Monday, January 11, 2010

Sick of PDF files you need to translate?

Here is a tip from the Globalisation Group:

If you did not create the original file, you may need some additional help locating it. Here is a tip to help identify the format of the original file and its location. In the PDF, press Ctrl+D or go to "File">"Properties..." and read the "Description" tab.

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Several fields in this tab can be prove useful. As highlighted in the above image, the source file format may be revealed by the "Title" (name or file extension), "Application," or "PDF Producer" fields. The file may have been created by Word, Excel, PowerPoint, InDesign, Illustrator, Frame Maker, Quark, or any number of applications. Also, clues to the location of the original file may be revealed in the "Author" or (rarely) the "Location" fields. The properties are not guaranteed to include the information you need 100% of the time, but more often than not, they will at least point you in the right direction.

If the PDF file is actually a scanned image, then hopefully the properties will give you a clue as to which scanner was used. Then you'll need to contact the individual who scanned the file to identify whether or not an editable electronic version exists so that you can take advantage of the many benefits listed above.

Alternatively, if the PDF is a scanned image, you can use OCR software such as OmniPage, or ABBY, and then convert the file to a Word document. Be careful though: MS Word files converted from PDFs have been known to drive CAT tools up the garden path.

You can get these nifty tips from the Globalisation Group by subscribing to their newsletter.

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