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scanning documents to pdf



1:18 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I want to scan some documents and convert them to pdf files. I'm using MGI Photosuite III and with this program I cannot save them as pdf files. How can I convert bitmaps, tifs or other graphic files to pdf?


1:28 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

PDF files are proprietary files to Adobe Acrobat.

To convert any text or image file to PDF you must purchase and use Acrobat Writer (not the same as the freeware Acrobat Reader).


1:57 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

thanks. is there no other way to go about it?


2:29 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

PDF is not proprietary to Adobe. There are a number of other vendors who have products that produce Adobe PDF compatable files (adobe reader will read them). Do a search for "pdf -adobe" and you will find several. I cannot recommend any because I do use Acrobat and Adobe Capture which allows you to scan documents and convert to PDF, both of these are expensive to get started with and Capture is not the greatest product (in my opinion).


2:37 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Do a search on Download.com for "create PDF" you should find a few in the results that will do what you ask.


6:49 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

If you plan on doing a lot of pdf creation though, you may want to invest in a copy of Adobe Acrobat. I do a lot of scan-to-pdf work, and Acrobat allows you to scan directly into the program. You also get a handy "virtual printer" (at least on Mac, haven't used the Windows version) that allows you to use any program to "print to PDF," whether the program natively supports PDF output or not. (It's called PDFWriter)

Another option is to find another page layout or graphics program that will save to pdf files... Can't help much with suggestions though, as I run a mostly Adobe workflow, and (of course) almost all Adobe software has a variety of PDF options.

(Funny how that works, isn't it? I've made more than one joke about Adobe trying to become the Microsoft of the graphics world. ;) Thank heavens for Quark, Macromedia and PSP sticking to their guns.)


7:06 pm on May 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

We use a lot of pdf files and recently I scanned-to-pdf a very large job, using a newly purchased Microtek scanner and its Scansoft software. Discovered that pdf files produced by "scan to pdf" cannot be text-searched in eBook Reader. Files produced by conversion from another application are searchable, but not scanned-to-pdf. This is a major problem since our work-group leaders use eBook to examine very large (2,500-page) pdf files. Does anyone know a solution to this problem?


7:11 pm on May 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Welcome to the world of OCR scanning... (and welcome to wmw, frc! :) )

Invest in a good Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning program if you plan to do a lot of this sort of work. Then you can convert scanned documents to text/word processing files, and worry about converting those files to PDF after you've proofread & reformatted them.

I'd LOVE to hear about it if anyone has a simpler solution to that one, because textfile-based pdfs are TONS smaller than scan-based ones, and it would save us a *lot* of room on our server if there were an efficient way of converting scans to text pdfs.


8:25 pm on May 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the welcome. I already have an OCR package, but the proofing/reformatting necessary for a 2,500-page file is unacceptably time-consuming. The scan-to-pdf, clearly, is producing a graphic file, because in addition to being unusable for text-search, Adobe 5 cannot convert one of these files to rtf. Sure hope something can be done to solve this or I may just break down and sob.

Thanks again for the help and good wishes.


8:31 pm on May 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I may just break down and sob

I definitely know that feeling. The largest document I had to scan was about 125 pages, so I'm not so bad off.

There's no way to get an electronic copy of the information (in Word format or something)? Perhaps from the original publisher for a fee? Point out to whoever would be in charge of signing the "electronic rights" royalty check that the royalty fee may well be cheaper than the hourly wages for having an employee scan the whole thing and try to make it searchable.

Then you could take the electronic copy and convert that to pdf...

Then again, you could take the time to create embedded annotations, summaries and bookmarks for the unimaginably huge pdf file that a 2500 page scanned document would create.


4:46 am on May 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Have you looked into Adobe Capture? They had a pretty good system for scanning to PDF and you didn't end up with lots of image files...text translated to text and the OCR wasn't too bad from what I recall. I haven't used Capture for several years, but I did a big batch of catalogs filled with text and images and remember that the cleanup wan't too bad once I tweaked my preferences.

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