 page PDF document (less than the 50 page trial size) which it appears to convert. But I can't seem to get it to save on docx format to verify it. It does say it can only save 1 page in trial mode; how useless? How am I to verify whether footnotes work on a document I am interested in?

No way I buy this without testing. I have seen too many converters which really have limited success and are not worth the money.

Posts 2887
Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 17 2012 2:09 PM | Locked

If ABBYY handles footnotes in conversion, I will buy it, too.  Let us know if you find out

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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