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How to extract text in columns from a .pdf

Jul 20, 2009 11:18 AM

I have a .pdf document that is laid out in columns.  I have tried exporting to plain text, saving as a .doc file, and copy/paste-ing highlighted text.  In each case, the text comes out tangled.  That is, it reads a line across all three columns.  So the text from the three columns is tangled together and very tedious to separate and paste back into the correct order.


I extract alot of text from .pdfs but have not run into this issue before.  Is there a way to fix it?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2009 4:47 PM   in reply to SoniaCB

    It used to be possible to select text in columns. I am unsure that feature is still available. Without the pdf file being created with the proper tagging information from its creator application, I'm afraid you are in for a lot of pain. The only thing that might help is to repeated crop the columns the different columns on the page and copy from the cropped pages.

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    Jul 20, 2009 9:55 PM   in reply to SoniaCB



    For selecting text from column, you can use select tool in column select mode. For this, go to Tools> Select & Zoom > Select Tool. Thereafter, press Alt button and drag to select the desired column. Pressing the Alt button with Select Tool activates its Column Select Mode.




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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 22, 2009 1:01 AM   in reply to Swati_S

    I am going to have to try that on one of my newer versions (not this machine). I thought they had dropped the column select, but apparently just hid it! Thanks.

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