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Thread: Selecting text for copy-pasting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    3

    Default Selecting text for copy-pasting

    Hi, I have an OCR'd pdf of a telephone billing, which I have opened in Revu, and want to copy-paste text from particular columns into a Word document

    I can see how to copy-paste text horizontally (as if copying paragraphs) but I want to copy-paste text vertically, excluding columns on either side

    I cannot see how to do that, and need some guidance. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    280

    Default

    Hi JohnG,

    Good question. In a PDF, there is not a table structure where Revu would know what rows and columns are, where margins lay etc. What it sees are strings of text running left to right. That is why when you go to highlight a column, you are getting every other column with it. I understand this is not ideal, and changes would have to be done on the OCR and client front. I will share this with the team.

    Britney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Many thanks, Britney.

    I have found a "work-a-round" - this is to save the pdf as a power-point presentation - this enables copy-pasting down the columns. It is not totally perfect, as sometimes the columns are misinterpreted (e.g. where there are headings) but it is good enough for now. Saving the pdf in excel has a similar effect, but not so good

    For future Revu releases, I think it would be great to have greater control over the direction of the copying - not only because of columns, tables, financial data, etc. but also because some countries read text differently - Japanese, for example, read down the page
    Last edited by JohnG; 02-06-2014 at 06:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    286

    Default

    Hi John G,

    Have you tried selecting your text with Windows + Alt buttons held down as you drag and select? I think this might work for you. A coworker mentioned this to me as something Windows lets you do to select within a specified region and may work in multiple applications. It might take a try or two to get it just right.

    Gordon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    196

    Default

    How about, take a snapshot of the OCR'd column, paste onto a new page, copy then paste data ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Hi,

    Many thanks for the Windows + Alt button suggestion - that works perfectly on the original pdf (although not within the Revu version). I am very pleased, saves me a lot of work

    I also tried the snapshot suggestion, but am not sure if I was doing it correctly - is a snapshot done by pressing control & print-screen? That did not work for me, as it just copied the text as an image, not as OCR text

    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    286

    Default

    Hi JohnG,

    Were you not able to select the OCR'd text in Revu? I tried on a document in Revu and was able to copy the text from two columns from a scanned table that was OCR'd in Acrobat (I don't have Revu Extreme). I noticed in some areas, it may be harder to get the cursor to select a selection using Windows + ALT keys. I think if you hold the CTRL key down with the text selection tool selected in Revu, it does the same thing and lets you select a selection as well. I never noticed this in Revu until I started playing around with the modifier keys.

    In my copy of Acrobat 9 Pro, there's an option to right click to "Copy as Table" or "Open Table in Spreadsheet" which I believe they may have removed in Acrobat X and XI, in place of a more cumbersome export text as feature. I don't believe Revu has this ability, and you'll just get the selected text dump. It would be a handy addition as a future feature.

    As for liepper's suggestion, I believe the intent was to take a snapshot (press G in Revu) and take a snapshot of the area you want. You'd have to paste it in a new document and then flatten the pdf and run OCR. Once that's done, you could copy the text of the section you wanted. A little more roundabout, but with similar results.

    Gordon
    Last edited by Gordon; 02-10-2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: typo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    196

    Default

    If the pdf is OCR'd already, take snapshot, paste, copy data, works for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    10

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    If you hold down the control key while clicking and dragging with the text select tool then it will limit the selection to the window you're defining instead of grabbing all the columns on the page. Something I figured out accidentally when a notebook slid onto the corner of my keyboard!