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How to save an editable Word or PDF document

Posted on 2014-08-26
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Last Modified: 2016-05-09
I have a legal document at

http://www.masslegalhelp.org/housing/legaltactics1/discovery-get-information-prepare-for-trial.pdf

 which I need to edit.  If I copy/paste  the part of the pdf I want to edit (from page 3 to page 15) into a Word Document, I only get the first page (page 3), not p.3 thru 15.

 And the original pdf (pathname above) seems to be non-editable yet some menus at the top left like "Sign it" imply it is editable.

 Question: How do I get an editable copy of p.3 thru 15, either Word or PDF?

 Note: If I could get all of p. 3 thru 15 into a Word document, I would be done as Word Documents are intrinsically editable. But I only get the first page. For a padf as a solution it must be editable.

 Mike
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Question by:mgross333
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 40286756
Hi you cannot select all pages and copy and paste, the clipboard will only receive the first page selected hence you only get page 3.

So all you need to do is select each page and copy/paste into word inserting page breaks in word as you go (CTRL+ENTER)

As for edtiability, a PDF is not editable using Reader unless it is Reader enabled and then the author decides to what level. Here in this case it is simply to sign the document. It is otherwise not protected. You can check in File>Properties whether there is security...

If you have Acrobat Standard or Pro you can save to Doc or even TXT and open this in Word.

Small edits can also be made in Acrobat Pro with the Edit text tools but they are only suited to small typo edits and not layout changes

Saying that you need to observe copyright restrictions so you should only do this if you have the right to do so.
hth
capt.
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 40286877
captain,

It appears you have considerable technical expertise in this area. Can you use that to help me vs telling me what I can not do. Note: I do not have access to Adobe Acrobat on my PC so I can not save to Word.

The original pdf appears to be 100% non-editable. Can you use a 3rd party converter that can convert it to a 100% editable pdf or Word file and post tthat file in your next reply.

Regarding " in this case it is simply to sign the document.  there I a lot more on  p. 3 and 15 than just signing it and these lines need to be entered. As this is a legal doc, In would prefer to not fill in by hand these lines.

Regarding " You can check in File>Properties whether there is security...
" I have checked and there is no security.

Mike
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LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 1000 total points
ID: 40286894
Hi Mike,

For PDF to Word, I've had good (not perfect) results with this free online tool:
http://www.pdftoword.com/

If you prefer a local install, I've also had good (also not perfect) results with this free tool:
http://www.boxoft.com/pdf-to-word/

You may get better results with non-free products. I've gotten better (but still not perfect) results with Nuance's PDF Converter Professional (current version is 8, but see comment at end):
http://www.nuance.com/products/pdf-converter-professional/index.htm

Although the list price is $100, the street price is significantly lower:
http://www.amazon.com/Nuance-Communications-Inc-M109A-G00-8-0-Professional/dp/B0084PK8CS/

The first link in this post is to the (free) Nitro cloud. Nitro is a well-known name in PDF tools and their Nitro Pro (current version is 8) has a PDF to Word feature:
http://www.nitropdf.com/pro/features/convert-export

There's a free trial, but at $120 is not cheap to buy. I've never used it, so can't vouch for its performance. However, it uses the same engine as the online tool, which I have used and is very good, so I would expect the same of Nitro Pro.

One more non-free product (but reasonably priced at $39) is CAD-KAS's PDF to Word:
http://www.cadkas.com/downengpdf9.php

I haven't used this product, but I have used their PDF Editor Objects, which is excellent. Based on the quality of PDF Editor Objects, I think that their PDF to Word is worth a try, and there's a free trial:
http://www.cadkas.com/pdf2word!.exe

I've been on previous threads here at EE where other experts have recommended these three (free) online tools:
http://www.convertpdftoword.org
http://www.pdfonline.com/pdf-to-word-converter
http://www.wondershare.net/pdf-converter/pdf-to-word-converter.html

I can't personally vouch for these, but based on the positive comments from other members, I'm passing them along for your consideration.

No matter which way you go, keep in mind that PDF-to-Word conversion is tricky business – maintaining the formatting/layout is tough stuff! I haven't found anything that is perfect, and results vary from one document to the next. So my suggestion is to put some, or all, of these products on your short list for evaluation. If you're concerned only with the one doc you mentioned, then your task is simple. If you have other docs, then define a few test docs – your docs! Compare the resulting Word files to see which, if any, of the tools produces Word files that are satisfactory.

Since you asked for a post with a conversion to Word, it is attached. I used Power PDF Advanced to create it. Power PDF is the new, replacement product for Nuance's PDF Converter that I mentioned earlier. There's a 30-day free trial here:
http://www.nuance.com/for-business/document-imaging-and-scanning/power-pdf-converter/index.htm#resources

Regards, Joe
discovery.docx
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ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 40286924
Hi Mike


It appears you have considerable technical expertise in this area. Can you use that to help me vs telling me what I can not do.

I understand that, hence I explained the issue that copying selecting all pages does not work but selecting one page at a time will. My comment on document enablement, which is what authors do to give restricted access to PDFs via Reader, refers to what is enabled by the Author for you to edit. Which is literally nothing even though there are fields, the author chose to ONLY enable Signing. And this is where we are in a grey area of what the author wants you to do with the document and what you want to do for convenience, hence my copyright note.

I was merely giving you some background and the quickest solution to your problem without third party software and with what you have right in front of you, I hope you have not overlooked it in my answer :)

Failing that Joe has some good links to free or paid converters. Some of these will do a reasonable job if the copy and paste of the individual pages does not work for you.

hope this helps
capt.
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 40287021
Captain,

Please provide links to paid converters as copying and pasting 16 pages from PDF into word will take a while.

Mike
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40287062
> Please provide links to paid converters as copying and pasting 16 pages from PDF into word will take a while.

In case you missed it, please read my post <http:#a40286894>. Lots of paid and free converters. I also posted a DOCX of your converted PDF using one of the paid ones.
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 40287124
Joe Winograd,

Your converted discovery.docx is fine except the check marks in the original PDFs I(square with an x in the middle at the left of selected lines) are not converted properly. Can you fix that in a new discovery.docx?

Because the whole point of a legal discovery document is the recipient must respond to the checked lines or sections so this matters.
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LVL 57

Accepted Solution

by:
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 1000 total points
ID: 40287185
That's typical of the kind of problem that occurs in PDF-to-Word conversion and why I said earlier that it is tricky business and tough stuff — and that nothing is perfect. But now that you have a Word doc, it is easy to edit. Simply delete each set of "fl" characters and insert an empty box or a check-mark box, as appropriate. The boxes are symbols in the Wingdings font. The empty box is symbol 111 and the check-mark box is symbol 253:

wingdings boxes
Should take you less than a half-hour to fix up the doc. Regards, Joe
0
 
LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 1000 total points
ID: 40288036
One other thought. After inserting each symbol once, you no longer have to use the Insert Symbol technique — simply copy/paste each symbol. I did the first page for you to match the PDF (items 1-6). Of course, you may want different items checked in your particular situation. In any case, now you simply double-click the box you want (to select it), copy it to the clipboard (Ctrl-C), delete the "fl" characters, and do a paste (Ctrl-V). I recommend doing this first for all of the unchecked boxes and then making a second pass for all of the checked boxes. That way, the desired box stays on the clipboard for the entire pass so you have to Ctrl-C it only once at the start of a pass and then simply Ctrl-V it in wherever needed. I attached version 2 of the converted doc to get you started (it has the boxes in items 1-6 matching the PDF, so you don't have to fool with the Insert Symbol technique using the Wingdings font). Regards, Joe
discovery-v2.docx
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40290867
I trust by now that you've copy/pasted all of the checked and un-checked boxes into the items where you want them (and deleted the "fl" characters) in my v2 of the discovery DOCX. Do you need help with anything else on this project? Regards, Joe
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:Eric Fletcher
Eric Fletcher earned 1000 total points
ID: 40291534
For Joe's converted document, you can use Find and Replace instead of copy & paste. After you've copied the 1st instance, open Find & Replace. In the Find what box, type "^wfl " [without the quotes: ^w represents white space (in your case either space or tab); the fl characters; and a space). In the Replace with box, type ^c [which represents the contents of the clipboard]. Click Replace All.

This will replace all of the fl instances with the checked box. Do the same sort of thing to handle the unchecked boxes.

Note that fl can occur in text (i.e fly, duffle, etc.) so you need to isolate it. Since the converted document has a combination of number-space-symbol-space-copy and number-tab-symbol-space-copy, I've used the ^w token to represent any type of white space. You can see all of the options in the F&R's "Special" button.

After testing several alternatives, I use the Nitro product to convert from PDF to Word. It does a pretty good job, but you need to watch for things like the digit-tab vs digit-space inconsistencies noted above. For large documents, I do the conversion, then apply a custom template with the styles I will need. I can then use the Style Pane Options dialog to show direct formatting as styles so I can use the Styles dialog to select all similarly formatted content at once to apply the style that best matches. (Tip: If you set all text to a color first, you can tell which content did not get a style applied because it will remain colored.) This can save a huge amount of effort compared to manually applying styles — or, worse, trying to resolve formatting inconsistencies without using styles.
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40412099
Hi Mike,
I'm trying to clean up some open questions and noticed that we haven't heard from you in two months on this one. Please let us know where things stand. If you're still having issues, what are they? If everything is resolved, please select the solution(s) and close the question. Thanks very much, Joe
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 41577747
@frank

You ignored/overlooked my answers which pave the road to the others. :(

C'est la vie...
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:frankhelk
ID: 41584591
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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