So you have some important data all caught up in a PDF file. A PDF is a document that has been committed to its format and most likely cannot be opened for editing or copying unless the author has allowed that.
How do you convert that PDF to text? You could print it and try and scan it back into your machine using a free OCR software or you could grab this awesome little application called PDF Text Extractor.
We have covered several applications for retrieving data from the confines of a PDF document but this application concentrates on the text. If that is what you need ““ your text and nothing but the text – then this is the program for you.
Let’s take a look at it and how it can convert a PDF to text.
I started by downloading and installing the program. It was a quick process and the MSI installer file was about 1.13 megabytes. When I ran the application this is what I saw:
This is a really easy layout and graphical user interface ““ simply select the PDF you would like to convert to plain text. Then you select the folder you want the converted plain text file written to. You can type in a full path for each or hit the button next to the blank field to browse.
When you are ready your window will look something like this:
Now our PDF document that contained our text ““ the text that we need to reformat and put into a manual is in a file. That file looks like this before we begin:
7 full pages of text, text and more text. That would be a lot of typing for poor Betty our departments secretary. So I went Googling and found our little application. I fired it up and hit that magic convert button. Literally it took 2 seconds and then a window popped up that said it was complete:
I went looking in my d:\ drive for the file. I actually realized I had no idea what it was called or what the extension would be. I sorted the files by date created and found what i was looking for:
I opened the text file up and as you can see above the files name seems to always be TextFile.txt. The contents of the text file were just that”¦.all of the text that I needed! Yeah!
This is what I saw:
My formatting was not 100% there but all of the glorious text was and now it is a just a matter of copying, pasting and formatting. Nowhere near as big of a job as it was before! And we do not need Adobe Acrobat Reader, Writer or any other nonsense on our machine. Just this little application and a PDF file. You can open the text file in Word, Notepad++, Wordpad or whatever your favorite editor is.
How do you extract text from a PDF? We would love to hear about it in the comments!
Download: Text Extractor
More articles about: