Comparison - Adobe Reader 11 vs. Word 2013 converting PDF files

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Oct 27 2013 1:49 PM

I tried to find a public domain PDF file with images, links etc. to do  test case, and post for everyone to see - Adobe Reader 11 PDF conversion, vs. Office 2013. What I used is just a Thesis Guide from a college. If I have violated any copyright laws that I missed, let me know and I will delete this. Also, if you have a PDF you want me to try, post it here and I will run with both Adobe and Word 2013 so all can see. 

All I did was convert, I did no editing after.

To me, the Adobe version looks cleaner - more incorrect white space in the Word version, to the eye the Word version does not quite look as close to the original as the Adobe. But let us know what you think!

I have attached the original source file here:

8053.thesisguide.pdf

This is the Adobe converted docx file (you can tell by the name starting with Adobe):

2664.adobe - thesisguide.docx

This is the Word 2013 conversion of the original PDF:

8203.word - thesisguide.docx

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 27 2013 2:11 PM

Thanks for sharing Don. I don't have a good PDF converter so I am particularly interested in this topic. Adobe Read 11 seemed to do an excellent job.

On another note I appreciate these files but didn't realize how large they were until I downloaded them.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 27 2013 3:13 PM

Don,

thanks, very interesting. While the former PDF has a nicer "look" in the Adobe conversion, viewing the documents in outline view shows that Word understands much more about the document structure. 

However, while your example is worthwile, it misses some crucial elements that a PDF converter I'd be willing to pay for would include:

  1. proper handling of footnotes. Those numbered things sometimes in smaller script that people tend to put at the end of pages or (brrr) of documents
  2. proper handling of footnotes. Indespensable for converting almost anything that's worth to make a PB from
  3. proper handling of footnotes. Especially since all the other stuff that's interesting for me is handled more or less okay in free converters, who all suck at seem to have some slight problems with footnotes.
  4. Greek (and to a certain extent, Hebrew) text elements, since these seem to be sprinkled into theological texts all over.
  5. Call-out boxes or whatever they call them where text flows around or which are placed into wide margins. (From your example I'd expect Adobe to treat these better than Word)
  6. Pictures, maps or the like. Obvious and also a point like #3 above
  7. finally, not to be forgotten: proper handling of footnotes. 

For a nice target, you could compare Adobe and Word converting a Themelios issue (PDFs free from gospelcoalition).

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Paul Strickert | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 27 2013 3:39 PM
Take 2.
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Paul Strickert | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 27 2013 3:42 PM
Not sure if I did it right.
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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 27 2013 5:54 PM

NB.Mick:

Don,

thanks, very interesting. While the former PDF has a nicer "look" in the Adobe conversion, viewing the documents in outline view shows that Word understands much more about the document structure. 

However, while your example is worthwile, it misses some crucial elements that a PDF converter I'd be willing to pay for would include:

  1. proper handling of footnotes. Those numbered things sometimes in smaller script that people tend to put at the end of pages or (brrr) of documents
  2. proper handling of footnotes. Indespensable for converting almost anything that's worth to make a PB from
  3. proper handling of footnotes. Especially since all the other stuff that's interesting for me is handled more or less okay in free converters, who all suck at seem to have some slight problems with footnotes.
  4. Greek (and to a certain extent, Hebrew) text elements, since these seem to be sprinkled into theological texts all over.
  5. Call-out boxes or whatever they call them where text flows around or which are placed into wide margins. (From your example I'd expect Adobe to treat these better than Word)
  6. Pictures, maps or the like. Obvious and also a point like #3 above
  7. finally, not to be forgotten: proper handling of footnotes. 

For a nice target, you could compare Adobe and Word converting a Themelios issue (PDFs free from gospelcoalition).

Sure. if you can post or link to a PDF you would like converted I'll run the same convert on Adobe and Word and post it!

Posts 334
Paul Strickert | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 28 2013 9:02 AM
Are you able to convert a PDF of scanned pages into Word format for editing? I'm able to do the conversion but the resulting .docx file is not editable. I checked the Adobe forum and other users have reported the same problem.
Posts 2844
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 28 2013 9:12 AM

I am not up to speed on the Abode discussions going on, but I can tell you that taking a scanned document and converting to docx format is significantly more difficult to do. It depends on:

- your scanner - some scan images some scan in OCR form and can convert to text. Adobe can text an image in pdf and convert to an image in docx, but you won't be able to index it in Logos, as there are no characters/text.

-the quality of the scan - being able to scan a document and convert to text with all the imperfections, distortions from previous copies etc., requires a more expensive scanner than most have.  

Conclusion, if you have a really good and expensive scanner that can convert to OCR, you can probably scan it directly into DOCX format (I know of ones that do this) - you don't even need to convert pdf -> docx.

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mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 28 2013 2:49 PM

have you tried Adobe Acrobat XI ?

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/pdf-to-word-doc-converter.html

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 28 2013 5:59 PM

I am using the online conversion as part of Acrobat XI

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Robert M. Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 31 2013 11:10 AM

NB.Mick:
converting a Themelios issue

There's an interesting phenomenon when converting a Themelios issue. Headings and titles that are formatted in all caps will convert back to plain text. Apparently when the document as prepared these elements were type in mIXeD UpPer anD lOWer cASe letters and then formatted in all caps (intentionally or otherwise). I've notice this with other PDFs in Word and other PDF converters. (Perhaps there's a setting I don't know about.) Of course, this is for demonstration purposes, since one could pony up 2 bucks for an issue (after waiting a while) and avoid a lot of work.

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Titus Carpenter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 29 2014 11:20 AM

I appreciate your work in investigating the differences between these two options. The only question I have is simply, how you actually do the conversion to Word with Office 13?  I'm using a Mac with OS X Maverick 10.9.5.

Thank you!

Titus

Posts 1
HANIF NOOR | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 12 2016 2:00 AM

 I've notice this with other PDFs in Word and other PDF converters. (Perhaps there's a setting I don't know about.) Of course, this is for demonstration purposes, since one could pony up 2 bucks for an issue (after waiting a while) and avoid a lot of work.

NOOR

Posts 621
Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2016 9:55 AM

Don Awalt:
To me, the Adobe version looks cleaner - more incorrect white space in the Word version, to the eye the Word version does not quite look as close to the original as the Adobe. But let us know what you think!

Thanks for posting this Don. I'll just say that I have been using the pdf converter in word but there are some pdfs that it just can't cope with. I've invested in a subscription to Adobe and so far it has managed all but one (and that was Hebrew lol), The English texts I've converted have all worked fine. It would be useful if there was a batch function on it but no great shakes and it does  produce very tidy results - even when processing pdfs that were converted 2 pages to a page originally - very neat :-) 

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Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2016 9:55 AM

Don Awalt:
To me, the Adobe version looks cleaner - more incorrect white space in the Word version, to the eye the Word version does not quite look as close to the original as the Adobe. But let us know what you think!

Thanks for posting this Don. I'll just say that I have been using the pdf converter in word but there are some pdfs that it just can't cope with. I've invested in a subscription to Adobe and so far it has managed all but one (and that was Hebrew lol), The English texts I've converted have all worked fine. It would be useful if there was a batch function on it but no great shakes and it does  produce very tidy results - even when processing pdfs that were converted 2 pages to a page originally - very neat :-) 

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2016 11:46 AM

Don,

THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

I have tried so many things in converting PDF files to docx for personal books.  I have used the latest Microsoft Word, Adobe's online subscription service for PDF conversion, Calibre, and so forth and so forth.

After reading this thread, and info, I decided to check out Adobe Acrobat DC (Cloud), which is different from the Adobe subscription service I had used before.  In fact, I am now using the free trail, and it will cost $19 per month to continue after the trial month.  It will be worth it.  This is a giant step forward.

I have been working and working on converting PDF files of the three volumes of Francis Asbury's Journal and Letters.  The work has hundreds and hundreds of valuable footnotes.  I have never had much look in converting footnotes.  WITH ABODBE ACROBAT DC, THE FOOTNOTES WORK PERFECTLY WITHOUT EDITING!  The documents need only light editing.  Acrobat DC is not perfect, but a huge, huge improvement over Microsoft or the old Adobe subscription, or Calibre, or anything else I have heard of.

I now have a great version of Asbury's Journal and Letters among my personal books, with FOOTNOTES!  I think about a year ago I got permission to share this once converted.  I need to double check that, and be sure before I do.  Also, I have not proofread the book, but looking through it, it is very light editing that is needed.  And did I mention the footnotes work - hundreds and hundreds of them?

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

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