[X Newbies] utility for copying from pdfs?

Randy B. Singer randy at macattorney.com
Mon Jul 21 16:47:20 PDT 2003

J Patrick Draine said:

>I recall recently seeing on one of the lists I'm on something about an 
>application that allows you to copy graphics (or whatever) from pdfs. 
>But I forgot what it's called -- it might be an OS 9 app -- I'm really 
>not sure. I need it now though! Any help on this?

In the latest version of the free Acrobat Reader there are both text and 
graphics selection tools.  So, assuming that the PDF file you are working 
with hasn't been locked by the person who created it, you can select any 
text, or any graphic, and transfer it to a word processing application, 
or a graphics application, to be edited.  

If you want to transfer *all* of the text out of a PDF, do this:
In Acrobat Reader, in the View menu, choose Continuous.
In the Edit menu choose Select All.
Select Copy.
Then paste into a word processor or text editor. 

If what you want out of a PDF is only its graphics, instead of using the 
graphics selection tool, consider using Print2PICT or Kunvert to convert 
the entire PDF into a graphic file, and then crop the image(s) that you 
are interested in from the resulting graphic image in a graphics program 
such as GraphicConverter:

Print2PICT (FREE, OS 9 only)

Kunvert (FREE, OS X only)
Converts PDF's to JPEG graphic format

You open the pdf in Acrobat Reader. In the Chooser select Print2Pict as 
your "printer." Print. You can save the results in several formats, 
including PICT, TIFF, GIF, PICS, and QuickTime.  PICT is probably the 
best choice for this purpose. You will "print" each page to a separate 
document, naming as you go.

Finally, TextLightning is a Mac OS X-native utility for converting PDF 
files to RTF (Rich Text Format, which is the Microsoft Word interchange 
format). TextLightning reconstructs as much of the original formatting as 
possible, including fonts,  paragraphs, justification, margins and 
international characters as well as ligatures. Any services-aware 
application, such as the Apple-supplied TextEdit or any other Cocoa 
application, gains the ability to open PDF documents as Rich Text Format 
once TextLightning is installed. 


I hope this helps.

Randy B. Singer
Co-Author of: The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th and 6th editions)

Documentation: (n.) a novel sold with software, designed to entertain the 
operator during episodes of bugs or glitches. 
- Tonkin's First Computer Dictionary 

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