Solved

Scan image to editable PDF

Posted on 2003-11-04
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I don't normally use PDFs (for anything other than graphic design) or Acrobat so forgive any verbal butechery that ensues.

I'd like to know if it is at all possible to scan in a blank paper form (say a job application) and convert it to a vector/text PDF file.  Then make it editable so that a user can fill it out on their computer after downloading it.

If this is possible, what methods/software are necessary/recommended?

Thanks for all of your help,
Sincerely,
-47
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Question by:Agent47
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19 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 9683006
Well, yes, and no. It's generally not a good idea to use OCR on a page where formatting is key, like a job app or a form. It's better to re-create the form manually and in the process integrate PDF forms into it. InDesign or Illustrator and Acrobat are all you need.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9683019
Display of Ignorance: What is OCR?
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 9683027
Optical Character Recognition. It's the process of converting scanned text into editable text.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9683077
Ahh.. tricky.  

I'm actually asking for a co-worker.  I had offered to create the forms for her manualy, as I create my own PDF files for graphic projects but she needs 50+ Official forms in editable PDF to enable her to fill them out on the computer.

I just ain't gots that kinda time!  :)
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 9683100
Well, she's not going to get editable forms by scanning them in. She'd have to do alot of editing on each page to get it to an editable point.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9683122
Kind of what I figured, but I just wanted to see if there was any way we could avoid having to re-create the forms as some of them are official government forms and crap like that.

Crapsticks.

Well, I must say: I appreciate your confirmation!
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Assisted Solution

by:antonieraj
antonieraj earned 65 total points
ID: 9684644
Hi

The Scanned Image pdf can be converted into Editable PDF with Acrobat paper Capture plugin
with availble from Adobe site

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=1907
[It is also available in Acrobat 5.05 as additional tool in the CD]

IF u have Acrobat 6 - Papercapture is inbuild in the Application

some visual usage of paper capture plugin is available in this site...
http://www.wfu.edu/~yipcw/atg/adobe/acrobat/adobe-acrobat-paper-capture.htm



IF u go for OCR - for converting Image PDF to Text PDF.

check this site
http://www.abbyy.com/

for ABBYY FineReader 7.0 . Full functional Trail - version is availble in the site. where u can convert Image pdf to Text pdf and can also replace the fonts in the text pdf.

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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 9684706
Any OCR (including Paper Capture Plugin) on a complex form isn't going to cut it. Youll still have to define the form fields.
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Assisted Solution

by:erhanb
erhanb earned 20 total points
ID: 9688799
It'll probably take you less time to do it from stratch than to edit it. And after you've edited it, it won't be scalable at all.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9688976
Crap on a stick!

Just when I thought I got what I was looking for, it looked as though it wern't.

Tell you all what I'm gon' do.  Since there isn't really a 'correct' answer to this post, I'm just going to divvy up the points now.  Especially before anyone else gets in here and dilutes them.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your help.


Sincerely,
 Agnet 47
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9689007
Um, on this new site, how do I divide points?
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Accepted Solution

by:
webwoman earned 100 total points
ID: 9690050
Does she actually need to EDIT it or just fill it in?

If all she needs is the capability to fill it in, you don't NEED OCR. You can scan it as a graphic, and create the form fields in Acrobat. Those are what get filled in, NOT the actual form.

Big difference.

If she actually needs to make changes to the FORM, you wouldn't do that in Acrobat anyway -- you'd do that in Word, or some other word processing/page layout program.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9690093
Basically, I'm just looking for a solution to enable her from having to print and type (with a typewriter, remember those :D) the forms out individually.

So if it's possible to scan in a doc and create form fields, thereby enabling the form to be filled out on a computer, that would be gravy.  For clarification, webwoman, you just confirmed that my need is possible?

-47
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Assisted Solution

by:weed
weed earned 65 total points
ID: 9690133
She's still going to have to manually define the fields.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9690161
Ahh... i get it now.  Alright.  She can do it, but she'll have to manually edit the fields.

I don't think she'll mind doing that, seeing as once it's done, she'll be able to fill them out on the computer.

It would beat the hell out of hoaving to fill out the same form repeatedly via the artifact that is a typewriter.

ALSO: How do I divvy points on this newfangled (and broken on MAC OSX) EE Site?

thx, -phore-t-7
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 9690311
There's a button near the comment field for splitting points.

Not broken here under OS X. Ugly, but not broken.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9690392
I freely use "broken" and "ugly" interchangably when it comes to appearance 'cause this definitely ain't what I'd call "fixed."

:)

4 tea 7
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 9691319
She'll also need the FULL version of Acrobat, NOT just the Reader. The full version costs -- about $250 US (unless she qualifies for an academic discount). Well worth it though. She'd be able to make PDFs from just about anything. Basically, if you can print it, you can make it a PDF. Doesn't matter what app, or if you have output from multiple apps. You can set security on it too.

It's a really great utility. Totally easy to use (unless you're doing really advanced stuff with scripting). I've taught people to create forms, bookmarks, etc. in less than an hour.
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Author Comment

by:Agent47
ID: 9695220
Sah-weeet!  Yeah, I think we've got Acrobat kicking around the office somewhere.  Thanks WebWoman.  You are the 'Woman.   :D
0

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