5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2013 12:27 PM by Bill@VT

    pdf to word conversion: corrupt equations


      I had a word document (doc format) full with difficult equations. I converted it to pdf format.

      At this stage everything looked perfect.

      Then I needed to convert it back from pdf to doc.

      Now, this time most of the equations looked awfully.

      So the resulting word document is completely unusable.

      (Not to mention the annoying fact that the equations are no more in the original editable format.)

      Please, suggest some solution, I need an assistance urgently.

      See a screenshot for example below.


      New Picture.jpg

      This was the promise:

      New Picture (1).jpg

      ...and this is the truth:

      - No time saving, as complete retyping needed for the equations.

      - In the exported word document the equations are not editable.

      - No page and font attributes maintained for equations.


      I got here by the link below:

      If you have a technical problem using your product and need immediate assistance, please contact us.


      I am still hopelessly waiting for the "immediate assistance" for more than 4 hours.

        • 1. Re: pdf to word conversion: corrupt equations
          Phillip M Jones Level 4

          Did you save the original word file?


          You should never ever depend upon on conversion tool (whether standalone or built into Acrobat) to convert from PDF back to word.


          As long as its text and the pdf was created from text. it usually comes across okay. even then you have to turn on The ¶ button and  remove many cariage returns in sentences  To get it back to being an editable word Document.  The converter is meant for times when you given a PDF and not the original and you need to make serious changes. The only way then is to create a Word file from it. If it’s a scanned document to PDF it won't work because it’s a picture not text.


          1. My suggestion would be print a copy of the PDF.
          2. Convert to word
          3. Completely wipe out the line lines of equations and retype them  in Word.
          4. Once you get everything Perfected, make you corrections Then save the document as  either a DOC or DOCX file for safe keeping.


          Never ever depend on the ability to convert back from PDF and not save the original.  Makes no difference if your using a Windows Machine or a Mac. Never depend on a Converter they are for emergency situtaions only.

          • 2. Re: pdf to word conversion: corrupt equations
            cserezol Level 1

            Thank you, Phillip,


            I do have the original word documents. The problem is that they reside on a local computer network, which is unavailable from outside in the weekend. However some urgent changes would be needed in the weekend time. It is about many long pdf documents full of equations, so the retyping is practically unfeasible in one day time.

            Otherwise, maybe I was too naive to think that the conversion would be relatively easy also from pdf to word.

            Anyway, the situation is given, and seems to be a bit hopeless for me this time.

            I do not even have an option to share the correction task with others because the contents of the documents are highly confidential, as they contain the solutions for challenging mathematical exercises for a set of secondary school competitions, which will be organized shortly.

            It is frustrating that Adobe ExportPDF seemingly offered a complete solution not mentioning any risk of problems related to equations. It is also frustrating that Adobe also offered "immediate assistance", but it turned out that the support needed is only available in weekdays time.

            Once more: we are not talking about scanned documents, but documents which have been successfully converted previously from word to pdf.


            Any further suggestion is welcomed.

            Now I try to manage the impossible: to manually retype everything.


            Thank you once more for dealing with the issue.


            Best regards,

            • 3. Re: pdf to word conversion: corrupt equations
              Phillip M Jones Level 4

              Have you tried converting the Document then just erasing the equations and retyping those in.  The text part of the document should convert fine.

              • 4. Re: pdf to word conversion: corrupt equations
                cserezol Level 1

                Yes, exactly that is what I have just started doing.

                What makes the process burdensome is the fact that there are hundreds of equations. And as I see, even the textual part is not always correct. Some word separating spaces are missing.

                What still frustrates me, is that in order to make some minor changes I have to carefully retype all the equations, not just one or two which are affected.

                • 5. Re: pdf to word conversion: corrupt equations
                  Bill@VT Level 7

                  A lot also depends on the way the PDF was created. To get the word locations and layout correct, you need to use PDF maker (the create PDF option in WORD) to create the PDF. That adds tags that can be used to backup. I will help with equations too, but not very much. You are asking for something to back out the equations that Acrobat does not recognize as equations. Acrobat may structure some of it based on the equation being a graphic of sorts (depends on the version of WORD and the equation editor used -- WORD or MathType). In any case, I would go back to the lab or where ever and try to get the original WORD document for the revisions. An alternative would be to convert to WORD and then edit ONLY those pages that need revision and then cut-and-paste when you are back in the lab.


                  With the results you are seeing and your feelings about the results, it is a good thing you only paid $19.97 and not the full cost of Acrobat. You would still be disappointed and very mad. Actually, AA XI does the best I have ever seen for conversion back to WORD, but it still has a lot of issues such as equations, and they may never be totally solved.


                  You can also use the snapshot tool in Acrobat to pull a graphic of the equations back into WORD. However, you are not dealing with Acrobat and so you do not have the tools.