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PDF types

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cowboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cowboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: PDF types
    Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 1:06pm
Hello, my PDF background is simply a user, in that I have Reader X to view pdf files, mostly books.

From what I can tell, there are 2 types that I run across, first a real text file, that I can copy/paste from and/or "save as" text, the second is an image file that you can't copy/paste or "save as" text.

I seem to have run across a third type that is an image that I can copy/paste from (haven't tried to "save as" yet as it is a large file)

Can someone fill me in on these different types ??

Thanks
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aandi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aandi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 1:44pm
They aren't really different types of PDF.
 
Every PDF can have some text, or none. And some pictures or none.
Sometimes what looks like text is just a picture.
 
Sometimes a picture has invisible text behind it, so that you can still copy/paste.
 
A PDF can have any or all of these in any mixture.
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aandi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aandi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 1:57pm

Perhaps I can answer a different question: "how can I tell if copy/paste will work for a particular PDF". Sadly, you can't. You can just try it and see.

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Rowan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rowan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 1:58pm
Anecdotally speaking, I've seen people refer to PDFs that have been generated from a scanned paper document (without subsequent OCR'ing) as image-based PDFs and PDFs generated from Microsoft Word (or similar authoring tools) as text-based PDFs.

I guess they are called image-based PDFs because although they look like they might have selectable text, they actually do not.

As aandi has already said, these aren't different types of PDFs -- just a simple (perhaps too simple to the point of being misleading) of describing the state of the text that you can see in a PDF.
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cowboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cowboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 2:28pm
I understand everything that has been said here, except for the one about and image haveing text behind it...

To clarify, I realize "pdf document" is a broad term.
For my use and question, it is for those documents that appear to be text, like books.

I get some frome Google books and other places.
Clearly, especialy with Google, they are images, as when you try to copy/paste
it won't work. Others, are just the opossite in that they will copy/paste....

It was the 3rd type that threw me, while it would let me copy/paste, yet when I tried
to save a portion via "cutepdf" it came out as an image. I guess the "text behind the image"
explains that.

p.s.
the gist of my needs/problem is to have a way to save portions of a pdf text file.
Some times I may want to save 20 pages of a file, and there doesn't seem to be
a way to do that via Reader i.e.(save all or none)
Are there tools where you can do that ? "cutepdf" was one I used.

The second part is dealing with imaged text, what would be the best way to convert image to text?

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Rowan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rowan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2012 at 7:40am
I recently wrote a tips and tricks article for Planet PDF which describes how to use Google Docs to convert a scanned PDF to text, you can read it here:


As far as free solutions go, this is probably as good as you will get at this stage.

As for saving 20 pages of a PDF file, I presume you mean you want to extract 20 pages from a PDF? Just search for a free tools that does PDF splitting. Most PDF splitting tools will let you split by page range. This is technically the same as "extracting", it's just a different term.
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