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At some point you might be asked to sort of reverse-engineer a PDF so that the contents can be used in another application. In this situation I have a PDF that was generated from Adobe InDesign, which is a page layout program, but my friend has Microsoft Word and she needs this layout in Word. She wants it to look just like this. She wants all the text to look the way it does. She want to be able to use these images. In the past this was an absolute nightmare to try to do this, but Acrobat 11 Pro has substantially improved abilities to convert this to Microsoft Word.
And there are two routes you can take. Under File you can choose Save As, and then you can choose as your option Word Document (docx), the DOCX file, or the older format, the plain- old .doc file. Or you can do it another way, and this is my preferred way. It does exactly the same thing, but it's right here within Acrobat, without having to go out to your directories. Under File > Save As Other, there it is, Microsoft Word. And I can choose Word Document, which is going to be the DOCX file, or I could choose the older format.
In this case she has the newer version of Word, so she wants the DOCX format. So when I choose that I'm just going to save it on my desktop. Now let's take a look at the settings. Retain Flowing Text versus Retain Page Layout, what does that mean? If I retain flowing text, there's a chance that the line breaks on the text might change, but it's a little more easy to edit it. Under Retain Page Layout, it might put in hard returns in order to keep the line breaks the same, and that might make it a little challenging to edit. Either way, it's still editable text, but you might try it one way and see if you like it.
If you don't like the results, then try the other option. We want to include the images. There aren't any comments on this PDF, but if there were, they would survive the trip back to Word. And if necessary, if this was a scan, it would run OCR. Now keep in mind we're not going back in time. We're not pulling the Word file out of the PDF, because it doesn't exist in there; we're repurposing this content and trying to maintain the look of the PDF. So when you click OK and save, you'll see a little progress bar. And now I when I take a look at it in Word, it's a very faithful rendition of that PDF.
The text is completely editable, and notice that I can select it. I can select an image and if I need to crop it or move it or if I need to put in a new image, I can do it. So it's as if it was created in Word, but it came out of that PDF. Now, a couple of things you have to consider. I mentioned the hard returns in order to maintain the line breaks. That's one thing. If you tend to use styles in Word, and I hope you do, you're going to find that there aren't any useful styles here. You'll notice it's just normal; all the text is going to say normal. So even though--or body text in this case-- even though in the original InDesign file there were style sheets used, those don't survive the trip into a PDF, and they certainly don't exist when you try to pull that content out of the PDF.
But still, this is going to give her a wonderful head start. She's now going to have to just take little pieces and start over; she has a usable layout with all the content she needs, and Acrobat has made that really easy.
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