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results from Acrobat paper capture cause word to freeze

Posted on 2009-04-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Win XP
Acrobat 9 Standard
Word 2003

I've scanned a handful of documents (printed emails, FWIW) to a 10-page PDF. Fairly clean results, all text, no graphics, a bit of formatting to deal with, but nothing that OCR shouldn't be able to handle.

Using Acrobat 9 Standard, I ran OCR Text Recognition from the Document menu.

Trouble is, when I try to extract the results, other applications completely melt down.

For example:

Select Text Tool > copy all text to clipboard > paste into new Outlook message > freeze

File > Export > Word Document > open the resulting word doc > freeze

Have tried sending the resulting Word doc to other computers and they get the same thing. Word starts behaving much the same way as when it tries to open a heavily formatted/poorly formatted/corrupt document.

I can, however, use the Select Text tool to copy out of Acrobat and paste into Notepad, then copy/paste out of there into wherever I want it, but it's tedious. I've also had limited success copying one sentence or one small paragraph at a time directly into into Word or Outlook.

I understand that:
1.OCR is more art than science
2. going from PDF to Word is akin to unscrambling an egg
3. there are other products other than Adobe that handle it with more finesse

...but is there a way to export OCR'd text from Adobe in one step without Office freaking out? Maybe some settings that I'm missing?
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Question by:pc3000
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9 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 24324645
Have you tried the "Save As" function in Acrobat? You should be able to save as text, RTF or MS Word document.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Jim P.
ID: 24344790
Have you tried using MS Office Document Imaging instead?

I just tried it and it looks like it works fairly well.
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Accepted Solution

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pc3000 earned 0 total points
ID: 24346083
@khkremer: The "Export" function in Acrobat 9, as near as I can tell, simply invokes a "Save As" dialog with .doc pre-selected as the file type. They essentially do the same thing. But just to be sure, I tried a straight Save As, and I'm still getting the same result.

@jimpen: Wow, I didn't know MS Doc Imaging did OCR. I just tried it...It does work pretty well. But it looks like you've got to go through the hoops of converting to TIFF...too many steps for my users who are programmed to use PDF for everything.

Update: just tried re-creating the problem. Without having done anything, the problem seems to have improved somewhat. I can now copy directly out of Acrobat using select-all, and paste into Outlook with no issues.

I can also open the Word doc created using the Save As/Export from Acrobat.

The only segment that's still a problem is copying out of that Word doc and into Outlook. Still getting freezing with that.

But since I have a viable workaround (which actually involves fewer steps), I'll go ahead and close the questions unless anyone has more suggestions.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Jim P.
ID: 24346101
Pretty much out of other ideas. Go for the close.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 24348450
Have you tried exporting in RTF format? There seems to be a problem with copying and pasting some of the data - very likely not the content, but some formatting data. By going to RTF, you may be able to filter out the "stuff" that gives you problems.
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Author Comment

by:pc3000
ID: 24358304
Ah, didn't think to try RTF. Will give it a shot.
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Author Comment

by:pc3000
ID: 24366840
Nope, still get the meltdown with RTF. I can open the RTF file, but when I copy all text to the clipboard, the CPU peaks at 100% for about a minute, then subsides. Pasting into Outlook then causes both Outlook and Word to freeze and go Not Responding.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Jim P.
ID: 24366933
Grab a copy of Sysinternals and do a filemon/regmon and see what is going on. It may be a bad install.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx
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Author Comment

by:pc3000
ID: 25521393
jimpen

Was able to reproduce the problem on a different PC with a fresh install of all products. Going to close the question with my workaround and/or take it up with Adobe. Thanks guys!
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