Best way to convert PDF to RTF

Ti
Timotheus
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Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:10 pm Post

What is the best way to convert PDF to RTF? Or rather, the best application for this task? I have some experience only with iSkysoft, but there might be better options around.
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br
brookter
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Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:31 pm Post

Your signature says you have Devonthink -- I use the Pro Office version, which can convert PDFs to RTF (and plain text). I can't remember which of the other versions do as well, sorry.

The conversion quality depends on the quality of the original OCR, of course, but it works well enough most of the time.

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AmberV
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Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:44 am Post

Scrivener itself has a simple conversion tool (very likely identical to the one you get from DEVONthink as I bet they use the same macOS tools we do), with Documents/Convert/Convert PDF to Text. You’ll get better quality in general with a copy of Acrobat Pro, and perhaps some other dedicated PDF readers/converters as well.
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lu
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Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:14 pm Post

I use MS Word, it works very well

Ti
Timotheus
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Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:30 pm Post

Thanks all for your answers!

@ brookter: I had forgotten Devonthink also has this feature; and it works pretty well, I must say.

@ Amber: I had never seen this option in Scrivener; thanks for making me aware of it.

@ lucadj: I have the latest version of MS Word for Mac, but I can't find this option in it.
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devinganger
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Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:19 am Post

Timotheus wrote:@ lucadj: I have the latest version of MS Word for Mac, but I can't find this option in it.


It's not a specific option, per se. Open your PDF in Word, Save As as RTF.
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Ti
Timotheus
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Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:03 am Post

OK, Thanks!
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lu
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Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:19 am Post

devinganger wrote:
Timotheus wrote:@ lucadj: I have the latest version of MS Word for Mac, but I can't find this option in it.


It's not a specific option, per se. Open your PDF in Word, Save As as RTF.



I'm afraid that only Word for Win can perfectly convert a PDF to a document :-(

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devinganger
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Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:42 pm Post

If by "perfectly" you mean "every detail is the same as the PDF" -- not even Word for Windows does that.

But when you're converting to RTF, I believe the intent is not to preserve every detail of the layout, but the content (text, pictures, etc.) in a format that is more amenable to copy/paste/edit. Word for Mac is more than sufficient for that.
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jc
jcarman
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Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:08 am Post

Most important for me is line spacing and the text itself. Is that faithfully reproduced?

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AmberV
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Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:57 am Post

The only way to know is to try, it really depends on the PDF. Again a PDF can a page of text typewritten with a Smith-Corona—literally just a picture of ink on wood pulp. Some PDFs are deliberately sabotaged with “copy-protection” meaning dozens of junk characters are inserted as invisible letters in between every visible character. And some PDFs work great, and you’ll even get a little formatting as well depending on the converter.

But in my experience: expect to always have to spend a while cleaning it up. At the very least you may have to strip out page numbers and other headings, fix text that was in floating boxes, etc.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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