Rios Computer Associates

Working with PDF Files

Depending on the version of Adobe you are using, you can save PDFs in text format. There is an option on the File menu to save as text, and you will end up with a file with .txt extension. All formatting will be lost, but you will have all the text. You can then open the .txt file in Word and save it as a Word document.

Tables will also come out as text. If the tables are complex, they will be difficult to recreate. In that case, I would do a screen shot of the tables and cut and paste them into the Word document.

There are programs out there that convert PDF to Word, but I have not found one yet that does a good job of converting everything as is, and they can be expensive.

If the PDF is not copy protected, you can select all the text in the document and copy and paste it into a Word document. Again, tables will be difficult to copy.

This is something I have done many times. Not a fun thing to do, but if all you want is the text, and don't care about the formatting, you will be able to get it in one of these ways. Of course, there may be other ways and software I am not familiar with, and always open to learning about new ways to do this as it comes up a lot in my work.

Going backwards from PDF to text is usually somewhat messy, but not impossible. One last-ditch but sure-fire method is to print out the document, and scan it back in using a character recognition program.  The latest versions of Microsoft Office include that capability, and most scanners and multi-function computers come with a program to do that as well.

There are also programs that can take a PDF file and edit it, and output the edited version in a variety of formats.  Some of the best non-Adobe PDF programs are from a company called software995—because most of their programs are $9.95!  Not only that, but they allow unlimited use of the full program before you pay for itin the unregistered version, there are just a few seconds of ads to see before the program starts.

The relevant program is called pdfEdit995.

 

8 Steps to a Healthy Computer

Computer hygiene is important, but the paid-for protection programs are often worse than the ones you can get for free.  We have solved a lot of our clients' computer problems by removing Norton/Symantec programs.

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Macs & Viruses

Have you been told that buying a Mac will avoid problems with viruses? That can be a good temporary solution—until a lot of folks start buying Macs.

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Choosing Secure Passwords

A word about passwords: lots of people tell you to create screwy-looking passwords with uPPer and LowER case and all kinds of strange symbols in them. It turns out that this is bad advice...

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Chain Letters

Almost all messages that you get telling you to 'Forward this to all your friends' are hoaxes. Here are some ways to determine whether you should pass it on or hit 'Delete'.

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Choosing a Laptop

The best approach that I have found in deciding what sort of computer to purchase is to identify the things that are most likely to matter to someone and narrow the search from there.

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Avoiding Malware Sites

The bad guys seem to have an unlimited number of ways to trick people and avoid detection. Do you know how to protect yourself from malicious websites?

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Web Hosting & Authoring

There are lots of places that will host you for just a few bucks a month. The critical question is not cost, but reliability and support.

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Choosing a Credit Card

Regardless of which computer you get, most extended warranties aren't worth the money. But how you pay for the computer matters a lot...

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Affordable Office Suites

Microsoft has dominated the office software market with Microsoft Office, but their software package can be expensive for personal use. Did you know that there are cheaper or free alternatives?

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Videocams & Farsightedness

Comfortable reading is all but impossible when you're farsighted, and computerized magnifers are expensive. Luckily, there is a way to get a cheap makeshift magnifier that works better than the real thing!

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Working with PDF Files

Going backwards from PDF to text is usually somewhat messy, but not impossible. Here are some methods to convert your PDF documents into more accesible formats...

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InfoSelect

The most important program I have, except maybe email, is my Personal Information Manager: InfoSelect.

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Reinstalling Microsoft Office

If your computer on which you have Microsoft Office installed dies, you don't need to buy a new copy; the license for Microsoft Office is transferable. You just need the original CD and the Product Key to install it just as you did originally.

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IMAP: Pros and Cons

IMAP is one of two commonly-used email protocols. I've heard lots of wonderful things about IMAP, but in real life, I have found it has its own share of drawbacks...

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Recovering Data From Failed Hard Drives

In more than 90% of cases of hard drive failure the data is retrievable, but the method used depends on the type of failure. A hard drive can 'die' for several reasons...

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Rios Computer Associates • 930 N Arlington Mill Drive • Arlington • VA • 22205 • 703-536-9190 • service@rios.org