Can’t Copy Text from a PDF File

By August 24, 2010 General Thoughts

I just ran into a problem where I couldn’t copy text from a PDF file. Normally, I can highlight text, copy it, and paste it elsewhere. But for this one particular PDF file, I was unable to do so.

The way I got around this was by uploading the file to Google Docs. Google Docs converted the text to a format that I could copy and paste.  Here are the instructions:

  1. Sign in or create your Google Docs account: http://www.google.com/docs
  2. Click the “Upload” link.
  3. Select your file to upload.
  4. In the check box, make sure you check the selection: “Convert text from PDF or image files to Google Docs documents.”
  5. Click “Start Upload.”
  6. Once you have done this, click on the link and the text from the PDF file should now be in text format that you can copy and paste.
Erik Rostad

Author Erik Rostad

Erik Rostad started EPR Creations in May 2008. He works with universities, international organizations, and executives on their online presence.

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