6 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2010 6:43 PM by wattscott

    Can't copy text as text


      Hi all,

      A user of mine has Mac OS X ver 10.6.3 and Adobe Reader ver 9.3.0. He can no longer hightlight and copy/paste text as text. He can hightlight and copy/paste as an image, but not text. I can't find a setting anywhere to correct this. This functionality works on my Windows machine but not on his Mac. Is this intended or am I missing something?



        • 1. Re: Can't copy text as text
          ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          It could be that the PDF they are copying from is a scanned imaged (picture of text).


          Can you copy/paste text out of the exact same PDF?

          • 2. Re: Can't copy text as text
            moium Level 1

            That was it. Thank you graffiti. I forgot all about that option.


            Mark Oium

            TRU Informatics Manager

            Medical College of Wisconsin

            9200 W Wisconsin Ave


            414.805.2051 (office)

            414.557.6168 (pager)

            • 3. Re: Can't copy text as text
              Level 1

              The truth is that you cannot copy text from PDF on your windows and Mac OS and preserve all the formats and elements, meanwhile. It is normal that you fail to copy text as text from PDF files on your Mac.


              The good way you wanna save PDF text as text is referring to PDF to Text converter or PDF to Word Converter. It is depends on your needs. Anyway, as you use Mac OS, you may know that there are seldom apps can help you do that work, from my experience, I suggest www.zamzar.com or PDF to Word on Mac, which is a desktop application definitely designed for Mac users. Of course, you can have a try about Open Office. It is hard to see which one would be the best. It is up to you.

              • 4. Re: Can't copy text as text
                ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                You working for those people wattscott? You mention it in every post.


                Those products won't work anyhow. The PDF is a scan. They need an OCR application.

                • 5. Re: Can't copy text as text
                  Level 1

                  I have checked out the question again and really notice that what they said is scanned PDF. I feel sorry to provide inaccurate answer for the poster. As you said that, if he wanna copy text from PDF, he should firstly transfer scanned PDF to normal PDF using some OCR software, then he can copy only text from PDF using Adobe Reader. Google is good buddy and it would help he find some free software which really work.

                  • 6. Re: Can't copy text as text
                    Level 1

                    Searching on Google and I find many OCR  applications can do the work for you. I have made a simple test among them and suggest OCR Terminal, which can directly help you save PDF text as Text. Besides, you can freely use it for work in some extent. Check it out.