How can I convert a document with two columns to just one column

Dear Experts,
I am using an ebook reader to read scientific publications.
Unfortunately they usually have 2 columns which makes the text appear rather small.
How can I join the columns while the text stays in sequence.
The images are not important to me.
Is there a tool which allows to do this for many articles in batch mode?
Thansk,
Jens
LVL 5
allmerAsked:
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redrumkevCommented:
allmer,

How are you doing?

Could you post perhaps 2 examples of what you are trying to do. I do not know the steps off the top of my head, but perhaps I could get a working solution for you if you posted something to work from.

Thank you,
Kevin
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allmerAuthor Commented:
Hi Kevin,
Here are two typical examples:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2105-8-468.pdf
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/322/5903/874.pdf
where the latter is probably more difficult to process.
Jens
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redrumkevCommented:
Jens,

How are you doing?

This is what I did:

- Opened up your document and used the select text tool in Acrobat (looks like an upper case i with an arrow next to it and the word select).
- I selected through the first 4 pages (2 to 5, since the first was an intro in the standard one column format).
- I then copied this text.
- Opened up word and pasted the text in
- Now you could delete anything you don't want (the numbers from the charts, etc).
- Finally, I "printed" to PDF from Word using Acrobat.

See the attached where I have the word paste and then then printed results. I am sure you could adjust the paper size in Word prior to printing it to PDF if you wanted the page to only be say 4 inches wide, or whatever the specifications are that your reader will accept.

Hope this helps,
Kevin

Copy-of-Pages-2-5---Pasted-to-Wo.doc
Copy-of-Pages-2-5---Pringted-to-.pdf
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allmerAuthor Commented:
Looks good.
Is there an alternative which doesn't involve too much handwork.
Some kind of batch tool that would allow this?
It might take too much time to do it for all the documents I am dealing with.
Thanks,
Jens
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redrumkevCommented:
Jens,

The main issue is going to be that you have non-standard formatting from document to document. Lets say you had just the first page of each as an abstract all in one large column (one page wide) and then pages 2 to the end, were in the double columns. You could probably "print to pdf" pages 2 to the end. Then batch all of those left, because they would all be the same format, 2 columns throughout. However, these documents could jump from two back to one column, and so on, which means that they would probably not lend themselves well to a batch run (things would come out incorrectly).

I do not believe that there is a way to run the batch as you think using the pdf printer, however I am sure it could be created programmatically, however the large number of variables (as these documents each have unique formats) will make the programming a mess.

I would suggest asking a new question in the page layout areas, which includes programs like InDesign and QuarkExpress, which might be able to help in the batch aspect, however, since you don't really have a template from which the batch will run on, the results are probably going to be less than stellar and require A LOT of initial work. This work is probably going to be greater than it would be to do these by hand!

Regards,
Kevin
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allmerAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your help.
Unfortunately my problem remains unsolved but later versions of the ebook readers may support better formating it seems.
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